Website design is not just about the looks. Designers do not work in silos while the SEO team and marketing team device newer ways to market your brand. In case you still believe that website designing helps only the aesthetics of your site, your business can be in more trouble than you can imagine. Designing is a collaborative process that uplifts the SEO and aids the business operations. Your website is your presence on the internet, and it determines the way your customers are going to perceive your brand.
How important are the looks?
A famous study, Trust, and Mistrust of Online Health Sites revealed that most people determine the trustworthiness of a website depending on their design elements. When the research group asked visitors to rank the sites based on trust, 94% of the users stated that their levels of confidence varied according to the kind of website design the healthcare facilities and clinics chose. Only 6% of the users cited content as their deciding factor. This study was both eye-opening and iconic since this was one of the first concrete proofs of how design can impact the trust quotient of the target market.
Here are a few design elements people find doubt evoking –
- Tight lettering, thick strokes, all-caps, random styles, blackletter or old type styles put users off.
- A lot of cramped content, terrible alignment, broken spaces, lack of order and random size of elements can evoke irritation among visitors.
- Too many banner ads, pop-up advertisements and flashy ads are distracting also.
- Deliberately slow websites that contain lots of animations, content, and intros drive people away from your site.
- People strongly dislike complex layouts that do not have a clear navigation guide.
- Non-responsive layouts that make viewing the web pages on smaller screens almost impossible.
How does website design impact SEO?
The most obvious question we get from entrepreneurs – “how can aesthetics determine our website rank?” Well, it is quite simple. Design trends are like seasons, they come, and they go, but SEO is forever. Let us think of an example here – parallax designs are quite famous since users, especially the mobile users seem to love them. It consists of one page that goes on for, seemingly, forever. It is easier to scroll, follow and read.
Search engines are not a huge fan though. To introduce parallax effect, you need to break down the traditional structure of the website. Search engine bots are comfortable with crawling standard structured sites only. When you break the standard structure down to create something new, you end up raising quite a few red flags in the system.
Have you seen a website with parallax effect? The designers end up cramping a whole site’s worth of URL across a single page only. That is risky, clumsy and it confuses search engines. This kind of a new design trend is great for attracting the hip crowd today, but it can put your proceeds in danger tomorrow.
Responsive design, on the other hand, is here to stay. It can make scrolling much easier for mobile users, tablet aficionados, and desktop veterans. A creative and responsive version of any website instantly makes it accessible to all user groups across your target market. Right now, Google is openly rewarding sites that have responsive designs. It reduces the risks of messing up the URL, and it eliminates the risk of running two sites. In addition to all other apparent benefits, responsive websites have a much lower bounce rate and an excessive dwell time.
How much does a good website design cost?
Depending on the number of pages, the bulk of the content, the complexity of design, link building, hosting and CMS your website cost can vary incredibly. It is easy to get your website design wrong. For start-ups and new businesses going online, it is imperative to hire a reputable design house for their project. The problem is – good designers cost money and considerable money. Most start-ups begin in debt; they do not have the money to hire professionals. They try to get their work done by freelancers and small teams of part-timers, who put their brand at risk.
Ideally, start-ups and new brands should find out how much they owe to their lenders and investors. If any immediate payments can impede the progression of the designing process, they should knock on the doors of a good debt consultation company. These companies can help entrepreneurs prioritize their debts and pay them off on time. Debt management companies help people consolidate their loans and pay them off in one significant amount. The entrepreneurs can pay these consolidation companies off later in smaller installments at easy-going rates and with a more extended repayment period.
What is the aim of a great website design?
A good website design should be able to convey the nature of a website and the purpose of it too. For example – a gaming website should look very different from a healthcare website. If a healthcare website looks like a gaming website, patients will likely run for the hills and never look back. Website design should target the psyche of the target market. A lot of data and research goes into designing the perfect website. Demographics, age, lifestyles, geographic locations and, sometimes, cultural preferences play a prominent role in developing web pages for the right audience.
The gist of it all
2017 was the year of mobile-friendly websites and a lot more! People started realizing the impact of design and content on SEO. They also began to comprehend how difficult it is to visualize and control the 200 different factors that determine a website’s search engine friendly nature. Most importantly, entrepreneurs have begun to understand the importance of design and layout in terms of Search Engine Optimization and organic traffic. How your website looks directly affects how the visitors feel. So indulge in some customer psychology research and some more market research before you tweak with factors that determine your bounce rate, dwell time and conversion rate.