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Put simply, because your website, and especially your website design, is most often the first place new customers or prospects encounter your brand. And even if it isn’t the first, expect that most of your new customers will interact with your website design before they interact with your actual product or service.
Even marquee and nationally recognized brands understand that website design and their online presence have a huge importance to their overall marketing strategies. Even a industry Goliath like Coca-Cola doesn’t sit on its hands waiting for things to happen. They know that to let up on their marketing is only an opportunity for competitors to gain on them: If Coca-Cola can spend $4 billion a year on global advertising (in 2016) to stay on top of the game, your business can afford the cost of one of website design packages.
Let’s say you’ve done the necessary marketing and upgraded your website design to entice visitors to your site. You’ve created a marketing strategy and done the work to generate interest in your website through social media marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing, etc., and so, as a result, you’ve generated some web traffic:
Great. But what they see when they get there will prove even more crucial to what happens next.
Once a visitor arrives at your site, and after the page loads, it takes .05 seconds for a visitor to decide whether to stay or go. You read that right: 50 milliseconds. You’ve got to win them over in less than a blink. That’s less time than it takes to even recognize a sound!
If you want to survive on line, your site has got to be good. When the life or death of your marketing is decided in the fraction of a second, don’t risk losing traffic due to inferior website design.
For a business site, your website design needs to deliver and it needs to do it ridiculously quick. Your website design can’t just stand, it has to stand out. Every user that lands on your main page will decide in a split second whether you’re worth their time: So, let’s say you clear the first hurdle. Your website design is good enough to keep your clicks from becoming bounces.
For those that stay, your content only has another 10 seconds to make its case. But there’s more at stake than just this visit. If they bounce too soon at this stage there’s a very good chance that they’ll never come back again: You’ve just lost a potential customer forever.
If you’re a small business, that’s going to cost you: Big time.
Keeping visitors longer than five hundredths of a second? How hard could that be?
Just drop-in a provocative image on your main page, right? Then they’ll be too titillated to leave.
But it’s a lot more to it than that. Not only must your website design look good, website design also needs to present your information in a clear and compelling way. Your visitors need to quickly be able to get a sense of who you are and what you do.
Think of it like this: If you’re a shop owner, you need your showroom to look good. Your visitors are going to be forming opinions about your business and you the business owner as soon as they walk in the door. And even if you’ve managed to keep your visitors from running out the door screaming, do you even want the kinds of customers who’d put up with a messy, poorly designed showroom?
Think of your website design as like a digital storefront and showroom. When your visitors walk through your door, they’re forming opinions about you and your business based on it. Make sure their experience is a good one! Make your website design your red carpet.
Because if you don’t, your potential customers will. Most often, a lot of what goes wrong with a website design are mistakes that could’ve easily been avoided.
Mistakes like these:
According to research, 35% of users fail to complete simple tasks on the average a website. Which has to leave you to wonder, if so many people are failing to make good use of the average website, whose at fault – the website design and designer or the end user?
Here are the problems users most often cite when asked why they leave a website:
- Too many steps
- Too much clicking
- Too much scrolling
- Too much reading
- Not the right info
- Not well organized
- Navigation difficult
- Text too small
- Not enough information
- Too much going on
If a potential customer bounces from your site too soon, who’s the biggest loser here - the potential bouncing customer or the business bounced from?
With website design services like dopweb available, there’s absolutely no excuse for this to happen.
And the fight doesn’t end there – website design is about a lot more than just appearance:
If a visitor lands on your page and your website design captures their attention beyond the .05 second decision to stay. What’s next?
- They will browse your content and decide whether there’s anything that may be of interest to them.
- They decide your website design is pretty enough, navigable enough, and intuitive enough. At this stage you still only have 60 seconds before they may decide to bounce again!
What are internet visitors look for from your website design?
- A website design that’s quality is a design that’s clean, well-organized, and easy to find your way in
- A website design that’s clear and concise, modern in style and layout, functional, and branded
- A website design that motivates them to do business with you
- Vital information such as hours of operation, location, and contact info should be easy to find in your website design
- Linked social media profile buttons that are also easy to find
- A quick solution to their problem or a quick answer to their question
- Whatever they’re looking for, the job of your website design is to make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for – nothing should be more than three clicks away
As a marketing channel for your business, you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t understand how the internet can open up great opportunities and how important good website design is in capitalizing on them.
