Many companies believe that web design should be an isolated part in their marketing strategies. This is one myth that should be done away with for web design encompasses so much more than just adding aesthetic value. It affects SEO, branding, traffic, conversion rates and your internet presence in general.
Web designer Joseph Putnam emphasizes the importance of a good website in one of his blog posts. Many businesses and professionals acknowledge that web design is important; but they really don’t have a solid reason as to why. Putnam himself was faced with the challenge of explaining to a client why this aspect is so important. This is what pushed him into doing deeper research for future reference.
Web design is fundamental and impactful for every business.
Why is a good web design important?
In his quest for finding the perfect answer to this question, Putnam did a study on the Trust and Mistrust of Online health Sites. This study was aimed at establishing whether certain content factors and design elements influenced trust among the visitors of health websites.
The study revealed design elements are more influential than content when it comes to mistrust. When the visitors were asked why they showed mistrust to a website, majority of the comments pointed to issues related to web design elements. Only 6 percent raised comments relating to specific content. The same basic principle can be applied in websites of different niches and not only health-related.
The study participants also pointed out the following elements to contributing towards the mistrust of a website:
- Busy or complicated layouts
- Pop-up ads
- Flamboyant ads
- Small print that’s not easy to read
- Lackluster web design
- Slow load times and intros
Web design might be most important but the significance of content cannot be ignored. The study participants were asked as to why they trusted certain websites. 83 percent of the answers showed that content played a major role. Many said they loved sites that were informative, clear, unbiased, fresh and relevant. Sites that provided answers for frequently asked questions and age-specific information were among the popular ones.
Extensive effects of web design
Content and web design go hand in hand. They are both incredibly important. Without proper web design, your visitors won’t be attracted enough to read the contents of the site. Darryl Stevens, the CEO of digiTech states that for web design to propel, it must be viewed through the lens of your entire business. Remember that design is not just for aesthetic purposes; it also influences other important areas of your business such as branding, conversion rates and SEO.
How Web Design and SEO co-relate
You have to think long-term when looking at web design with SEO in mind. With each passing day there are many trends emerging but your brand and online presence will last longer. In as much as it is not advisable to spend a lot of time focusing on momentary design trends, don’t ignore current styles.
The parallax design is one of the most recent trends that is popular. Users prefer it for it enables them to scroll through content while website owners prefer it for its ability to keep users engaged. However search engines are not big fans as such of these designs. When you eliminate the traditional structure the search engine is used to, you will raise alarm bells. You will also be spreading out an entire website full of important keywords over one URL. The parallax design might entice visitors today, but in future it might bring negative effects to your site.
A responsive web design is mandatory. The future of internet searches is heading towards the mobile direction. That said, sites that invest in responsive web designs will be reap enormously when it comes to working with search engines. Not only will you be reducing the risks of running two websites, you will also be lowering any chances of bounce rates.
The above are just a few examples on how web design influences SEO. There are however other factors to keep in mind; such as the amount of Flash and the structure of your HTML. Bear in mind that every aspect of design has the power to influence how you rank on search engines.
Branding in terms of Web Design
When it comes to analyzing branding in terms of web design, remember that your web design is not your brand. It is however one of the elements in your brand that can help you build trust with your audience.
Jared M. Spool, a researcher states that branding is a long term investment that grows over time with an aim of making people gain trust in a product or service. He further adds that brands are perceptions and its elements such as logos, names, tag lines, packaging and trademarks are shortcuts to those perceptions.
Many industry players will agree with Spool since it’s a known fact that consumers are attracted to brands they can trust. A product with high brand strength is more likely to be bought. When you look at this from a web design perspective it is clear that your choice of design elements will affect your marketing position and overall branding strategy directly.
The relationship between web design and conversion rates
If you want to understand how web design affects conversion rates, thoughtfulness should be paid to the following fundamentals:
Websites that are not easy to navigate through are not attractive enough to visitors. Intuitive sites on the other hand encourage users to continue browsing.
An info graphic done by ZippyCart.com shows that the type of wording you use in a call-to-action ad will have a direct impact on the conversion rates. For instance the use of the word free when asking people to download or sign up for something has been proven to increase conversion rates by as much as 4.2 percent.
Color and perception matters. Big, red and bold is effective for headlines while navy builds a feeling of trust when used in a call-to-action button.
Every business owner or professional with a website should take time to understand the impact of web design. It plays a big part in influencing how consumers everywhere perceive your brand.