How Your Website Design Affects the Value of Your Business
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It’s pretty hard to come up with convincing arguments against having a website for your business. Not too long ago, business owners could still get away with saying it wasn’t necessary, although we all knew this was a sign they were behind the times. Nowadays, having a website is downright essential for the success of your business, and not having one is asking for failure.
However, judging by the diversity of designs we see out there, it’s clear business owners haven’t fully grasped the impact their websites can have It’s not enough to just have a site with some information about your company. Instead, your site needs to be used as a powerful tool that drives business performance and gives your company valuable.
But why do you need to care about business value? Well, valuable businesses make more money. They run better, deal with risk more effectively and have brighter futures. Plus, they fetch better offers if and when it’s time to sell your business.
So, let’s take a look at how website design affects the value of your business so that you can take full advantage of what your site can do.
Bounce rate and SEO
If you’re not at least somewhat familiar with search engine optimization and its impact on your business, then it’s time you get with the program. SEO is here to stay, and you need to be using it to help drive traffic to your website and sales.
Yet isn’t SEO all about content and links? Yes, it’s true these are the most important parts. But they’re only part of the story. Google and other search engines factor into their algorithms other things, such as bounce rate and time on page. These are statistics that average out how much time people are spending on your site. They help to determine the quality of the content since Artificial Intelligence isn’t good enough to read and evaluate what you post, yet.
The idea is that if people stick around, what you are saying must be good. But if they aren’t satisfied, they’ll click out and continue their search for what they’re looking for.
Content is obviously critical here. But design plays a huge role, too. Have you ever been to a site that looks messy and unprofessional? If you bother to read what’s on the page, you might be convinced to stay, but chances are this negative first impression will cause you to back out and look elsewhere for content.
The same goes for navigation, as well as image placement. People will see the layout and design first, and this will shape how they perceive your content. Wow them visually and you have a much better chance of convincing them to read on, boosting your time on page and bounce rate statistics in a way that will improve your search engine performance.
Businesses with strong SEO profiles are more valuable. With so much competition out there, starting to build an SEO profile from scratch is a real challenge. By making use of your design so that people stick around and engage with your content, you are taking a big step towards improving your SEO profile and boosting the value of your business.
Branding and customer experience
Your branding efforts will resonate best when you have a strong marketing and communications strategy. But don’t discount the power of design.
Again, we’re talking mainly about first impressions here. When you visit a site where the design matches your branding strategy, the message you are trying to convey will resonate much more strongly. For example, check out this site for a coffee subscription service. Without spending too much time looking at the content, you can figure out pretty quickly what this company is about. They’re fun-loving, relaxed and socially aware. The content tells you this, but the images support these ideas, making their message that much stronger.
When you click through the different pages, you get the chance to read the story of the company. It’s simple, nothing is too in-your-face, and they’ve made it easy for you to find out where and how to buy the coffee.
All of this has two main effects. First, it supports their branding efforts; and second, it also helps create a positive customer experience. Customer service is no longer about just doing the minimum. Instead, you need to delight customers at every step of the way. If people are frustrated as they click around looking for information on your site, they will begin to form negative associations with your brand. This is not good for business.
Again, design on its own cannot build your brand or customer experience. But it can certainly derail your efforts. You need to use images, colors, fonts, etc. to help people make instant associations with the messages you are trying to convey.
Strong brands that build good relationships with their customers make more money and are more valuable. It’s as simple as that. Spend time now to make sure you get your design right so that you’re branding efforts and strategies will resonate and bring you success.
Sales and conversions
One of the main functions of your website is to drive sales. Branding and engagement are important, but if your website isn’t helping you bring in additional revenue, then you’re not using it correctly. And since a business’ value is typically determined by multiplying its yearly revenues by 2.5, increasing revenues will automatically raise the value of your business.
Design alone can’t drive sales. You need a combination of effective lead generation strategies, compelling copy and competitive prices to do that. But design is a huge element that far too many businesses overlook.
For example, design needs to help you highlight the products that sell the most or that offer you the highest margins. You don’t want people searching high and low for places to spend money. Having featured product sections is a great way to bring people right to where you want them to be.
Another thing that’s important to do is to make it easy for people to know what it is you want them to do. “Add to cart” buttons, customization options and ordering procedures need to be easy-to-use and elegantly designed. This connects somewhat to the idea of customer experience, but it’s more directly related to the sales process.
If you’re not converting at the rates you’d like to, check and see if your design is working together with your messaging and other sales efforts to help turn people into customers once they get to your site. Once you do this, you should see an increase in sales, which will, in turn, raise the value of your business.
Back to the drawing board
Now that you can see just how your website design affects the value of your business, you’re likely thinking about all the things you need to change on your site to make sure all of your efforts are working in harmony. Hopefully, what we’ve gone through today has helped shed more light on just how valuable website design is to the overall health and success of your company.
Guest Author – Jock Purtle.
Jock is an online business broker, which means he specializes in the buying/selling and appraisal of online businesses. He has a rich understanding of what makes businesses valuable, and through his experience he has learned some of the things that people often overlook when trying to improve their company’s performance. He writes frequently about his experiences to help others grow their businesses. Some of his work has been featured in publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Entrepreneur and Business Insider.
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