And, as you also know, online competition is fierce. There are 1.7 billion websites on the internet (as of 2017). Of those, about 200 million are active.
Of course, factoring in geography, business sector, price points, overlapping businesses, etc., your actual number of competitors may be as little as tens all the way to hundreds or thousands. But whether you’re the David or the Goliath in your market, it’s all for naught if your ugly website design chases away potential customers.
Ugly is as ugly does. Here are the top reasons why people will bounce from your site:
- Busy or complex layouts
- Small print that’s hard to read
- Boring website design
- Lack of color
- Slow website intros and load times
The three most important points to remember: Design, design, design!
A layout and typography that’re boring and colorless, complex motion graphics or special effects are website design elements that can cause a website to load slowly: This is the stuff that separates the seducers from the losers. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can buy good website design and be a player in your market.
Whether your competition is in the tens or in the thousands, if there are even two websites out there that succeed where yours fails, without good website design, all of your online efforts will be DOA.
Good website design is more than just colors, shapes, fonts, and layouts. Here are some other reasons visitors will find to bounce from a website:
- The site looks outdated: Poor website design tells visitors that your website has nothing fresh or relevant to offer.
- The site’s not responsive and doesn’t provide a seamless experience across all devices: The days of computer desktop-only website design sites are long over.
- Poor website design gives a bad user experience and is hard to navigate: If you’re not keeping up with the latest trends and technology you can be assured that many of your competitors are. If there’s a better user experience out there than the one you’re providing, that’s where your potential visitors are going to go.
- Your website design doesn’t keep up with your business: If your site isn’t reflecting your latest business and marketing strategy, your site is irrelevant. Or, what if what your customers are getting from you on the phone isn’t being echoed from you on your website? Then your website design has problems.
- You can’t update content: You need good content as part of your content marketing approach. Your site needs the ability to update and add new content. You should be able to do this easily through a content management system. Make sure that your website design is optimized for SEO.
- Features on your site don’t work properly: Internet technology and trends move quickly. Antiquated-looking website design on needs to be a few years behind. Your site needs to be regularly updated and maintained. A faulty site website design is like visiting a business only to find that it’s doors are closed during regular hours. If your were a customer, what would you do? Not go back, right?
Your website design is a tool. It can do a lot for you. Make that tool quality from the start. Make sure it’s as good as it can be and take care to keep it that way.
So, If Pretty Is Good, How Do You Do That?
1. Keep it simple: If it’s good enough for art and design, it’s good for website design. As a general rule, simple is best. Clean lines, a fresh look, good use of positive and negative space – positive space being the text and images, negative space is the area around them – everything with a purpose, easy to use, easy to get around, intuitive, and quick to load.
2. Be consistent: In website design and branding, consistency is vital. Design elements shouldn’t vary page to page. Fonts, their sizes, the headings and subheadings, and button styles should be the same throughout site.
3. Type: Typography is where your visitors will be getting nearly all of their information, so text rules. It should be both readable and appealing. And what you’re saying is important too: Search engine crawlers could give a fig about website design. What they are on the look-out for are keywords and their frequency of use, therefore the quality of your content is an integral element of your SEO activities. In addition, meta-data, links, as well as titles, subheadings, the-100-most-frequently-used-words-on-a-page, and more.
4. A website design created for a variety of different sized screens: Wherever it’s seen – on a smartphone, a tablet, a phablet, or a computer – your website design must be effective for use on a variety of screens. To not be sure that your website design is supported on all screen sizes, you’re denying your business crucial opportunities. This is also known as a responsive website. (More below.)
5. Color palette and imagery: The right colors attract users and create impact. Poor color choice leads to distraction and can chase away visitors. Color is important in achieving a balanced look for your website design. Also allow for white or negative space and avoid using too many colors – this goes for your choice of images too. Also: Colors increased web recognition by 80%: Dark color schemes increased growth by 2%, lighter color schemes grew 1.3%.
6. A good load: You want your website design to load quickly and easily – the first excuse your visitors will use to bounce. A service like AMP are great for helping with this.
7. Easy-to-navigate: Research shows that visitors stay longer when a website design is easy to navigate. No page on your site should take more than three clicks to get there.
