Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Cost You Prospective Customers And What To Do About It

WordPressAre you missing out on prospects because of a poorly-built site? Regardless of how professional your company is, a poorly-constructed website could lose you potential buyers and cause more turmoil than you can handle.

In a world where attractive design sells, your website’s design can be very important to the success of your business. Your website is probably the first thing that your web visitors see and this can influence their purchasing decision.

We typically do it online. Even if we’re only doing preliminary research, we will turn to our smart phone and go browse a web site first before purchasing goods in-store or online.

Now, try to see things from your customer’s perspective. How does your web site appear to other people? Does it invite them to approach and explore things further, or does it make them hesitant and cautious about where to go next?

How your site looks is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more than can affect your web visitors’ perceptions and their decision to ultimately buy from you.

Let’s review some of the more important design problems that can affect your web site’s results:

Web Site Design Issues

Typical web design problems that can influence your visitor’s perception of your website include:

  • Color – Unattractive color schemes affect your website’s results. This also applies to your choice of text and background color. There are ways to pick web colors correctly and even safe web color palettes to make sure that the colors you use will display correctly across different devices. If in doubt, seek the services of a professional web designer.
  • Design Elements – Web pages that contain visually unpleasant, outdated and just plain old hard to read text can easily result in visitors quickly losing interest in off your site. Visitors can also be affected by careless inconsistencies in the design elements or overpowering use of design elements.
  • Layout – How your page content is laid out can have a significant effect on the way visitors interact with your site. Layout considerations also include how your navigational items, links and other objects.
  • Responsiveness – Since business information is now accessed using a range of devices with different-sized browsers, it’s vitally important that the design of your website be responsive. If your web pages do not display well on all devices, browsers and platforms, you will lose valuable business opportunities.

Functionality Issues

Common functionality problems can include some or all of the following:

  • Subpar functionality – A huge turn-off for visitors is arriving on a page where some hyperlinks don’t work, videos don’t play and graphics are missing. Persistent errors are not acceptable, especially if you are trying to come across professionally. Your online presence reflects your company. It’s important therefore, to ensure that all your hyperlinks, videos and graphics remain working at all times. Sometimes, problems could be related to things like your hosting, or they may even be unbeknownst to you, but it’s important to make sure that you’re consistently proactive and that you get issues addressed immediately.
  • Feature limitations – If your site provides visitors specific features or functionalities, then make sure that these functionalities are not limited. For example, if you plan to sell products on your site, make sure that you provide users with full e-commerce functionality that allow them to easily select and add products to a shopping cart, use coupons, complete purchases with credit card or PayPal, receive purchase notifications, receipts and email confirmations, etc.

Poor Web User Experience

Typically, where your business suffers most noticeably because of a poorly-designed site is the “user experience”.

A disappointing user experience can leave a bad taste in visitors’ mouths and lead to venting their dissatisfaction in social sites, user forums, review sites, commenting sections, etc., bringing you negative attention.

Here are just some common issues that can create a poor user experience:

  • Ease Of Use – Your website must be easy to use and easy to navigate. Information about your products and services should be easy to find. Your prospective clients want user-friendly features and they want to find what they are looking for quickly and without disappointment. Make your content searchable and if you plan to add downloadable information to your site (e.g. videos), make sure that users are given instructions on how to download and access your information.
  • Organization – If your web site isn’t well organized and user-friendly, you run the risk of losing not only prospective clients but also existing clients. Providing features like descriptive URLs, product and service categories and well-organized sections where topic-related content is grouped or linked together provides visitors with a good experience.
  • Stimulating Web Site – Users want sites that are easy to use, easy to navigate, and that provide them with eye-catching options. This requires striving for a balance between attractive, modern web design and compelling content that engages your visitors. For example, draw attention to hyperlinks pointing to product pages by inserting eye-catching product pictures and well-crafted product descriptions. This can be very effective and will help improve not only the user experience on your site, but also grow your sales and conversions.
  • Interactive Features – Another area that helps to improve user experience on your website is to provide interactive features that engage customers, such as the ability to comment on, share, like, download and recommend your content, interact with your staff via a responsive helpdesk, support forum, live chat, schedule appointments, make reservations, etc … You also want visitors to be able to navigate quickly within your site and access your information without waiting around for pages to load, so having your site optimized for page loading speed is important.
  • Reassurance – One of the most important and often most neglected aspects of creating a great user experience is to make users feel confident doing business with you online. To reassure your visitors that you are credible, trustworthy, secure and professional to deal with, make sure to add legal compliance pages like a contact page, privacy statement, terms of use, security information, affiliate disclaimers, etc.

