PART 1: The Importance of a Good Website
May 25th, 2011
In this day and age, almost every business has a website. It's not easy to keep up with the task of competing with the millions of websites on the Internet today. In order for your website to be remembered it needs to enthrall, stand out and be unique. It must be attractive and appealing to the eye and most importantly, it must capture the essence of the business, product or service you offer. In terms of functionality, a good design would ensure that users can successfully perform tasks, such as finding information on products or services, posting comments, submitting contact information, or purchasing an item.
A website is your store front to the Internet world. It provides a company the ability to make a strong web presence and reach out to millions of web surfers who could be potential new customers of a company. By creating a well designed, unique and marketable website this helps drive a company to embrace the global online market place.
Most companies have long since launched a web site. However, it's not enough to just have a web site. The website has to be good, it should be updated regularly with quality content and continually optimized for Google and other search engines (In part three of this story I will go into more detail about Search Engine Optimization and how a business with a website can benefit from implementing SEO).
A well-designed website would make audiences feel confident of the company, that they are reputable and take their business seriously, serious enough to spend some time and effort to make the site look appealing. Why wouldn't you want your website to exude these very important qualities? After all, your website is a showcase of your business to the World Wide Web. Think about it in a physical sense, window dressings, how a brick and mortar retail shop will put up a pretty shop front to get the attention of passing customers.
When enacted properly, good website design should look like a work of art. This is because there is a tremendous amount of skill required to design a website. When a visitor to your site discovers that the site they are visiting has been properly designed they will inherently react positively to the site and stay longer. A site has less than 60 seconds to capture the interest of potential customers. The first emotional judgment that is made would be what would influence a possible sale or further inquiries leading up to sales so make sure those 60 seconds are well used.
Like the old saying goes "first impressions are the most lasting", so make it a good one.
From a usability perspective a clean, unique, appealing and fast loading site that allows target audiences to find information they are looking for easily with minimal learning or understanding of the working of the site, can increase the impact on your business in numerous ways.
Poor website design will significantly reduce the potential to keep visitors returning to your site and to make sales. In such a case, visitors may very well look at the site and think "Well, if the owner of the website doesn't care then I don't care." Needless to say, such a visitor will depart the site within a very short period of time and take their business elsewhere.
Next week in part 2 of this series, I will be writing about what makes a good website design.
I welcome any questions and/or comments. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org