8. The right communication: People are coming to you because they want information. Make it easy to find, easy to understand, keep it short – including the sentences – and, if possible, make it entertaining. If visitors can find good and interesting content along with good website design, they’ll stay longer. Bullet points are good: People love information in skimmable bullets. In fact, 70% of people looked at lists with bullet points; 55% looked at lists without.
Again, like website design and responsive website design, this is another area where professional help is most likely going to give you far better results.
- A website design’s ease of navigation and accessibility have a high impact on conversion rates. Keeping your visitors happy and intrigued, and clicking through your site, is the only way to transform clicks into conversions.
- Because conversion rates are integrally tied to visitor engagement, website design and content are crucial. A website design that presents obstacles will cause visitors to lose interest. An intuitive site and structure excites users to continue browsing.
- Wording, especially that used in calls-to-action, also has a direct impact on conversion rates.
- Color matters: There’s science behind conversions. For instance, research suggests a big and bold use of red in a website design is good for headlines but not for call-to-action buttons. An experienced professional like those at dopweb will help guide your site for optimal response.
Again, good website design can work magic. It’s extremely important that your business gets it right:
- Headings, their scale and placement can have measurable differences.
- Proper font hierarchy – readers can receive important cues about the nature and importance of the content.
- Putting important elements above the fold can help declutter a page. Navigation buttons, search bars, sign-up forms, calls-to-action and social media links are all website design elements that belong above the fold.
- Make sure your website loads fast. The best and most insightful content in the world won't entice visitors to stay on a slow-loading website.
Building an online presence with good website design is a good start, but there’s a lot more to it. This is where a dopweb professional can provide the expertise in design, marketing, functionality, responsive website optimization, Analytics and domain research, strategy, local search listings, etc.
In today’s global marketplace, you need to capitalize on all available opportunities and captivate real, live, human readers. Converted readers become profit centers. And the way to get there is with a responsive website design that is optimized, functional, interactive website.
But even better, good website design and a responsive website are also cost effective. One of the great advantages of having an online business over a traditional brick and mortar store – besides available for business 24/7 and accessible anywhere – is that with a website, you can know exactly how much things are going to cost you, both in the beginning and ongoing.
But if you’re stuck with a poor website design, none of that matters. An underperforming website can miss the marks both the technically and content-wise. Don’t let that happen to you.
1. Fast Loading: No one wants to wait. Sites must be designed to insure fast loading times. Enabling pages with AMP can help.
2. Mobile-ready with Responsive Website Design: The bulk of internet traffic is on smartphones. You website needs to available across platforms.
3. Tracking Enabled: No business should be without Analytics. Here’s where you measure your traffic, goals, and conversions. This provides the crucial data analysis & reports you’ll need to gauge how your site is performing.
4. SEO: Optimizing your website design for SEO is an absolute must-have for better search engine rankings.
5. CMS: This is a back-end Content Management System allows the site owner to post and edit their content without having to be a code jockey.
6. Conversion Optimized: This allows you to create landing pages into you design. This helps you get important client info for closing the deal.
7. Email Marketing: Your site’s email capture forms can sync with an email marketing system.
8. Social Media: Integrating social platforms into your website design and responsive website helps increase valuable visibility and traffic.
9. Strong Security: Your website design should include fundamental security and privacy protocols.
10. Web Apps: There are some trendy apps that savvy designers know. They can add features to your site and up your user’s experience.
K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)
The digital evolution moves quickly, sometimes faster than the tech industry is able to figure it out. Users have a continually expanding number of choices, ever easier access, the effect is our attention spans get even shorter – about eight seconds when we’re online. A complicated to navigate, unaesthetic responsive website design could mean life or death for your business.
We take this very seriously when it comes to creating effective website design for our clients: We make sure your content is clear, coherent, and concise. Short and simple is good. And we make sure to cut the unnecessary links, copy, and design elements from these important areas:
- Navigation bar
- Site design
- Calls-to-action (CTA)
By reducing everything down to the bare minimum, there’s less on the page to distract and confuse. This is especially crucial in responsive website design because smaller screens have even less of a tolerance for poor design.