WP website design

As you can see, there are many areas that can contribute to a poor user experience and negatively impact your business success online. If your web site isn’t designed in a user-friendly way, you run the serious risk of not only losing prospective clients, but also some of current clients too.

Now … what if you have arrived on this site because you have an existing site with design issues that are affecting your business?

First, keep in mind that getting problems fixed on an existing site can take time and can also be fairly costly depending on the problem and what kind of site you have, especially if it requires a lot of web code editing.

If you are considering having a new website developed or redeveloping an existing web site, then we suggest that you consider using the WordPress website publishing platform.

WordPress tips

We plan to publish more articles about WordPress on this site, but here are just some of the things to keep in mind about why you should choose WordPress:

Themes – Inexpensive Website Design

WordPress themes are unique web site design templates that let you easily change the look of your entire website without affecting the website’s content and modifying any of the core site functionality.

There are literally thousands of professional themes for WordPress site owners available that can be downloaded. Many themes are either free, or they are extremely affordable, saving you hundreds, even thousands of dollars on the cost of website design.

WordPress web site design

Most WP themes nowadays are fully responsive and provide users with flexible and customizable features for changing your website’s design settings such as color, template elements like headers and footers, layouts and more. This is just part of what makes WordPress an ideal tool for helping you achieve a design for your website that ultimately helps your business.

WordPress Plugins – Virtually Unlimited Features

Another compelling reason to choose WordPress is that WordPress gives site owners scalable features through add-on applications called “plugins.”

WordPress plugins, like themes, integrate easily with your website to provide you with almost unlimited features and new functionality.

Earlier in this article we discussed issues like subpar functionality and feature limitations as part of the reason why a poorly built web site can lose you customers.

WordPress plugins can help you overcome these issues and limitations quite easily and inexpensively. If there is a feature that needs to be integrated with your site, just install a plugin that will do exactly what you need to get things done.

Need a plugin that will let you know about any problems with your site like hyperlinks not working, videos not streaming, images that aren’t displaying or even alert you if your entire web site is down? No problems … there are WordPress plugins that can help you fix that, or notify you about problems so you can take immediate corrective action!

Need a plugin that will let you turn your website into an online store or provide you with a complete e-commerce system? Again, no problem! There are several inexpensive WordPress plugins that will help you sell goods or services online and provide your visitors with full e-commerce functionality that allow them to choose and add items to a shopping cart, use coupons, complete purchases with credit card or PayPal, receive purchase notifications, receipts and email confirmations, etc.

And just like WP themes, there are literally tens of thousands of fantastic WordPress plugins that you can download and easily install on your website at no cost, or that are extremely affordable, once again, saving you thousands of dollars on the cost of website development.

WordPress website design

You can learn more about plugins here: Using WordPress Plugins Enhance Your Website’s Features

WordPress – A Rich Web User Experience

In addition to being able to address issues caused by a poorly-constructed web site, WordPress can also help you give site visitors a great user experience.

WordPress provides beautifully-designed and visually-exciting themes that cover all kinds of uses and applications and feature-rich plugins that allow web users to contact, engage and interact with you. With the right combination of a WordPress-driven site, WP themes, plugins and great content, you can create a very rich and engaging user experience that will keep your visitors returning for more.

WP website design

As stated earlier, consumers will do extensive research online before making purchasing decisions. If your website isn’t designed to provide your visitors with a rewarding user experience, consumers will simply move on to another business that does provide them with a better website.

Hopefully this information has given you a better understanding of problems that can affect your web site and how WordPress can help you get better results online. To learn more about using the WordPress website publishing software please see our related posts section.

Comments? Questions? Feel free to add your thoughts below or share this post with your friends.

The post How A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Cost You Prospective Customers And What To Do About It appeared first on Quick Click Hosting.

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