Although you might think you have relatively good concentration, on the internet this is likely to be a lot shorter: the average attention span is around eight seconds. This means that you have a limited amount of time to make an impression on the site user: if your online business looks unprofessional and visually unaesthetic, then most people are likely to click off your website, without really looking at the content you offer. A professional web design ensures that the traffic flow to your website will want to remain, exploring what else you have to offer. With a strong web design, it is easy to make your online business appear all the more professional.
Image is everything
Having a visually appealing web design is paramount if you want to draw potential customers to your site. Although it is tempting to cram your website with anything that you feel would be of benefit to your users, in the website world, less is more. Google conducted a huge study, revealing that visitors are put off by visual complexity: by keeping your website design minimal, you can create a sleek, attractive appearance, which draws visitors to other parts of your website.
This also shows to visitors that your business is professional: you have taken the time to ensure your web design is of a high quality, which tells the visitor that you’re not an amateur, and that you can be trusted.
Using images is also a great way to add to your professional image. Uploading photos onto a photo gallery really helps people get a good idea as to what you can offer them – they should be well lit, and of high quality to maintain a standard of professionalism.
For example, if you’ve got a website for your restaurant then posting images of your food can really draw people in: by physically seeing the high-quality delights you offer, they are more likely to want to come and dine in your establishment. Or, if you’re a corporate business, posting images of your employees within your firm, or any events you’ve attended adds a personal touch to your online business.
Optimise your website for speed and compatibility
Having a site which is optimised for internet use is essential. Having a poorly optimised site can really put a visitor off your website, prompting them to click off almost immediately. According to Kissmetrics, 47% of customers expected a website to load within 2 seconds; most of us expect a fast website, and if we feel a website is too slow, this can prompt us to look elsewhere.
This also weighs heavily on your SEO – search engine optimisation – ranking. If Google sees that your website has a high bounce rate (in other words, it notices a lot of people clicking off your website quickly), then it is more likely to index you lower on its search engine results, meaning that your website has poor online visibility.
By optimising your website so that it loads quickly, people are more likely to stay on your site for longer, which tells Google that your website is a reliable website, and that it should be ranked higher on search engine results.
It’s also important that your site can be accessed both on computer and mobile devices. Considering that BrightEdge have reported that 57% of traffic is from smartphones and tablets, it is key that your website can be easily used, no matter how it is accessed.. Indeed, it would be damaging if over half of the potential visitors to your site couldn’t see what you have to offer because you haven’t optimised your site effectively.
Don’t overlook social media
Social media is an invaluable source to use to add another edge of professionalism. By linking social media with your website, you can create a link between the two, enabling site users to follow your social media accounts, meaning that they stay updated over the latest news and offers that your business has to offer.
With social media you can also get creative: holding a live stream on Facebook or Instagram is a great way to generate interest around your business. Considering that Forbes have reported that people spend up to three times longer watching a video which is live, rather than pre-recorded, live streaming is a great way to market yourself. Whether you’re sharing your expertise on the latest bit of news, or demonstrating how to use a product that you sell, live streaming can add a unique, individual edge to your business.
Of course, Facebook or Twitter is also a great tool to use if you want to post quick updates on the go, or encourage people to ask you questions. The success of Old Spice after they started up a video response to questions is a sterling example of how social media can open up endless doors: within one week of the response campaign, the number of views on their Youtube channel went up to 40 million, and by the end of the year sales were up by 125%.
Whilst it might seem difficult to know where to start when building your site, Go Sitebuilder is a great option for those who are daunted by the prospect. We offer ready to go professional web designs, which can be fully customised to your liking, and optimises your website so that it can be accessed on any device. An incredibly easy-to-use site builder, which gives you all the flexibility you could need with our 14-day free trial.