But this is what a website design professional can do. A talented professional can create a space for you visitors to have more time to dig into what really matters on your site. To better understand why they need to do business with you and absorb your unique selling point (USP – more on that shortly) and your business’ unique value proposition.
Questions you need to ask to better serve your marketing efforts:
- What’s the primary reason a potential customer should buy from you?
- What do they get out of the deal?
- Why should they buy from you? This is the value your business brings to the market. This should be the theme of your marketing.
If you had just 10 words to explain why people customers should buy from you instead of someone else, what would you say? Whatever those words may be, that will be the basis for your website design and content.
Having more options isn’t often the best solution. In fact, numerous studies have shown that reducing the number of options can result in better conversions.
But making something simple doesn’t make it easy or easy to do. That’s where dopweb comes in.
We’re the experts. Our designers have more than 20 years of professional experience. We know about SEO, web analytics, conversions, content marketing, databases, data analysis and reports – all of it. Want to boost your website’s Google ranking? Improve your web analytics? We can do that.
Small Tweaks Rarely Bring Big Changes. There are stories about how minor changes can bring astounding results. They’re internet legend. And that’s exactly what they are – legend.
Not that it couldn’t happen, but it’s unlikely. There may even be a case study or two out there – but they’re the exception. Instead, the best results typically come from new approaches, new looks, large overhauls and redesigns. Huge conversion lifts – as they’re called – come from huge changes. You want to go big: You’ve got to change big!
This isn’t a new concept, only one that has become more urgent in responsive website marketing: Even ad men in the old days (think Don Draper from Mad Men) talked about the things that made a company and its product or service distinct from its competitors. That thing that’s so compelling that potential clients will choose your business over the other guy’s.
For websites, there are plenty of case studies that back this up.
What your business stands for is its unique selling proposition. What sets it apart; why the people who work there do what they do.
When you understand what sets your business apart from others, you’ll understand what can make your business stand out. Once you know and understand that, you have a platform to build on.
This provides the foundation that can be used for creating an image, an identity, and a whole marketing strategy. For our creative team at dopweb, we use this as the basis for everything we do for you – your logo, your website design, your responsive website, your social media, your marketing strategy, and a lot more.
Often, when businesses begin imagining their identity, they make the mistake of attempting to stand for everything. They want to tell the world that they do everything well. They want to be all things to all people.
In an attempt to draw the circle too wide, they end up losing what it is that makes them distinct.
What does my company have that my competitors don’t? This will be an integral part of your value proposition. But, what if your business is a parity business? You and competitors provide a similar service with similar price points. You could be a pool cleaner, a dry cleaners, residential real estate – how do you differentiate yourself in your market segment?
Even in those circumstances when you appear to match your competitors in every dimension, there’s always at least one place where you stand apart. One or more elements of value that can be key factors of importance for your customers.
Your distinguishing value proposition may not seem obvious or apparent at first, but it’s in there – you’ll just have to dig for it. But having a powerful value proposition alone is not enough: It needs to be presented effectively for the best results. It needs to be distilled and crafted into a concise, instantly credible sentence.
Then, it needs to be sold from a space of great responsive website design.
You value proposition can also be a work in progress. You may not even get it quite right the first time. A good proposition may take some time and crafting to find the right expression and – this part is important – to find how it resonates with your ideal prospects. Here’s where A/B testing can be a big help in optimizing your message.
Also, as your business grows and changes, so will your proposition. Your identity, brand, and messaging will evolve along with it.
Of the value propositions offered below, keep in mind that no matter whether the companies are big now, they all began small and faced many of the same obstacles that your business is facing today. Compare the value propositions of these companies to how you’ve come to know as you’ve come to know them:
1) Uber: A big part of Uber’s success is due to how they’re able to effectively describe themselves to potential customers.
The reason people choose Uber is right there in their description: A tap on an app tells the driver where you are, arranges your route, and takes care of the payment. All of that is described above in only two sentences.
2) Apple iPhone: The iPhone is one of the most iconic products ever made. And yet it’s only one smartphone in a market loaded with choices. Users may have preferences for the different interfaces and options the various phones may offer, but all in all, they all provide essentially the same services. Apple products have always had one distinguishing feature that set them apart from everyone else in personal electronics: Design.
How does Apple describe it? ...simple, beautiful, and magical… They’re not even getting to usage and functionality – because that’s one every other phone can do. But not every phone is going to look and feel like an iPhone.
