There may be some obvious answers to this question, but there are also often undercooked key points many tend to miss.
Let’s first discuss what a great website entails. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind? I’m betting it’s the way the design looks. Did you know that it takes users an average of less than two-tenths of a second to establish a first impression on your site? There was a study conducted by the Missouri University of Science and Technology that tested this entire phenomenon. If you’d like to learn more about the study, please click here.
The physical appearance of a site IS important.
How many of us are sold on a product just because of it’s the packaging and design? I’m pretty sure most of can raise our hands to that. The same goes for websites. So yes, we can agree that a good-looking website is in-fact important. For my designers, we showcase our art, our visions, our way of looking at the world through our designs, and it’s a wonderful way of relating to a client just by showing your style and techniques. And for those with small businesses and companies to run, your website is important because it is literally your digital face of the online world. Before anyone sees you or speaks to an associate from your company, they will view your website. Chances are, if the site speaks to them, they will give you a call. That’s just how it is. I’ve noticed this very often predominantly in the home service-centered fields such as locksmiths, plumbers, HVAC, garage door repairs, electricians, and so forth. There are so many scammy websites in those fields that it’s actually work for a client to find a reliable technician. In such cases, a presentable website is so important. So, how can your website look great and still be costing you clients? It’s possible and it happens more often than you think.
Let’s take a look at a few different possibilities.
Let’s talk text placement.
Whatever is the most important aspect of your business, whether that is a service guide, products, special offers you are trying to promote, pricing, make sure those show up at the top of your webpage. Another option is to make sure there is a button somewhere at the top that will lead the clients to the desired page. After all, isn’t that why we click on most websites? To see what the company is selling and for how much? Only then do the majority of people keep scrolling to learn more about the company and further information. Your goal with the front page is to make sure you grab potential clients’ attention…don’t make the client click throughout the website just to find what services you offer and the pricing. You know your websites layout, clients don’t.
And speaking of text,
what is the quality of your webpage text? Do you know the word count? Here’s the thing – don’t write something just to write it. In other words, don’t fill your webpage up with text just so it could look like it’s full of words. You may not think anyone reads it, but don’t be so sure about that. Present yourself the way you’d like others to speak of your business. Convey that in the words you write. If you cannot write well, hire a copywriter. This is important and it will not only cost you quality clients, but it will also cost you your ranking. I go into detail on this post about what entails a perfect text post for all main webpages so if you’d like to learn more about that, please click here. As well, I cover how to write a great blog post here. In short, I will say that you want each webpage to aim for a minimum of 2,000 words. This also depends on your industry, but if you barely have any text on the page and it’s just littered with pictures, we need to talk about that because it is not serving your business as far as profit or ranking is concerned.
Next, is probably one of our favorite ways of taking a website from D-list to A-list real quick…
and that would be pictures.
Here’s the thing – if you are a business owner and have a website, I am telling you right now that you must have high-quality images on your webpages if you want to be taken seriously in said industry. Because we live in such a digitized world, picture quality has majorly raised the bar. Image a client clicks on your home page and the header image is a blurry, stretched-out picture that’s supposed to be of….your cafe? Maybe? Hard to say considering it looks like it’s from 2007. How about a property you are trying to sell? Don’t tell me the half-lit room with yellow lighting will help you sell. Right, yes we all know “those” websites. Just like I said with text and hiring a copywriter, if you do not have the ability to take good pictures, hire a photographer for a few shots. You don’t need much, but you do need to sell the feeling on the website whether that pertains to a restaurant, real estate (majorly important, do not skimp here), or even if you are selling a service, then you want to showcase yourself and bring your personality forth through your images.
However, just because a website looks good doesn’t necessarily mean it is functioning well.
For instance, the functionality and navigation of a website DOES matter.
Broken links and pages/items that take forever to load don’t look good. HTML errors, broken links, redirections such as 301s and 404s should all be managed if you are trying to properly run your site. All of these also affect your ranking big-time. And for my fellow web designers, it also doesn’t really sell YOU as the designer very well considering your own website isn’t performing up to par.
Let’s take a look at your website speed.
How fast is your speed? If you have no idea, check out GTmetrix or Google PageSpeed Insights to test the speed. Now think about yourself, realistically, if a webpage is taking say more than 5 seconds to load, do you stay on the page? Most likely you aggressively try to refresh a max of 3 times and then click out. Boom. That company has already lost your business and you didn’t even see what they have to offer. Website speed is so crucial to your business. It’s crucial in determining if others will find your website and possibly conduct business with you. Speaking of others finding your page, here’s the thing…your Google ranking will not do very well if your website is taking an eternity to load.
If so far you are reading this and you’ve checked everything off of this list,
consider looking at your hosting.
Imagine your hosting as a home for your website, it’s where the website lives in the online world.It can be confusing to choose the right hosting because they’re all offering different packages and different pricing. However, not all hosting platforms are equal so make sure you study up before choosing one. A great hosting platform will have your website up and running without any unexpected crashes or hacks, and will have your website performing at a great speed (if you have checked the wrong of this list off). For this reason, I enjoy working with Showit because all of their packages include hosting. Their hosting is quick, reliable, and dependable which are all things I look for in a hosting platform when I am conducting business online. The last thing any of us need is to wake up and realize our entire site is down due to “hosting issues”. If you’d like to learn more about Showit and their hosting plans, please click here.
For my business owners, I realize it is tough to manage of all this while you are also trying to run your business. That is why we web designers exist. If you are having issues with your website such as what I have described above, find a website designer you can trust and have them run both a website evaluation and an SEO evaluation on your site. If you are interested in these services from us at Invisio Studio, you can click here to learn more. I understand it can be frustrating to have invested in a beautiful website and not see the results you were looking for.
But, the good news is that there are many solutions to get your website working properly and making profits!
And for my fellow website designers, let’s not allow the hustle culture get the best of us. Let’s invest more time into the finer details of design work. A cohesive design matters. Beautiful font that fits the industry matters. Correct links and well set-up contact forms matter. Also, let’s not be lazy and forget to optimize images, text, and pages. I know that after all the design work, the last thing you want to do is optimize items, cache pages, or in general fix back-end issues people cannot see,
but this is what separates great designers from good designers.
Let’s give each project our full effort and help our clients succeed in their business goals the best we can.
Alright, let’s get to work and fix those issues so your business can reflect those big goals you have to crush.
Until next time,