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Why website design is your business's first impression. By Fiona Sands, Designtastic

If your business has a website (and it probably should), the design and functionality of that website could play a huge role in your business's success.

No potential customer is going to actually convert- or even stay on your website long enough to convert- if your online presence is subpar.

As first impressions go, websites are crucial. Prospects will form their initial opinion in mere seconds, and, if you fail to impress, a second chance may never come.

No pressure, right? But hooking customers with your website might be a lot easier than you think. In today’s blog, we’re breaking down all the ways you can make a powerful first impression with your website.

Why is website design so important for your business?

If your website is confusing or unappealing, no one’s going to stick around. In an interaction of less than a minute, you might have fumbled an otherwise encouraging prospect. And a negative impression of your online presence means a negative impression of your branding as a whole.

But there’s another way that poor web design can either bolster, or weaken, your sales. You not only have to think about how your website looks to customers, but also how it looks to search engines. If your site’s formatting is consistent, Google’s search engine crawlers will see that. To put it simply: you’re a lot more likely to rank highly in search results if your website doesn’t look like it was made in the early noughties.

How to make a good first impression with your website

So, how can you go about making that vital first impression? It all comes down to a number of key features.

Visuals are key
Every visual element on your website should be working together to paint an appealing, cohesive picture. Put yourself in the shoes of your site’s visitors; what should be the first thing their eyes lock onto? What sort of ideas are you trying to communicate? Make sure that the colours, typeface, and images are all in some way representative of your brand.

Most of all, keep it simple. If your homepage is cluttered or in any way garish, visitors will have very little reason to stick around.

User-friendly navigation
It’s also crucial that your website is easy to use. Don’t overload it with numerous pages just because you can; while a filled out site may seem professional, every page needs its own purpose. And navigation between those pages needs to be consistent. Make sure the headings on your navigation bar make it clear which links go where. Don’t make users dig for the information they’re looking for.

Optimise your website for all devices
Prospects could be visiting your website from all sorts of devices, namely their desktop computers and their mobile phones. Your site should account for this, so that the user experience on desktop is as similar as possible to the user experience on mobile. You might have to make some compromises, but not at the detriment of either experience.

It’s also worth remembering that, when it comes to the desktop version of your site, visitors may be viewing multiple tabs simultaneously. Your website should be designed in a way that remains functional and visually appealing regardless of the tab’s size.

Conclusion: why website design is your business’s first impression

If you want to effectively tell your business’s story, your website is the place to do it. In a digital world where first impressions are formed in mere seconds, a well-designed site can not only capture prospects, but also impress search engines, and ultimately boost your online presence. By prioritising design, user-friendliness, and optimisation for all devices, you can create a compelling online presence that will pave the way for your business’s success.

Need a hand with your website design? We’re a creative company with an extensive range of services for marketing your business. Arrange a 1 to 1 consultation to find out how we can tell your brand’s story in ways that connect with your audience.