Your Website’s Appearance = Your Brick and Mortar’s Appearance
As everyone knows, appearances matter, especially when it comes to your store. If your storefront is dilapidated and the inside is disorganized, messy or unappealing then customers won’t be coming in, or if they do, they won’t stay long. This isn’t really news to anyone as it has been like this for decades, and store owners know that they need to keep everything looking immaculate in order to keep business. However, this reality seems to be forgotten or lost when it comes to website design and layout. Business owners need to realize that their website is essentially their store, but digitalized. However, its appearance matters even more than the physical store.
As a website designer, the most assaulting thing to the eyes is navigating to a website and seeing a design that is un-intuitive and difficult to look at. Too many websites have color combinations or designs that make it difficult to look at the screen for a long period of time. One doesn’t even have to be a web designer to be bothered by this though, and if your website is harsh to look at then customers aren’t going to bother spending time on it. Your homepage is your storefront, and if it it’s poorly laid out and painful to look at, people will just walk away. Many of the common sense rules of regular commerce can be applied to ecommerce and should be.
The next problem a lot of websites suffer from is poor organization or layout. When we walk into a grocery store we expect the aisles to be labeled, and within each aisle, similar products are grouped together. If a store is disorganized and finding the product you need is difficult, chances are you won’t stay long nor will you come back. If a website is difficult to navigate and unintuitive, then customers who want to find their desired product quickly will just leave and they won’t come back. Customers expect to be able to find their desired product in 15–30 seconds.
This also goes for trying to read articles or your blog on your website. People want a page format that remains the same no matter which page they go to. If the home button goes from the top left corner to the bottom right corner when the customer switches pages, then they will become annoyed. No one enjoys having to spend 1–2 minutes hunting for the right button to click because it changes depending on which page they’re on. They also expect the menu to remain same. Far too many websites have a menu that suddenly changes because the viewer went to a different page. Now the link they saw a moment ago on the previous page isn’t in the same spot, which means they have to search for it on the current page, or go back a page and find the link there.
These are the frustrations that turn site visitors off very quickly and keep them from returning. If your website has elements similar to the above mentioned, then it’s time to get them fixed. You’ll immediately see an increase in your search ranking and you’ll see higher conversion rates.