Increase Your Bottom Line through Excellent Website Design
SEO influencer Neil Patel has an interesting take on whether website design impacts the bottom line. His answer is both yes and no: improving website design to increase sales can certainly produce that outcome. We’re inclined to agree. Revamping a site’s on-page design cannot guarantee an increase in sales unless those changes are designed specifically to improve brand image and user experience (UX).
This statement is already very telling about how website design affects sales. It’s necessary to focus on improving brand image and UX when designing or re-designing websites because they encompass the numerous factors that can influence customer behavior. A positive brand image, for example, can heighten customer satisfaction and encourage loyalty. Websites that can guarantee quality UX can also generate the same response. More importantly, it can cut short a buyer’s journey or at least ensure that it proceeds without a hitch.
Getting these two areas of website design right can have a positive impact on sales. The important question now is how can you boost website sales through web design? Why does it work? Let’s find out.
Website Design and Brand Image
Let’s begin by defining brand image. It is the audience’s perception of your brand, which in turn is influenced by their experience with it or interactions with your business. Brand image takes shape even when no purchase or any transaction happens between the brand and the customer. Customer perception is subjective, but brands can steer the public in a specific direction. One way to do that is to use visual cues when marketing your brand:
- Color Scheme
- Brand Logos
- Content and Media
For brands that operate online, there’s no better place to incorporate these visual cues than on their website.
A website is equivalent to online real estate. It serves as a virtual storefront for businesses and companies with physical addresses. For those that operate purely online, their website becomes the platform where they conduct business, engage with customers, and promote and deliver their services.
Just as customers are bound to judge a business based on the appearance of its store, website visitors also form opinions about a business the moment they enter a website. It only takes seconds for first impressions to form; and in business, first impressions matter.
What visitors see on a website helps define their perception of the business or organization behind it. A website that looks professional will lend the same image to the company behind it, while a website that looks like it was designed by an amateur or has an outdated layout will appear local and small-scale.
Website design, therefore, is not about having the prettiest appearance or flashiest features. While it’s important to have an attractive site that catches the eye, a website’s aesthetics should also match the image a business aspires to have. This way, they can attract the customers whose loyalty they want to earn.
Website Design and User Experience
Website design is also an important factor in user experience. UX refers to how people feel when they interact with an interface or system — in this case, a website. When we say a website has a top-notch user experience, it means that visitors enjoy or at least have an easy time navigating its pages. They can find their way around the site, find information where they expect to see them, and be satisfied with their visit every time.
There are many elements in a website that make up the sum of a visitor’s user experience. Here are some examples:
- Page loading time
- Typography and font size
- Text background color
Any of these factors can drive a user’s experience up or down the scale. We will make a case, however, for making page load time — specifically keeping it short — a priority.
Websites that take too long to load test Internet users’ patience and sours the user experience from the get-go. Several studies back this up. According to an early study by the Aberdeen Group, a one-second delay reduces customer satisfaction by 16 percent, page views by 11 percent, conversions by seven percent. Google has its findings, too. They found that the probability of a bounce increases by 32 percent as page load time extends from one to three seconds. The probability rises to 90 percent by five seconds; 106 percent by six seconds, and 123 percent by 10 seconds.
A bounce is a lost opportunity for lead generation and actual sales conversion. It’s necessary to keep the page loading time short and sweet to discourage visitors from leaving your website without seeing enough of what you offer.
Another UX factor that should also be a priority for web design and development is mobile-friendliness. Eighty-one percent of Americans own a smartphone and 52 percent use a tablet computer, according to the latest data from Pew Research Center. Here’s a crucial statistic: one in every five American adults access the Internet via their smartphones only. Any business that hosts online transactions should optimize their websites for mobile and make sure their web design adapts well to smaller screens.
Designing a website for mobile can bring improvements across the board. Mobile-friendly sites load fast, are easy to navigate, and fit all relevant page content on the narrow screen to give visitors a stellar user experience.
All the work that goes into improving website design to raise brand image and UX boils down to ensuring customer satisfaction. Happy visitors are more receptive to marketing messages. They are easier to convert to leads and encouraged to push through with their purchases. This is how you can leverage website design to increase your bottom line.
Improve Your Website Design and Its Impact on Sales
Having established that website design can indeed impact sales, we now encourage you to take stock of your website. Does its appearance mirror the image you want to develop? Do visitors stay long enough on your website for their customer journey to take root?
If you’re not confident about how well your website performs in these areas, QBall Digital can help. We are a full-service SEO agency and can advise you on how to align website redesign to your business goals. Get in touch with us today.