Online businesses have a particularly high failure rate. For example, it’s estimated that 80% of e-commerce websites end up failing around the first year. This is largely to do with market oversaturation, and how easy it is to build a business website for a small amount of money nowadays.
The immediate solution you might think of would be to build a better website, with a more appealing interface than your competitors. That’s thinking on the right track, but having a pretty website won’t convert traffic into customers if your website loads slowly on mobile devices, has poor functionality, and a myriad of other factors to consider.
In this article we’re going to explore how not investing in web design causes businesses to fail, but also exactly where you should be investing your money in website design.
Some quick statistics on web design and internet users:
- Most users will form an opinion on your website in as little as 50 milliseconds, and whether they will stay or immediately bounce off.
- 57% of consumers say they would not recommend a business that does not have a mobile-friendly website.
- 47% of users say they expect a website to load in a maximum of 2 seconds.
- 70% of small business websites do not have a Call to Action (CTA) on their homepage.
Strategies to address bad website design
Consult with web design professionals
First, you should have your website evaluated by pros. Web design agencies like Parachute will not only evaluate your website for things like SEO, mobile-friendly optimization, site functionality, etc, but also take into account your target audience and marketing psychology to best maximize conversion rates.
Designing an appealing website isn’t as simple as using minimal design with lots of open white space, and boldly colored CTA buttons. Professionals will put a lot of effort into A/B testing, for example, which means they’ll be able to figure out which design schemes work best for your traffic conversion.
Focus on mobile optimization
Google has been placing a lot of weight on the importance of optimizing your website for mobile devices. In 2019, they revealed their mobile-first indexing practices, which means that Google’s index crawlers prefer to visit the mobile version of your website.
In other words, even if you have an amazing desktop browser version of your site, your ranking will suffer if Google finds problems with your mobile-friendliness.
Some tips to optimize your website for mobile are:
- Use larger fonts and shorter, engaging sentences.
- Focus on speed optimization and remove unnecessary images, scripts, etc that slow down your website.
- Make sure your pages look good on all device screen sizes.
- Keep navigation simple and intuitive.
Create excellent content for human traffic
Google follows the E.A.T principle, which stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness” as guidelines for their human reviewers. It’s not just robots that crawl your site to determine your ranking, as Google will periodically use humans to audit website quality as well.
So to explain the E.A.T principle, Google looks at whether your content is well-written, authoritative, and trustworthy. This means that if you regularly post blog content on your website, for example, Google will consider not only whether the content is well-written, but if the author is actually an authority on the subject.
As an example, let’s say you have a website selling diet and weight loss products. Your blog content is well-written with lots of interesting information. But you are not actually qualified to give people medical advice, because you’re not a trained medical professional. So Google will give you points for having high-quality content, but they will take points away because you’re not an authority on the subject matter.
That’s just one example of the E.A.T Principle, but once you understand it, you can apply it to website design. For example, you can write guest posts on other websites related to your content niche, to build a portfolio that creates authority and trustworthiness weight for you.