3) Mint: As you’ll probably figure out from the ad, Mint is an app that let’s the user manage their finances from one place. These functions aren’t unlike software like QuickBooks, Quicken, and others. The great advantage here is it’s on your phone, you don’t have to remember to dig through your computer when you get home. You can do it whenever and wherever you want. The whole offer laid down in two sentences.
4) Constant Contact: What’s particularly effective with this ad is its use of their value proposition in the counterpoint of the use of the words Be a Marketer while showing a picture of a guy who all of our impulses would tell us otherwise – he isn’t a Marketer. (Where’s the beard, the hipster plaid or suit and tie, the self-important smirk? This service can make even this guy a Marketer – if it can work for him...
5) MailChimp: This company is so confident in what their value proposition is, they use three words instead of three sentences. They don’t feel the need to break it down. If you’re in a business that uses email marketing, your interest will be piqued.
6) Instagram: Here, the confidence position is ratcheted up a few notches. Instagram uses no words at all. Clearly, it has something to do with pictures. More than that, they assume their audience will figure out for themselves.
7) Unbounce: This product is helped along by its great name. You already know of their promise on your business, but they also promise to make it easier on you – in one sentence.
8) Bitly: If you’ve ever wanted to run metrics on your a link on social media, you’ve used Bitly. If not, three words: The link management platform part is just to make them sound more complicated and business-like. The three already told you everything you need to know.
9) DuckDuckGo: Two things here: They’re a search engine that isn’t Google – that part is apparent from the showing of their window and the magnifying glass icon. And, unlike Google, they don’t track you. Clearly, they believe that’s their biggest selling point since they don’t see a need to offer any other info. It’s short and sweet.
10) Salesforce: Before Salesforce, other Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software services were available. But Salesforce was the first cloud based service. Since you didn’t operate from a vendor’s server, there were cost savings. Of course, none of that is apparent in this ad and that’s what makes it most interesting. The value proposition offered up is in the form of a case study: About how Salesforce in its use for one particular client, under the client’s particular circumstances, offered solutions. The unsaid benefit is that Salesforce is scalable to offer other businesses solutions as well. But they don’t have to say all that. That’s the brilliance of it.
Who is your audience and what motivates them?
Knowing this will shape your language into something best suited for your target customers and will help you pinpoint your biggest selling points of your product – just like Salesforce did in the ad above.
How will you know what that language would be? That’s easy: Go to the source. Interview your current customers or others who might also use your product.
Obviously, having customers to work with helps. They buy from you, they know your product and know why they use it. If you can, talk to them. Ask them how your product or service is serving their needs and affecting their business and their lives.
Questions you can ask your customers:
- What do they do?
- What is their biggest problem or pain point?
- What type of language do they use?
Research your audience. Analyze them and look for patterns.
Was there a pain point that comes up multiple times? Do they share industries, market segments, price points or other similarities?
If they’re already using your product, was there one benefit that kept coming up among multiple people?
When your business persona is clearly defined, you’ll better understand your future prospects as human beings – what drives them, what they value, and what their aspirations are. When you have those answers, you’ll have the ability to speak to their needs as customers better.
Are there other products your customers are using alongside yours? Have they tried your the products of your competitors? If they do and they’ve liked them, find out how your can make yours better.
The market doesn’t need two businesses doing the exact same thing. It doesn’t give you prospects reason enough to choose you over your competition.
Now that you better understand your ideal buyers and your competitors, you need to figure out what your product does best.
There could be multiple reasons to use your product. More often, there’s one thing that your audience is most interested in.
And a part of being smarter is looking smarter, wherever you are – on a tablet, on a laptop, on a smartphone, on an ebook. Your website design needs to be best-in-class and your responsive website has to appeal to Gen Z to Baby Boomers. It has to speak a universal language and do it engagingly, or your future will be left in click dust.
Now that you’re armed with a better value proposition, a better unique selling proposition, and strong responsive website and website design that’s worthy of your business, your employees and your customers, you’re ready to thrive.
A responsive website and great website design are as integral a part of your business moving forward as paying taxes and buying equipment and inventory. Expect if you don’t have the best online presence in your niche, someone else will. And it might was well be you.
dopweb can help.