What Your Website Says About Your Business (and what it should say)

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I’ve been creating websites since the mid-90s and I’m still amazed at the number of businesses that don’t get how important their website is to their success. It’s critical to understand that nowadays, your website is more than just a place for people to find some info about what you do, it’s an integral part of your overall business plan. Or at least it should be. All too often I see business websites that don’t do a very good job of conveying their core message, sites that aren’t well thought-out, sites that don’t perform well, and sites that just don’t work the way they’re supposed to.

Your website says a lot about your business; this can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing. There’s a lot at stake here. There are deep-rooted thoughts and feelings people have when they experience or interact with your brand. You want those thoughts and feelings to be positive. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see a poorly-designed website? Your first thought might be “this site is slow”, or “I can’t find what I’m looking for”, but at the subconscious level, at your core, you are really thinking “I don’t trust these guys”, or “I feel like they don’t care about me”.

I’ve put together a list of a few of the most important factors to consider when building your website, what they say about your business, and what they should say.

What Your Website Says About Your Business (and what it should say)

Your website design is just bad

46% of people say a website’s design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of a company. (Source: Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab) Despite the adage, people do judge a book by its cover. You only get to make one first impression, why not make it a good one?

What bad website design says about your business:

  • You don’t care about how you look
  • You are OK with mediocrity
  • You do the bare minimum and nothing more
  • You don’t spend money to improve your business
  • You don’t care about your audience

What it should say:

  • You want to make a great first impression
  • You take pride in what you do and it shows
  • You’ll go the extra mile for your customers
  • You invest in your business
  • You sweat the small stuff
  • You care about your audience

Your website is confusing

The main goal of your website should be to clearly state what you do, why you are better than the competition, and some proof of this. Your next goal is to make it obvious for the user to know what to do next. A confusing website causes friction and can make it very difficult for you to turn visitors into paying customers.

What a confusing website says about your business:

  • You don’t have a clear vision for your business
  • You don’t care what the user does on your site
  • You lack focus
  • You lack purpose
  • You’re not better than your competition
  • You don’t care about your user’s experience

What it should say:

  • Your vision is clear and concise
  • Visitors are easily guided through your website
  • You are laser-focused
  • Your purpose is instantly obvious
  • You prove that you are better than the competition
  • A great user experience is very important to you

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Your website is not mobile friendly

48% of users say that if they arrive on a business site that isn’t working well on mobile, they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring. (Source: MarginMedia) People really want to have a good experience on your website, and if you can’t provide that, they will think you just don’t care. Those people will inevitably take their business somewhere else. Design your site with mobile in mind or it could cost you almost half of your audience.

What a non mobile-friendly website says about your business:

  • You don’t get the importance of mobile
  • You are out of touch with your customers
  • You don’t care what devices your audience uses
  • You don’t meet the needs of your audience

What it should say:

  • Mobile design is important
  • You really understand your customers’ needs
  • You work hard to make your site easily accessible from any device
  • You go to great lengths to meet the needs of your audience

Your website is slow

40% of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. (Source: Econsultancy) Slow websites were the norm back in the 90s when we were all dialing up to Earthlink and AOL. I’d like to think those days are long gone, but unfortunately that’s not the case. There are still millions of slow websites out there, and they’re still super annoying. There are a LOT of factors that can play a part in the speed of your website, and I’m not going to cover them here, but suffice it to say you need to get this one fixed now. You can get a website speed analysis over at GTmetrix. The results may be surprising.

What a slow website says about your business:

  • You’re cheap and won’t pay for faster website hosting
  • You can’t deliver even the basics
  • You don’t value your visitor’s time
  • You’re don’t understand your audience’s problems

What it should say:

  • You’ll gladly spend money to provide a faster user experience
  • You deliver above and beyond your customers’ basic needs
  • You respect how busy your customers are and value their time
  • You understand and help solve your audience’s problems

What does your website say about your business?

Take action

What comes to your mind when you experience a poorly-designed website? How does it make you feel about the brand? Take a moment to share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to know how bad design affects your overall brand experience!

The post What Your Website Says About Your Business (and what it should say) appeared first on Focus 5 Design.

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