Good website design – why visual impact matters
There are so many points to consider when you’re designing a website – url, content, layout, photographs, logo. But studies show that the visual impact of a website is the most important factor in why people stay on your website, so your website really needs to look the part if it’s going to convert anyone.
In the internet age, it takes just 0.05 seconds for someone to form an opinion about your website. They can’t read the content in 0.05 seconds or check the usability of the menu. All they can take in is how visually appealing the website is. Now that all businesses have a website, competition is stiff. Your potential customers do have a choice over who delivers their bookkeeping, copywriting or weekly veg box. We want them to choose you, but we’ve only got 0.05 seconds to get them onside.
In recent studies, people were filmed while looking at websites. The footage was reviewed, revealing the participants’ eyes flicking onto different areas of the website and noting how long they stayed there to absorb the information. The more visually appealing the website, the longer they stayed on each area. After a strong, positive first impression, they hung around long enough to check out the menu, use the search bar and read some of the content. As we know, the longer someone stays on your website, the more likely they are to convert into a paying customer.
Images are really important for engaging potential customers. Even if you don’t perceive that your business translates well into images – say, if you’re an accountant or a mortgage advisor – it’s still important to have images on your site. Work with a graphic designer or a photographer to create images that give the right message about your business – a good graphic designer (like me!) can translate any business into an image. Review your images today – if they’re less than fantastic, it’s time to take action.
Layout is also important. The more we use websites, the more we get used to layouts. We’ve come to expect tabs across the top, a logo in the top left we can use to navigate back to the homepage, a big picture and a short, clear message in the middle. Of course, there are variations on this idea, but none of them deviate too far away from it. You may feel tempted to be a bit edgy and have a layout that’s totally different from everyone else’s, but frankly, there’s a time to be edgy and this isn’t it. People’s brains have learned to read websites now, and they know what they’re expecting to see. Make them work too hard and they’ll give up on you before they’ve even discovered the awesome images you’ve got hidden behind your homepage.
If you think your website isn’t making as strong an impression as you’d like it to, give me a shout. You and your business deserve a great online presence. A website with a strong visual impact is the first step – one that I’m here to help you achieve.
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