Effective and attractive website design is often seen as an “eye of the beholder” issue. One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. Right? Well, when it comes to website design that serves as a component of conversion optimization in the context of business visibility, beauty is in the eye of the prospective customer/client. What website visitors like is what will keep them on your site and support their conversion into customers.

The problem with many websites is that the website owner often drives a design that appeals distinctly to them. And why you may enjoy a specific style of layout and design, your customers may not enjoy those elements distinctly. It is important to note here that a website’s design aesthetic is what often conveys legitimacy for a brand.

It’s not dissimilar to the impact that a messy, dated, disorganized doctor’s office lobby makes on a new patient.  The disorganization and dated or unkempt décor only ultimately serves to make the patient uneasy and doubt the competency of the staff and the doctor. It’s enough to make the patient bolt. How easy would that patient leave when they can do so with the click of a button? When the office is clean, modern and well-laid-out, there is a measure of comfort one gets. It breeds confidence in the professionalism and quality of the staff and team that runs that office.

So if you want to convey confidence in your website visitors, try to avoid these four website design flaws that tank a new visitor’s confidence in your brand:

Poor and Dated Design: Hideous designs can send customers fleeing back to Google’s search results pages with the click of a mouse. It’s easy to understand. But many discounts the damage that a dated design does to your brand. Some people are simply married to an old web design style that might have been popular in its day. Some don’t even realize their web design is dated. But the message it sends customers is “This site lacks care, maintenance and updating.” Does it send the same message about your products or service? Because it’s clear that if it does, you are losing money. Are you losing enough money to justify periodic refreshing of your site’s design? Well, check your website’s bounce rates and you get a clearer picture of the number of potential sales that have flown out the window.

Poorly Written Content:  Websites cluttered with grammatic mistakes and spelling errors only serve to tell the visitor you are at best careless, and at worse unprofessional. And that means loss of potential revenue. Look, something brought them to your website. Don’t waste whatever investment you made in getting them there by sending them packing when they begin to read your copy. Make further investment in professionally written copy, so that those that visit your site take comfort in the professionalism your brand conveys online. Otherwise, the loss of revenue you may be experiencing could be significant.

Cluttered Design: Who loves clutter? Nobody. Nobody loves clutter. Okay, maybe mice love clutter. But unless your ideal lead is the four-legged rodent type, you’ve got to know your cluttered, busy website is sending potential clients out the door the minute they spend a nanosecond trying to find their way around the mess. Clean up your website’s design by organizing and prioritizing your message. Limit the number of messages you publish on your home page. Triage the different buckets of your brand’s products and services into several key pages dedicated to each of them and organize them into strategic menu items that are aligned with your priorities and popularity.

Unsecure Site: An unsecure site is actually the only flaw here that may deter potential customers before they even visit your website. An unsecure site is indicated as such by Google search on the results page. This could deter anyone looking to spend money on your website because it says simply that the site is not meet a baseline of security expected by Google, Yahoo and Bing. The lock icon that shows in the browser pane next to your URL tells people your site is secure your data when conveyed on the website is less vulnerable. How do you get that magic lock symbol? Simple, acquire an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. Most website hosts offer them on an annual basis. These digital certificates authenticate the identity of a website and encrypt information sent to their server using SSL technology. Encryption scrambles data into an undecipherable format that can only be returned to a readable format with the proper decryption key.

Even if you don’t conduct business on your website (like charge credit cards or ask for personal details) the fact is people feel more secure on your site when an SSL certificate is in place.

The bottom line is the more secure visitors feel on your website, the more likely they are to trust your brand and do business with you. If you would like to work with Proctor Digital strategists to develop an effective, modern website design for your business, call us at 773.664.5819. We’d love to help!

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