Can a well-designed website really help to boost your sales?
Websites are not just something that you need because every other business has one (although that is often why many businesses seem to want one). Websites have a specific function. If you sell products directly from an e-commerce website, your site’s design plays a fundamental role in making sales. But even if you use your website for marketing purposes, design is still critical to your success.
Here are some ways that a good design can help to boost your sales no matter what type of business you run.
Boost Discovery in Search
First of all, a good website designer will take SEO into account right from the start.
SEO is much more than the design, as you know. It involves a whole host of ongoing activities and a constantly evolving strategy to keep up with Google’s algorithm changes. But it all starts with design. Even before you create a word of content or build your first link, you need to get the design right. What that means these days is a mobile-friendly design, and responsive design is becoming essential.
More people are using their mobiles to access the internet and search for goods and services—and they will only discover your website in the search engines if it is mobile-friendly (especially following Mobilegeddon in April 2015).
But it goes beyond mobile-friendliness.
A good design in SEO terms means fast-loading pages, simple and intuitive navigation, clear and simple search features, and more. A site built on a CMS like WordPress will make it easy to optimize every post you write with a title tag, meta description, headline, etc. In short, a well-designed website will get discovered more easily (as long as you then take your SEO seriously after launching the site). While SEO is more than web design, it all starts with a good website. More people finding your website means more traffic—which leads to more sales.
Better Usability Increases Sales
A website with a fantastic user experience is only going to be a good thing for your sales. Even if you don’t sell anything directly from your website, there’s a good chance you want to get visitors into your funnel. To do that, you need them to stay on the site and to find value in your content. And a good user experience will help to make this happen (as long as the content is good).
Help visitors to explore your site. Make it easy for them to find your latest blog posts, your contact form, to sign up to your newsletter, to find the product they are looking for. It all comes down to good design. It’s hard to stand out online. So once you attract people to your site, you don’t want them to go and never return. That’s why you want to provide a memorable experience for them.
If the experience is a negative one, people are far less likely to return. If you provide an experience they enjoy, they are more likely to return. Simple.
Design Affects Conversion Rate Optimization
Getting people to your site and providing them with a positive experience is essential. But good design plays a big role in conversion rate optimization (CRO) too. You can play around with the design of your website, changing various design elements and then testing the effect these have on your conversions.
This is often done using a landing page, but you can test any page you want, experimenting with:
- the position of various elements
- sign-up forms
Good design is also important to optimize sales in the checkout if you operate an e-commerce store.
We’ve written on the checkout experience and how to optimize conversions, which includes fast-loading pages, using a progress bar, making the buttons stand out with different colors, carefully placing forms in the right places, using images appropriately, and other factors. These can all help to increase sales and reduce cart abandons.
Whether in the checkout or elsewhere, it’s about getting the customer to make the decision to buy or to sign up to your list. You need to make it as easy as possible to do this. If they cannot find what they are looking for, they’ll leave. If you’re selling products, you can influence sales by changing how the items are displayed or the fonts you use or making it easier to add products to a wishlist or the cart. The more obstacles you have, the more frustrations your visitors find, the less likely to become leads and customers.
Your Website’s Design Reinforces Your Brand
These elements are all essential in a website. Better design increases visibility online, provides a better user experience, and helps to encourage conversions. But it does more than this. It’s all about the long-term branding of your company. Your website is your hub, and it’s central to everything you do online, even if you don’t sell anything through it directly.
A great design that stands out will set you apart from the competition and give a good impression as soon as anyone lands on it, making them see that you take your image and user experience seriously. There are many other things that go into it (copy, for one). But great web design provides a positive first impression, and this stays with your visitors. A good impression of your business means a more recognizable brand and a better chance of more future sales.
Keep On Top of Your Website
A good website can make the world of difference to your sales. One that is simple to navigate, mobile friendly, user-friendly, and optimized for conversions will only help you to stand out and increase your conversions. It’s not hard to get a website like that, but it can make all the difference.
If your website needs fixing, if your sales are not what they should be, then now is the time to do something about that.