Why Design Is Only One Part of Your Website’s Success

There’s a common myth afoot…a myth that has deeply embedded itself in the small business consciousness. It’s a seductively deceptive myth that appears to save you money, but is actually costing your business valuable leads and sales.

It’s the myth that all you need is a great web designer (or even better, a free-of-charge web designer in the family)…that, if you have a gorgeous website, your Internet success is assured.

Rest assured, this is a myth!

Why? Don’t manufacturers spend oodles of money on product design and packaging? Isn’t presentation key to the sale?

Well, yes….but only if you have people actually seeing your product…or in this case, your website. If nobody visits your site to see that gorgeous design, nobody will feel its attraction.

Even the most gorgeous design cannot organically rank your site in keyword searches that lead visitors to your online “door.” Even the most gorgeous design cannot entice the viewer, in seven seconds or fewer, to continue reading to the bottom of a page, or to click from one page to another, rather than clicking away. Only optimized website content can do that.

But there’s still more involved….

We all know designers who are deeply committed to their art. Whose color schemes are miracles of loveliness, or provocatively challenging. Who spare no innovation to convey artistically the energy and message of your business….

But what happens if their art leaves visitors struggling to read the text, or to figure out how to move from one page to another?

There is a place and time for extravagant online design flourishes….however, a business site is not one of those places or times. Instead, visitors need easy to read, clearly and simply structured website content, with elementary, intuitive, foolproof navigation to ensure that they can access all the information they need with a minimum of effort.  The simpler the site structure, the better: the moment a visitor needs to think or wonder how to get to point B from point A, the chances are high that s/he is going to bail out.

Even worse: a beautiful Flash animation will prevent search engines from indexing your home page, so it does not show up in search rankings at all…meaning that potential visitors never even make it to your site!

But that’s not all…..

Even the most attractive design is not going to induce a “buyer’s trance” compelling the visitor to buy.  If your words doesn’t catch the attention, engage the emotions, inspire trust, and build conviction, the most breathtaking design can’t fill that gap. To convince a visitor that you are the one who can help him or  her, rather than John or Jane Doe with an equally gorgeous site – that is the job of website content.

Good content tells your visitors who you are and what you offer, while answering the questions that they don’t even know they’re asking. Good content convinces them that you are the one who understands what they’re looking for…and that you have what they need.

Please understand – I’m not knocking design. If you’ve got a good web designer, you have a genuine asset. But that person, alone, can’t guarantee your  Internet success.

In fact, unless your designer is trained in the principles of usability, he or she may even make artistic decisions that handicap your success.

In the best of all worlds, you have a  partnership of gorgeous design and compelling content within an easily readable, navigable, usable website . But study after study proves that – if you have great content and an easy, intuitive site structure – even the plainest, simplest design will serve.

After all, the goal of your business website is not only to pay for its upkeep, but to increase your profits by inspiring visitors to buy your products and services!

For a website content developer with a solid grounding in usability, who is happy to collaborate with your talented designer, email phila@yourwordsworth.marketing

 

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