Websites are modern representatives of your company and your best salesperson. There’s no question that they make more of an impression on potential clients and do more for your brand than any other form of media. So, you want your online representative to be as sharp and captivating as possible, right?
Sure, your neighbor’s nephew can probably use an HTML editor and publish a website with an online hosting company charging low monthly hosting fees. But do you really want some website that’s been thrown together from a pre-designed template and looks exactly like 200 other websites? Are you really going to trust your first impression to a website that came out of the bargain bin?
No. You want your website to be unique and memorable – something that beckons visitors to return. In most cases, your website is the first thing prospective customers see when they discover your business. You want it to grab potential customers, convince them to explore every nook and cranny of your website and then entice them to convert in some manner.
Professional web designers know exactly how to design this type of website because they employ highly talented project managers, artists, designers and developers who have years of experience under their belt. So, what exactly are the benefits of investing in professional website design?
Grow Your Brand
Lots of people can design visually appealing websites. However, a professionally designed website can also incorporate your brand assets, company tone and sales strategy in a way that will make the consumer remember your brand long after they’ve they purchased your products or services.
You Never Get a Second Chance at a First Impression
Your website should quickly capture your audience within the first few seconds of them landing on your page. If the average user can’t find what they’re looking for within 15 seconds, it’s likely they will leave and find what they’re looking for elsewhere. Professional web designers know how to not only grab an audience’s attention but get them to convert.
Convert Those Clicks
After your site grabs the customer’s attention, the goal is to get them to further explore your site. You want them to learn about the company, browse the different products and services that you offer and engage with all of your content. Hopefully then, you’ve given them a reason to trust your brand and therefore spend some of their hard-earned cash. This is called click conversion, and web design professionals know how to specifically design your site to achieve these conversions.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is more important than ever. If your website is designed correctly, it should show up near the top of a search having anything to do with your product, service or subject matter. Your website should be able to drive traffic to it and then hold the customer when they arrive. Chances are your neighbor’s nephew isn’t going to know a ton about SEO. Possible, but not likely. And as quickly SEO practices change, it’s good to have a professional on your side to help guide you in the right direction.
Performance and Reliability
Developers who create websites for a living know how to optimize the site so that it isn’t constantly down or throwing up error messages – ultimately ruining the customer’s experience. This is their job, and they have it down to a science. They will host your site in-house or with a reputable hosting company, making sure that it runs at peak performance and is always available. Even a site that down for just five minutes can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost sales and conversions.
Distinguish Yourself from Competitors
When you invest in a website, you want your site to show up higher in a search list than your competitors, but you also want it to distinguish yourself from the rest of the herd. A website is more than just a bunch of images, pretty colors and fancy fonts. It is the representation of your presence on the Internet, and you want it to be better than the competition.
As mentioned above, your site won’t stand out using the same template that the use has seen on a million other sites. When you employ a professional design team, they can ensure that your site stands out for the right reasons.
A professionally designed website conveys a sense of reliability and showcases your company as a credible place to spend their money. If customers don’t think that you’re well established, they will move on to someone else’s site. Elements that make your site look and feel more credible include:
- a secure connection (HTTPS)
- security and privacy statements
- PCI compliant and purchase protection icons
- a site that’s free of typos and broken English
- updated contact information
The hidden cost of building a sub-par website is that you’ll need to redesign and rebuild sooner. You’ll also have lost time and opportunities. While no one wants to spend money on something you’ve already purchased, it’s also important to consider all of the sales that you may lose with a poorly built website.
Another added feature that will save you money comes in the form of built-in update capabilities. This means that you aren’t stuck rebuilding an entire site two years down the road if/when technologies and styles change. A professionally built site leaves room for improvement and allows your developer to build from the existing pages, rather than having to re-build entire pages from scratch. This process can save countless hours and, of course, dollars.
Modern websites include elements like blogs, industry insight pieces and other types of content feeds. You’ve heard the phrase, “content is king.” Well, this is because quality content drives qualified traffic to your website. Professionally done websites can give you with the ability to update your site with your own content, or they can provide you with professionally written content that will lure potential customers back time after time.
Lots of web hosting companies out there allow you to create and host your own websites for free. However, nothing is actually free. You may do a good job of putting together some pages and posting them to your “free” site – and you may even think it looks great. That is until you hit publish and realize there are advertisements after every paragraph on your page that have nothing to do with your industry or products.
Professionally created and hosted websites eliminate all of the off-topic distractions and give you the captivating content that deserves to be explored. Lots of flashing advertisements or popups on your page can divert the customer’s focus and, in some cases, drive them away from your site entirely.
It’s Ultimately Up to You
You are in control of the type of representation that you broadcast out to the web. If it’s worthwhile to create a website, isn’t it worthwhile to do it right?
Investing in a professionally designed website will pay back on your investment several times over quicker than you might think. To learn more about professional web design or your options when investing in a professionally built website, contact us today.