Enhancing visual aesthetics is essential for business success amidst rising competition. In this post, we’ll explore impactful design goals for your business and strategies to ensure your website is an asset, not a hindrance.
Why Having a Website for Business More Important Than Ever
Small business owners in almost any, and every industry, need to develop high-value marketing websites and content to help them sell their products and services and to help them raise awareness of their brand. Make your online business presence part of your marketing plan; it will help your business grow.
In today’s social climate, aesthetics are a crucial way to portray your brand’s identity and help you stand out from your competitors.
Small businesses with clean, beautifully-designed websites leave a positive impression on potential customers. A good first impression can mean the difference between gaining business and losing it.
A professional website leaves a positive impression because it proves your business’ credibility. It instills faith in the customer that if you care enough to have a high-quality website, which, in turn, means your services will also be of a high standard.
Let’s take a look at the numbers:
According to research from Stanford University, 46.1% of people say a website’s design is the top criteria for deciding if a company is credible or not. So it’s extremely important that your design looks professional.
Researchers from Stanford University say the design of a website is the most important decision factor when determining if a business is honest and trustworthy.
When determining these factors, researchers had words on many of the visual design elements like the layout, typography, white space, images, color schemes, etc.
Many said they found the websites more credible and professional when designed well and all elements were in their place.
Some said the more pleasing graphics, the higher-quality look, and feel of the site.
Close to two-thirds of Americans now say they’ve bought something on Amazon, according to an NPR/Marist poll. That is 92 percent of America’s online shoppers — which is to say, almost all of them. I wasn’t able to find a more recent study, as this was in 2018, but I believe the numbers aren’t that skewed in today’s environment.
More than 40 percent say they buy something on Amazon once a month or more often. In fact, when people shop online, they’re most likely to start on Amazon.
With the majority of the world’s population now online, you can think of your company website as your new storefront or “digital storefront”. And you can think of web designers as the new visual merchandisers, working hard to make your products and services look great online.
If your website takes all of these tangibles into consideration (more customers, better brand impression, reliable source of accurate business information, etc.) then you are likely to be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition.
Chances are they may not have a website that accomplishes any business goals other than holding their domain name.
How Do You Design a Website with Business Goals in Mind?
Investing in a good website for your business that delivers tangible benefits for your company is always a solid business decision. Any opportunity you have to separate yourself above and beyond your competition in today’s competitive marketplace and stand out to your customer base is an opportunity you need to seize.
A website design can be key in helping or hindering a business’s efforts to achieve its marketing goals and can help a business excel online… so long as it’s thought about at the start of the project.
However, there is more than just designing a pretty website. There are some important conversion factors to keep in mind I want to share with you if you want to convert website traffic into tangible sales figures.
8 Actionable Tips to Improve Your Website Design
1. Spend time figuring out who your target market is
Your target market is a definitive group of people you want to influence with your marketing message. In the simplest form, it’s those who are most likely to buy. The goal is to create a clear vision of who your target group is so you will understand where and how to reach your potential customers.
Here are 7 ways to identify your target market:
- Start with the problem
- Define your customer’s characteristics
- What is your primary market?
- Study your current customers
- Research Industry publications, statistics and special reports
- Who does your competitor target?
- Who buys and why?
2. Write crystal-clear calls to action
Are you making sure your calls to action are clear, easy to read, and engaging?
In marketing, the call to action (or CTA) is the part of your ad or landing page that asks the visitor to take the next step. Your calls to action should clearly tell your user what you want them to take action on and persuade them to actually take that action. If you want more subscribers, lead magnet downloads, or inquiries you have to make sure you are testing your CTA’s till you find a winning formula that converts. Here are a few tips from Wordstream that should get you started on writing winning headlines.
- Use a strong command verb to start your CTA
- Use words that provoke emotion or enthusiasm
- Give your audience a reason why they should take the desired action
- Take Advantage of FOMO
- Know your devices
- Don’t be afraid to get a little creative
- Use numbers when possible
3. Focus on usability
From navigational menus, forms, links, to images, content, and videos, your website should help your users take the necessary steps they need to take to accomplish what you want them to take action on.
An efficient website takes the steps to enable its guests to find the information or resources that they need as quickly and economically as possible, without wasting time or effort. And in 2023, usability is more important than ever! Let’s look at all the ways we can improve our usability:
- Focus on readability
- Good user interface
- Content usability
- Videos to enhance content
- Background color, texture and contrast
- Selection of images and their placement
- Fast-loading web pages
- Ease of use
4. Simple design can be your best friend
Have you noticed the most successful businesses have the simplest-looking branding? There’s a science behind choosing the right color palette, fonts, and visual aesthetic for your business and a simple design will help your customers efficiently use your website. To take a look at effective branding in its simplest form, look no further, as casper.com nailed it.
5. Visual hierarchy is more important than you think
Large chunks of text do not read well, at all. That is because people are visual thinkers and in order to process the information efficiently you need to break it up into digestible pieces of content so people can retain the information much easier.
Try reading a 10 line paragraph with ease and get back to me. Not going to happen!
6. Optimize your images from the start
Over time, your images will start to take up a lot of data on your site so it’s important to start to optimize your image from the beginning.
Things like properly sizing your images, reducing file size, choosing the right file type, and naming your images are important and largely underutilized by many websites.
7. Focus on mobile friendly design
in 2022, 54.4% of internet traffic comes from mobile phones so it’s crucial your website translates across mobile devices. Your site needs to fully interact with your customers, so make sure every aspect of your website is mobile friendly and bask in the glory of your customers knowing you care about their experience. Make sure to add a “mobile-first” strategy to your web design plan.
- Optimize videos on your pages to make them compatible with smart devices.
- Make content scrollable, rather than forcing people to click through multiple pages, which can be challenging on mobile.
- Your images should be high-quality and closely cropped to maximize detail, even when shrunk to fit a smaller screen.
- Any buttons on the screen should be easy for mobile customers to use.
- Use a responsive template for everything, including emails.
And if you’ve been paying attention to earlier on in the article, you might be having a “hey, this sounds familiar!” moment right now. Because by focusing on usability, you are also focusing on a mobile-friendly experience, as the two are closely correlated.
Take a look at Evernote. Their website site is clean on mobile, as well as desktop. This is the way.
8. Show your customers some social proof
Add a bit of credibility to your site by adding reviews or testimonials. But don’t go overboard on this. It’s very easy to add too much social proof and make yourself seem like you’re just boasting.
And no one likes a boaster! Add customer photos when appropriate to add more trust and credibility to your business.
I hope you found a few tidbits and takeaways in this post you can use in your business.
If you spend a little time optimizing your website to create website objectives to meet your business goals you will be doing yourself a huge favor by avoiding the pitfalls I see many businesses face with web design in today’s business.
If you know your business needs a new website or you are planning a redesign, our custom web design and WP development services will help you discover how a properly developed website can help you move the needle forward in your business.
Meet the Author
Over the past 12 years, I've honed my digital marketing skills by working with well-known brands such as Eu Natural, Skinny Ms., and Costco, to name a few. Together with my wife Candyce, we help other businesses improve their marketing online. When I'm not helping my customers win, I'm playing/recording music, flying my drone and hanging with the family.