Originally Published: 5/2/19

Have you ever loaded a website and been immediately bombarded by blurry stock photos and neon colors straight out of an 80s dance video? It can be overwhelming, and let’s face it – website design matters. When visitors load a poorly designed website, they immediately think less of not only your online presence but your entire company. After all, what kind of company wouldn’t be investing in a great website in 2019?

First Impressions
First impressions matter. According to Square 2 Marketing, 46% of audiences consider a website’s design the most important factor in determining if a business is reputable. Regardless of whether or not a potential customer or client has visited your store, the way you present yourself online is vital. They aren’t taking their time in forming an opinion either; in the first 50 milliseconds after the page loads, audiences have already decided if they like the design as well as your company. While you can’t please everyone, you can work with a team to develop an expertly researched website that appeals to as many potential customers as possible.

Choosing the Right Photos
Your website needs photos of your store, inventory, and employees. While you don’t need to go out and hire the most expensive photographer in town, make sure your photos are clear and professional. A newer cell phone’s camera should work for a small business, but if you’ve got limited resources, consider using stock photos from websites such as Shutterstock or Pixabay.

With stock photos, be careful. Are there logos in the photo? Use with caution, as those brands may not have consented to be used on a stock image and have legal grounds to come after your company. Read the licensing and ask an expert if you have any questions about whether or not you can use a photo. Some photos are only okay in certain situations, so when in doubt, use photos with a Creative Commons license. This may require you to give credit to the photographer, but it’s generally the most common and useful license.

Is My Website Working?
You’ve got a shiny new website; now what? How do you know if it’s working? It’s actually not difficult to tell – adding a Google Analytics tracker will allow you to see what your visitors are doing. Are they leaving once they see your homepage, or are they clicking on links and spending time learning about your company? Google Analytics will tell you all this and more. It can tell you where they’re visiting from, how long they’re spending on your website, and what demographic they fall into.

Let’s break this down with an example. If you own a floral shop in Arizona, but your analytics only show traffic from New York and India, you may want to reevaluate your website. It’s never going to be a perfect system – you can’t stop someone from outside of your target market from viewing your website, but if you’re not getting any local traffic, that’s a red flag.

Redoing Your Website
After all this discussion on website design, you’re probably wondering how to go about upgrading your website. Start by looking online and seeing what you like. Is there a website you love visiting because it flows seamlessly and grabs your attention for hours? What’s working for others in your industry? If local competitors all have online checkout, maybe your company should too. Your website should be fast, secure, and SEO optimized. When you’ve got a list of questions and ideas, find a website developer you trust. Work with expert website designers, such as our team at FusionTech Media, to develop a website that drives conversions and sales.