Knowing this, we can probably agree that doing everything we can to make our products and services look good to our customers is a valuable use of time and money. Your website is no exception. In fact, 66% of people would prefer to see something beautifully designed over something plain and simple, especially if they are short on time. The more beautifully designed your website is, the longer they are likely to stay on it! Which also means the higher the chance is that they'll buy from you.
Not convinced yet? Let's peek at what’s going on in your customer's head when they look at your website:
They are forming their first impression of you.
Did you like the look of the cover on your favorite book the first time you saw it? Or the label on that bottle of wine from Leelanau Cellars you always have ready to serve guests? Chances are, many of your favorite products and services made a good first impression on you and that's one of the reasons you gave it a chance in the first place.
They are judging your customer service based on your website.
Is your website easy to use? If not, chances are your customers are going to assume that getting anything done with you is going to be difficult. If your customer service is top-notch, we want the website to reflect that!
They are deciding if they should trust you.
The words and images on your website matter. If you're a photographer and your website is full of stock photos (or poorly done photos!), your customer is going to lose some trust in your ability to provide good service. If you make a claim on your website that sounds too good to be true or outrageous, your customer is likely going to be skeptical about whether they can believe anything you claim --on the website or otherwise.
They are choosing between you and your competitor.
You're at a party and there are two cakes. One is beautifully designed - gorgeous icing with an interesting design, and very well executed. The other looks like it were put together after falling apart by someone who had never iced a cake before. Which one do you grab a slice from if that's your first and only impression of the cakes?
Don't be a poorly designed cake! You could be the best tasting cake and icing, but without the good looks, many potential customers won't even give you a chance.
If these customer thoughts haven't convinced you, think for a moment about Search Engine Optimization. (Not sure what that is? Check out our blog on SEO!) If your website isn't done well with good copy and easy navigation, chances are search engines aren't showing it to your customers, either!
By now you're probably wondering how you can make sure your website is the good-looking one. Here are some important qualities to consider:
1. Easy navigation
What are your customers coming to your website to do? Are they coming to schedule an appointment? Read your menu of services? Learn how to use your product? Find out and make that the easiest thing to find on your website! Want a great example? Check out Shefit.com: you'll see "shop," "find my fit," and "reviews" at the very top left - the exact things that potential customers are looking to do when they go to Shefit's website!
2. Aesthetically pleasing
Graphic and website designers, like the ones on our team, are trained to know what people like to look at! Always have a few people with good taste check out the look of your website before publishing. Better yet, use a service like ours with highly-trained graphic and website designers to get it right the first time!
3. On brand, consistent colors and images
A website without consistent branding sends a strong message to the customer: "We don't quite know who we are yet!" It can be enough to turn a potential away or to a competitor who shows that consistency and self-awareness.
Want a great example of consistency? Check out Michigan.org - the Pure Michigan campaign does a great job of sticking to brand colors, clean lines, and beautiful images of Michigan based on the season.
4. Looks good on everything from laptops to mobile phones
Most of the time, websites are created and edited on laptops or desktop computers. Always take the time to preview the website on a tablet and a couple of different models of mobile phones. Why? Think about how often you visit websites on your phone or look around you and see how many OTHER people are looking at webpages via their phone or tablet! We need to be consistent across the board with our beautiful sites!
5. Good copy
What is copy? It's a fancy way of referring to the words on your website. Consistent, authentic messaging will win over a cheesy sales-pitch every time!
Story branding is a popular method of writing copy. It involves grabbing the reader's attention with a pain point they can relate to, explaining how the product or service the company sells can solve that pain point, and then describing how amazing the customer will feel and what they will get from using that product or service!
6. Call to action
A call to action is like closing a sale when you're having a one-way conversation. Ask your customer to engage with your business: Like us on Facebook! Sign up for our newsletter! Or even get straight to the point: Buy here! Create a call to action and make it very easy to take that action.
We know your time is a finite resource. That's why we want to help you design a website that attracts your ideal customer, keeps them engaged, and gets them buying from you! If a beautiful website is what you're after, whether you're building a new site or fixing up an old one, contact CIS Agency today to get the process started!