There are a lot of buzz words thrown around regarding websites and internet marketing: SEO, pay-per-clicks and spam content. If you’re no expert, these words sound as if they’re from a far off, highly futuristic culture which is way beyond your reach and comprehension. But they are simply ways to improve website rankings – how well your website fares when people conduct an internet search looking for companies just like yours. The higher up the results page a website finds itself, the better.
However well your technical experts improve your website’s visibility in the eyes of the search engines, it matters not one iota if a visitor doesn’t immediately like what he sees when he reaches your home page. Your visitor will subconsciously make a decision about whether your website meets their needs within about five seconds. If they find it confusing, uninteresting, and amateur in appearance and they really don’t understand what you are promoting, they won’t stay around for long to detangle the mess of information. Why should they? There are literally millions of websites out there, all jostling with one another to get more visitors, and more importantly, to get visitors who convert – either sign up for more information, for a special offer or to go straight for the jugular and buy. Why would a visitor waste their time on an ill thought out website when with the click of a button, and a little help from Google, they have another ten to visit?
So bring in the design experts. When you are creating a brand new website for your business, professional design input is essential. Joe Public needs to not only like your website but to adore it. He must want to share it with friends. And furthermore he must be persuasively convinced that your product or services are the ones to buy above all others.
So clearly your website has to be visually captivating, well laid-out and easy to navigate, to clearly define what you are offering and what your brand is all about. If you are going to exert a lot of time and effort into ensuring your website has a great ranking on the search engines, don’t bother unless you spend at least, if not more, the same amount of time on its appearance. Without The Look, there’s really no point.
This is why a professional website graphic design team is so important in a shrewd business plan. You need their artistic expertise in web design to create an all-singing, all-dancing website that has visitors coming back again and again. So how on earth do they achieve this?
First off they must go back to your brand identity. The overall appearance of the website must reflect this – using the company logo and clever use of the company colour palette – and must quickly project the ethos of your company and the types of product it sells. It may appear somber and serious, frivolous and fun or exciting and innovative. It may have an understated but glossy look when luxury items are being promoted, or practical and simple when home or car services are what you are all about.
More importantly to the visitor is that your website has to look magnificent and hook them from the very first visit. You probably have an awful lot to say about your great business, but a website graphic design team will keep the fine details for interior sections. The website homepage must have exceptional images, a sleek and professional finish and a clean layout.
Where you have a lot of text, the graphic designer’s secret is to break it up into readable pieces and make it easier to scan for those visitors who simply don’t have time or the desire to read the small print.
The design team will also make navigation of your website as easy as possible – using sensible logic and nice, fat buttons to click on. And assuming your visitor loves the website experience you provide, they may want more information or to sign up for a newsletter. These ‘call-to-action’ steps need to be spoon fed to the customer – and the design team can ensure they jump out from the webpage to facilitate customer conversion.
As you can see from this series of articles, you need the creativity of an expert design team to achieve the right look for all areas of your business. There is no way that an amateur website will ever compete with one that was professionally designed. From your own experience you know how much first impressions count. If your gut instinct is that an amateur website is indicative of a business without an astute CEO, you are probably right – and would you spend your money with such a poorly led company?