A website is the very heart and soul of your online business. It’s the one place where you can really show off your brand and engage with consumers. But what makes a website successful? It’s all about flawless usability and quality content, with great visual appeal.
If you’re looking to make 2021 a year for the books, then these statistics can show you how to make the most of your website.
The Importance of Visuals
It takes 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about a website, meaning it only takes one glance for a customer to decide whether they’re going to leave, or stay and look around. So it’s no surprise that a first impression is mostly based on looks, which means it’s important that you have an eye-catching design true to your brand.
An overly busy or boring website with too much text, pop-up ads and a confusing layout will have potential customers hitting the back button. Instead, draw them in with a website that’s easy on the eye and simple to navigate. This will create a positive first impression, encouraging people to explore what you have to offer.
There are a lot of unreliable websites looking to take advantage of online anonymity, and so over the years, customers have grown more concerned about their online safety. This means that credibility plays a huge role in helping customers choose you over a competitor.
A well-designed site that looks professional will show you’re a serious business that people can rely on. Once again, this comes back to the visual elements of your website. Inspire trust with a website that’s clear, easy to read, and above all, consistent. Choose one font with a set colour scheme, and stick to them.
You can also reinforce this credibility even further with an SSL certificate, reassuring customers that you’ll deliver a safe and secure shopping experience.
Competition is fierce on the web, so if you don’t deliver something that’s unique to your brand, your online store will blend in with all the rest. Almost three-quarters of companies recognise the importance of design in setting a business apart from the rest.
If you want to stand out, then a custom-built website is the way forward. Templates become outdated fast, so a bespoke design will give you chance to stay on top of current trends and build something that will last longer. Create a style guide that reflects your brand identity and give your website a unique look that does everything you need.
Standards are rising and consumers are more selective about where they spend their time. An overly simple design won’t engage your audience, while a busy design will be too confusing. In fact, when people consider the layout or imagery to be unattractive, 35% switch devices while 38% stop engaging altogether.
If you want to keep people interested, then your website needs to deliver a visual experience to remember. A picture speaks a thousand words, so use those visual elements to your advantage. Incorporate photos and infographics, along with a set colour scheme that ties everything together.
Just make sure that your visuals load properly, as 39% of people stop engaging if they take too long. Which leads us to point 5…
The Importance of Usability
Customers expect fast load times, and slow websites are estimated to cause £1.73bn in lost sales each year. One second might not be much, but when it comes to loading time, this equates to a 7% loss in conversions.
To increase your conversion rate, you need to make sure your website is fast. There are plenty of tools available like Google PageSpeed Insights, which can help pinpoint any areas that are lagging. Images are one of the biggest culprits in slowing down a website, so don’t overdo it and make sure the files are no larger than they need to be.
Once you have the visuals down and have made a good first impression, people will start exploring. This is where user experience is key. If the site is overly complicated or they can’t find what they need, then over three-quarters of customers will disengage and leave.
A good user experience makes a huge difference, and just one dollar of investment can actually deliver up to 100 dollars in return. Focus on having a clear layout that’s easy to navigate, with a visible search function that works. And if you make any changes to your pages, check for broken links — these will only lead to disappointment.
Consumer behaviour has evolved with technology, and 52.4% of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. This means consumers are more likely to purchase from sites that have been optimised for mobile, and if your site doesn’t load properly on smaller screens, you could lose your leads.
Making sure your website has a responsive design will encourage customers to go ahead with their purchase, and can actually lead to a 50% decrease in bounce rate. Plus, Google considers it an important factor when ranking search results, so a mobile-friendly website is also great for SEO.
Hamburger menus are also ideal for mobile devices, while any call-to-action buttons should be large enough to tap with plenty of space between them.
The Importance of Content
Consumers are spending more and more time watching videos, and this counts for websites, too. The reason behind this is that while a picture speaks a thousand words, a video is said to be worth 1.8 million. This might sound a bit over the top, but there’s no doubt that the combination of visual, audio and textual elements in a video can help convey large amounts of text in a shorter space of time.
Videos add visual interest and capture your audience’s interest, while using them on product pages can help 57% of consumers feel more confident in their purchase. Take a look at your website and try to find places where a video could bring a new dimension to your content. Used correctly, this will help you convey more information in an engaging way that also inspires confidence.
Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention with all the visual elements, it’s what you write that will deliver the final results. Tailoring your content and making it more personal will inspire 34% of consumers to make unplanned purchases, while 49% will develop a sense of brand loyalty. That means personalisation pays with both short and long-term benefits.
One way to personalise your website is by creating a blog filled with high-quality content that’s contextually relevant. If it’s not relevant, then 26% of consumers will stop paying attention and become less likely to make a purchase.
Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer, and make a list of the various topics you believe they would want to read about. You can then create accessible and engaging content that answers their personal needs, inspiring both trust and loyalty.
Word of mouth is just as important as any other marketing strategy, but if your mobile site is poorly designed, then customers will be less likely to recommend your business. Plus, given that 30% of all online shopping purchases now happen on mobiles, a poor design will lead to a negative first impression.
This means that a truly responsive website will also need to adapt the content. Smaller screens mean more scrolling, so make sure to put your most important content at the top of the page. A large wall of text can also be off-putting. As well as shorter paragraphs, make your content easier to digest by using white space, images and bullet points to break it up.
What does that all mean?
We know this is a lot to take in, so to sum everything up, your website needs:
1. An attractive design and layout
2. Engaging video content
3. Personalisation that attracts visitors
4. Fast-loading pages
5. Mobile-friendly responsive design
Want a price for your new website?
We’ll price the website build according to the amount of work required. This price will be agreed upfront — along with the specification — before starting the build so there are no sneaky, hidden fees. The first step is either to book A Consultation Call with one of the team, using the options below.