A lot of businesses greatly underestimate just how much emphasis people place on good design as a factor when they decide to trust their business or not. I discovered a study entitled Trust and Mistrust of Online Health Sites. This study raised the question:
“Do different design and information content factors influence trust and mistrust of online health sites?”
For this study, female participants were asked to search the internet for information related to their conditions and to discuss their initial impression of any website they encountered. The results showed that of all the issues they encountered, 94% of them were design related issues while only 6% were content related.
“Mistrust was found to relate to poor design appeal. The participants were less likely to trust sites that contained adverts, pop up surveys or that were poorly laid out”
Successful businesses constantly evaluate how effectively their website is generating leads. Poor design is just one many factors that can turn potential customers away from wanting to find out more about a product or service.
Is your website dated?
Do you feel your website reflects your current business? The typical process with a web design project would be:
- Find a web design company that builds your site.
- They show you briefly how to use the CMS and update the content yourself.
- The relationship ends there and you’re left to figure out how to use this new, and daunting, system.
- You use the CMS a lot in the beginning but find you can’t do everything you would like to, so you update your site less and less.
- Your website then becomes a snapshot of how your business was at that point in time.
You need to work with a company who is interested in long term relationships and will help you strategise and grow your business. Helping you learn at a realistic pace and offering new training as your capabilities increase. As your business grows and evolves, your ideal customers will change and if you don’t update your website’s content you may find yourself asking the question “why is my business not attracting enough of the right leads?”.
Does your website have a blog?
Writing blogs is a very powerful tool to demonstrate, to your ideal customers, that you care enough to provide them with relevant information that helps them resolve some of their pain points. A survey conducted by HubSpot shows that websites that blog:
- Attract 55% more visitors
- Create 97% more inbound links
- Have 434% more indexed pages
Having more visitors means your business will have a higher chance of converting leads into sales. More inbound links increases your prominence with search engines & allows users to find you more easily. More indexed pages increases your chances of actually being found by search engines. A blog is by far one of the best tools for improving your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO).
Is your website mobile friendly?
More and more people are using their mobile phones or tablets to browse the internet and if your website doesn’t work well with mobile devices then your business will lose potential leads. Facebook has seen a significant increase in revenue generated from their mobile adverts. According to Sky News:
“Facebook said revenue from mobile ads represented 53% of its total advertising revenue in the final quarter of 2013 – up from 49% the previous quarter. Overall revenue climbed by $1bn to $2.59bn (£1.56bn), above analysts’ expectations.”
Is there a quickfix?
If your website doesn’t represent your business as it currently stands and isn’t generating the right number of leads then you should consider a redesign as a method to help increase your lead generation and establish a solid foundation for the growth of your business online. Before you decide to go ahead with a redesign of your website, there are a few steps you can take right now to help make sure people don’t perceive your business as outdated:
- Make sure your copyright date is current. If your website’s copyright is, for example, 2009, people will think your business is no longer active.
- Install Google Analytics. Having statistics about visitors to your site before a redesign can help you determine if it was a success. It doesn’t matter if the redesign looks much better if you don’t increase your visitors, leads or conversion rates.
- Social media links on your home page. If you have social media links on your home page, people will click on them and leave your website. The aim of social media marketing is to bring people TO your website, not to have them leave. If your social links are on your home page, make them subtle and do not place them in the header area.
- Stop worrying about outdated browsers. The internet is moving forward and worrying about whether your website looks good on ancient browsers like Internet Explorer 7 is a waste of your time and energy. The fact that even Microsoft, who created Internet Explorer, don’t even support this legacy browser means you shouldn’t either.