What’s the number one element in achieving high levels of online customer satisfaction? How your website looks, and how it works. On the internet, first impressions count as much, if not more, than in the real world – and a poor or dated website design will let your company down with a bang.
It’s more than just appearance, however – website design also impacts on that crucial matter of trust. One survey showed that 94% of people questioned said they did not trust various companies and their websites because of their design. So whether you’re selling online or using your site for corporate or digital marketing reasons, having a professional, clean, vibrant design will help you to build trust straight away.
Once you have the fundamental design elements in place and your site looks great, you can then add features that will foster greater levels of trust among visitors. These can include external links to any news coverage your firm has had, or creating your own news section and regularly updating it with developments at your firm. Another powerful way of impressing your visitors and gaining their trust is to show them who you’re working with – by placing the logos of some of your big and prestigious clients on your site.
Never be tempted to use a generic template for your site’s design, because it will almost certainly backfire and visitors will get the impression that your company is too cheap to have an individual one created by a professional website designer – and so why should they bother with you? The message is clear; invest in good website design at the outset to reap the online rewards later. Maintaining the overall image of the site is a continual process, however, because it changes by the day, or even hour.
That means when you’re adding new material to your site, be careful what you choose. You might have an awesome blog or news article you want to upload, but if you place a stock photograph at the top of it, you may well turn readers off before they’ve even started. Few things say “I can’t be bothered” like stock images, which should really only be used sparingly, if at all. Online, people demand originality, so make sure all your content is, from text to photographs and video.
What other elements should you consider incorporating into your website design to make it more appealing for visitors? We know that people care about what others are saying, online and off, and one way to retain their interest in your site is to add social media channels to it. Many firms are now placing the latest comments from their social media accounts on their sites, displaying a real-time snippet of what’s happening.
Your website is your showcase to the entire world – make sure you’re always looking your best.