You’ve heard it a million times….. first impressions count.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re meeting someone in person or online, your first impression matters. Why then, do so many people let poor website design be their first impression of their business.
Here’s the thing about bad design… it’s just like having bad breath.
If you showed up to a first date with bad breath, all the smooth-talking in the world won’t be enough to salvage your opportunity for that end of the night kiss.
Bad website design works the same way. Your website visitors won’t tell you that your website looks like crap. They’ll just leave and never come back. And you’ll be left wondering why exactly you’re getting consistent traffic but no results.
Imagine for a second, however, what would happen if they did buy from you. Not only that, but they were so impressed that they referred others to you, and those people referred people to you, and on and on it goes….
Sounds pretty great, right? Well, this is what you could be missing out on. You know what you have to offer is valuable. You just have to let everyone else know what they’re missing.
The Importance of First Impressions
You never get a second chance at a first impression. By and large, your design is what stands out when someone visits your site for the first time.
There’s no denying the importance of good, user-friendly web design. You might be surprised, however, to realize just how much of an impact great design can make.
Studies show that visual appeal can be assessed in as little as 50 milliseconds. That means you have just .05 seconds to make your first impression count.
Think back to how you interact with websites. Do you carefully review and read everything on the page? Or do you click fast and loose while navigating between multiple tabs?
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s hard to keep your visitors’ attention. It’s even harder to do it with a bad website design.
A separate study suggests that among the main drivers of website impressions, a staggering 94% are related to design.
So things like layout, visual appeal, and easy navigation are massively important to your traffic. For a first-time visitor, your reputation is only as good as your design — and you have a very short window to make sure they like what they see.
If you don’t make a good first impression, odds are your visitors aren’t going to stick around. They can leave your site at a moment’s notice.
With websites, you don’t have time to change people’s minds. Once they click away — they’re gone for good.
How Bad Design Hurts Sales
Let’s be clear, bad website design doesn’t just leave a bad taste in the mouth of first-time visitors. It can be just as damaging to your existing pool of leads, clients, and referrals.
A Stanford study confirmed just that. A three-year study of over 4,500 web users found that 75 percent of consumers judge the credibility of a business by its website design.
Imagine you’re able to attract droves of potential customers to your site. They eagerly arrive at your homepage, only to discover a plague of different design issues — from visual clutter to broken links and slow loading speeds. That doesn’t exactly spell confidence in your ability to serve their needs.
A poorly designed website is a missed opportunity to show them you’re professional, trustworthy, and credible — and they may just jump ship to your competitor.
That’s not to mention the benefits of having proper sales tools at your disposal. Your site should be armed and ready with things like lead magnets, marketing funnels, social proof and a visible call-to-action that convert your potential leads into loyal customers.
You may have no problem attracting website traffic. You may even make the occasional sale. Think of the untapped potential, however, that comes with a well-designed website. A site that’s loaded with user-friendly features and high-converting tools.
You could turn your average run-of-the-mill website into a powerful, well-oiled sales machine.
In today’s crowded marketplace, you can’t afford to have a bad website design. It’s another all-important piece of the sales puzzle. For business owners, the cost of bad website design costs much more than the amount spent on hiring an agency or professional designer.
Bad website design hits you where it hurts most: your bottom line. Paying for quality is a small price for having a website that not only attracts users but converts on a massive scale.
What Does Bad Design Look Like?
The thing about bad website design is — there’s no hard and fast rule to understand what it is. You know it when you see it.
So what does the bad design look like?
Here are just a few of the common issues that we see plaguing sites:
Conversion Tools– Let’s say a visitor likes what they see on your site. Are you doing everything in your power to get that person’s business? Even the best-designed sites have little impact if they can’t drive conversions. Bad website design interferes with sales. Your site may suffer from having a bad call-to-action, marketing funnel, lead magnet or leakage points.
Value– Why should someone give you their business? Your website’s job is to show people why they should care about you and why you can provide solutions to their problems. If it’s not demonstrating your value, you’re missing out. Your site should convey authority, display social proof and use strong copywriting elements to stand out.
Navigation– The easier your site is to navigate, the better. You should consider what the user experience is like for visitors to your site. Bad design can make it needlessly complicated to get around a website. Simple things like readability, search bars, and designing for mobile can make a big difference to users.
Outdated– When was the last time you updated your website? If your site feels more at home in the early aughts than it does today, it’s time to make a change. An outdated look can wreak havoc on your conversions. Forgetting to integrate things like video and social widgets may make all the difference.
Now, your site could be suffering from a whole range of issues. Or it may just need a few small tweaks.
With website design, the devil is in the details. Even having just one of the preceding factors is enough to drive away conversions. It’s extremely important to have a well-designed, error-free site if you’re looking to maximize your conversions.
Making sales often boils down to one simple thing, TRUST.
The challenge many people face with their website is how exactly to win their visitors’ trust and gain it fast. With good website design, you have a fighting chance of earning that trust.
So what motivates people to make the sale? It’s all outlined in the book “Influence” written by the groundbreaking author Dr. Robert Cialdini. In it, he outlines the six principles of persuasion that lead people to say ‘yes.’ These are:
1-Reciprocity: If someone gives us something, we want to give something in return.
2-Consistency: We all have a deep need to be consistent with our behavior.
3-Social Proof: We are deeply persuaded by what other people think.
4-Authority: We tend to obey what we perceive to be an ‘authority figure’.
5-Likability: We are more likely to be persuaded by someone we like.
6-Scarcity: When we believe something is in short supply, we want more!
By applying these principles to your website design, you’re sure to see immediate and dramatic results.
Fixing bad website design is simple, but it has to be done right. And if it’s done right, it will pay for itself 10-fold in the steady flow of high-converting traffic you’ll see.
Fixing Your Mistakes
Mistakes may be a part of life, but they don’t always have to be.
Fixing bad website design is easy, you just have to decide to take action. By hiring the right team, you can win back trust and start winning the conversions you deserve.