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Gillian
by Gillian
on November 11, 2015

When your company launched its first website, it was probably a very exciting day.

People from all around the planet could now find you online, expanding your customer base and making things easier for your sales team. But if the last time you redesigned your website you did it to a soundtrack of the Spice Girls, it might be time to take a closer look at whether your site is actually doing all it can for your business. 

Looks Aren't Everything

At first glance, it may seem that redesigning your website is all about aesthetics, but the importance of your website design goes far beyond how it looks.  When done right, an overhaul of your site can improve its navigation, decrease site load times, and even help with search engine optimization. Together, these elements can have a major impact on your bottom line by generating leads, shortening the sales cycle, and ultimately increasing sales.

At the same time, the site's appearance is important for a few reasons. First, the way the site looks is how users form their initial opinions, which they do in less than 50 milliseconds. Furthermore, it is essential that your site conveys credibility, with one user survey ranking credibility at an importance of 4 out of 5. This is particularly true for eCommerce sites, since the proliferation of data leaks and hacks mean that users are much more wary of giving away their credit card information to just anyone online. A professional website design greatly improves the appearance of credibility and therefore increases the likelihood that users will feel comfortable buying from your site.

 

Easy Navigation = Easy Sales

Usability is arguably the most important feature when it comes to designing a website for increased sales. Indeed, one HubSpot survey had 76% of respondents ranking "ease of use" as the most important characteristic a site could have.

With the right design, you can show users exactly what you want them to do, leading them through your marketing funnel without ever having to pick up a phone.  

This easy of navigation is often achieved through simplification. Because your website is a reflection of your company it can be tempting to put as much information as possible on your homepage, but the fact is that your homepage is not going to make you any sales. Rather, you should be encouraging users to click through to landing pages where you can turn those users into leads or to your storefront.

 

Take a look at the following example:

bad web design example

 

If you can set aside the fact that LingsCars.com uses about a thousand different colors and even blinks (which you mercifully can't see in the above screenshot), can you tell what a customer is supposed to do when they land on this site? There are so many links, arrows, and words that it is impossible to figure out.

 

Contrast Ling's with:

Cars.com web design

 

At Cars.com, you're supposed to shop for cars. When you land on the homepage, that's exactly what you're directed to do. There is no extra copy or confusing arrows, just a simple box that lets you start your search right away.

There are countless examples of both types of sites around the web, but the point is that the better you can distill your site's navigation to the exact path you want a user to take, the more likely that user will take that path and eventually become a customer.

 

Great Design Leads to SEO

With the right design, you do not necessarily need to increase site traffic in order to increase sales, because a larger percentage of your visitors will be led through your sales cycle. However, improved SEO results and an increase in traffic can often be a side effect of a redesign. This is because when your site is clear and easy to navigate, that means Google spiders can better understand your site, too. Further, a redesign that includes mobile optimization (another absolute must) will automatically improve your mobile search rankings. The higher your rankings, the better your traffic, the faster those sales numbers will climb.

Does redesigning your website still sound like a headache that isn't worth the time? Or does it sound like a worthwhile investment that will have an immediate impact on your bottom line?

 

The basics of website optimization

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