What have fashion and website design got in common?
Well, it’s simply this – they both have sell-by-dates. Clothing which might have looked great ten years ago will more than likely look old and dated now. The same applies to website design. If there’s one singular difference between the two it’s that if you hang on to your old clothes for long enough there’s a distinct possibility that they may eventually come back into fashion. That’s something that will never apply to website design. Website design trends change all the time; what might have been cutting-edge design five years ago, will simply look tired and stale today. So it’s important for your business to move with the times and live in the present day.
So why should you go to the trouble of changing your website?
Well, that’s a simple question to answer. The website is the first point of contact you’ll have with potential customers – in essence it’s your online gateway to the world. So it’s important that your business website looks the part and inspires confidence. If it doesn’t do that, then you can kiss goodbye to any prospect of any sale. Poorly designed websites might appear to tick many of the boxes in terms of speed and navigability, but they lack user appeal, and often fail to make an impression. If a website looks unattractive, outdated or poorly designed, many users will leave immediately and look for something more appealing instead. High bounce rates and poor user retention rates are clear signs that websites are not delivering the type of service Google wants to offer, so search engine rankings suffer.
To succeed online you’ll need a website that not only looks great, but also performs effectively.
How do you decide what constitutes good website design? Well, it’s all about perception at the end of the day, and how users view the site. So it’s not just a question of getting the colours right, or making sure you’ve got lots of pretty pictures available for people to look at. Performance is just as important, and that relies upon effective website architecture and good content structure. To perform effectively a website needs to deliver a great user experience, so it needs to be easy to navigate. If it takes an eternity for users to get from the home page to the page they’re really interested in, then they will quickly lose interest and take their custom elsewhere.
The content on your website should address the immediate concerns of your visitors, and should reassure them that not only have they come to the right place, but that your company, above all others, is the one they should be choosing to do their business with. It doesn’t matter how they’ve arrived at the site, whether through a paid ad, a social media link or organic search results, the same message applies. Your content should reassure them that the business they’re looking at is professional and can deliver a better quality of service than the competition.
What about website speed and page loading times? Are they not important too?
Well, obviously they are important considerations, and can affect a website’s performance on the search engines. Google now places great emphasis on website speed, so if you want your website to perform well on the search engines your website design will need to address these issues too. However, it’s important to remember that as far as Google is concerned content is still king. Without quality content websites will never rank highly on search engines, regardless of how fast they are able to deliver information to users. Fast websites that also deliver quality content, however, are the keys to delivering a satisfying user experience, and will generate more visitors. What’s more these visitors stay for longer, generally go on to buy products and services and are happy to share their experience with others and link to the site.
If you are experiencing issues with website performance, or would like to improve your search engine rankings and get better results from your SEO campaign, then speak to the website designers at Search and More. For further information call Search and More on 0161 669 5544.