Most of us in the eCommerce space have likely had this thought one time or another. Building an elegant, professional website that captures people’s attention, and that’s appropriate for the type of business you’re running, is critical to the success of your company.
But what exactly is it about web design that’s so important? From the perspective of a developer, it’s all about the client; you give them what they want. Yet when you’re the client, how do you know what you want?
We can tell when a site is well-designed or not within seconds of looking at it. But then how does this design affect the business?
There are many different ways, and to illustrate this, we’re going to look at how web design affects the value of your business.
At this point, you may be asking yourself: why business value? Well, there are two reasons. First, a valuable business is a business worth owning. Businesses are worth more when they are more profitable and more efficient, which is exactly how we all want our companies to run. And second, it’s important to understand business value in case you decide to sell your company someday down the road. Life is unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared.
Let’s take a look at how web design affects business value.
Brand affinity is of utmost importance in today’s marketplace. Consumers have near unlimited options to choose from, and if you don’t give them some reason to come back to you, then they’ll soon leave you for a competitor. It’s as simple as that.
Building brand affinity requires a multi-faceted strategic approach. You need to develop your brand identity and personality, as well as your core values, mission statement, and vision. Then, you need to work to craft messages that convey these to your target audience at every touchpoint.
Companies with strong, successful brands are more profitable, and therefore, more valuable. They get more out of their customers, they are more successful at recruiting new customers, and they are more capable of withstanding pressure from competition.
And design affects branding.
The colors you choose, the fonts you write in, the placement of links and widgets, the ease of navigation, etc. all convey something to your audience, even if only subtly. It’s important the design of your site matches your brand messaging. When it doesn’t, it’s easy to spot, and this will harm the image your audience has of you.
For example, if you’re a marketing firm that positions itself as professional and cutting edge, your web design needs to reflect this. You want to choose a conservative font and dark, powerful colors. You’ll also want to limit the amount of clutter on the screen. If someone logs in and gets bombarded with images, pop ups and text written in Comic Sans, they are going to feel a disconnect between your brand messaging and design, making your brand less authentic and less effective.
Improved Conversions and Sales
One of the first steps in the process of selling a business is to compile all relevant financial information. This is because the starting point for any valuation is to multiply yearly revenues by 2.5. From there, the true value of the website will go up or down based on a variety of factors, such as risk, sales projections, and the efficiency of business process and systems.
As such, anything you can do to make your business more profitable will also make your business more valuable. Makes sense, no? And when you can demonstrate your business is poised to continue growing, then it’ll be worth even more.
There are a couple of different ways to approach growth. You can try to find new ways to reach customers, attempting to rapidly expand your audience base and profits, a technique known as growth hacking. Or, you can work to maximize the value you receive from current customers, expanding both in the number of people you reach and also the amount of money you receive from them.
Pursuing rapid growth sometimes works, but often only in the beginning. Eventually, you’ll start to see diminishing returns, and you’ll need to focus elsewhere to continue your success.
Working to engage with audiences, offering promotions and giving them more options to choose from are all great ways to increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). But you can also do this with web design. By setting up your page to highlight certain products and encourage certain actions, you can further optimize your content to improve sales and revenues.
One good way to do this is to include a “You might also like...” component to your site. Using what you’ve learned about your customer from previous interactions, you can steer them towards other products that they may be interested in to try and increase the total amount of money they spend with you.
Using design to create personalized promotions, catchy emails, and useful images and infographics will also pull people in and help you maximize value.
It’s important to pursue growth in different ways, but by optimizing your design, you can get more value from your customers, which will simultaneously boost the value of your company.
Links, Shares and SEO
Lastly, something that will dramatically affect the profitability and value of your online business is its search engine performance. Ranking for high-value keywords, and showing you have the potential to do well with others, will make you more money, and it will also make your business much more attractive to investors, as it represents an opportunity to scale.
To attract links to your site, you need good content, good outreach and good design. Just like design can affect brand authenticity, it can also affect the authority of your content. If someone lands on your page and gets an unprofessional or amateur vibe, they are less likely to link to you; no one wants to send their readers to a sub-par site. You can have great content, but if it looks bad on the screen, people are going to be less likely to link to you.
Again, fonts, layout, colors, and images all affect this, so put yourself in the shoes of someone considering linking to your site. Determine what they would be looking for and make sure they get it.
Start making design work for you
Web design has a dramatic effect on your business. It’s your virtual storefront, and as a result, it can shape the impressions people form about your company. Bad design can really hurt you, whereas good design can give you a competitive edge. Take some time to analyze where you could improve your web design, and start using web design as a tool for boosting your business’ performance.