Websites that lack purpose or are cluttered can and will confuse visitors. That’s a problem because one of the biggest causes of a high bounce rate is visitor confusion. So before you start building or rebuilding a website to help increase your traffic, you need to carefully address each of these three elements so your website engages your visitors and doesn’t push them away.
1) You Must Pay Attention to User Experience
Well designed websites help visitors develop positive feelings towards a brand or message. That’s important because it’s been found that there is a strong correlation between image and emotion. And that’s true in a variety of scenarios. Think about a Snickers® bar and how the experience of holding one and opening one makes you feel. Does the font on the wrapper look nice? Do the red, white, blue, and brown colors work together well? Does the wrapper open easily? Can you figure out which side to open up first? Does it matter? And you’re confronted by all of this before you actually open the thing up and get to the good stuff! Point being, every aspect of a good product experience is influenced by design. A good design leads to a good experience, and a good experience leads to credibility. According to web credibility research from Stanford, 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on that company’s website’s design.
2) You Must Make a Good First Impression
That same Stanford study mentioned above also showed that first impressions are 94% design-related. So making the effort to use design to make a good first impression is obviously important. According to another study the average website visitor is only going to give you .05 seconds to determine whether or not they like your website’s design. Now, good content and good web development are also needed if you’re going to keep someone on your website long enough to achieve a lead conversation. However, people aren’t going to bother reading about your company’s products or values (and they’re definitely not going to stick around to fill in a contact form) if it’s surrounded by poor design.
3) You Must Provide Clear Directions
It doesn’t take long for someone to determine if they like your website or not. But if you succeed in getting past their initial design judgement, then you still only have 8 more seconds to convince a visitor to continue spending time in your website. If it takes a visitor more than 8 seconds to figure out what to do on your website, then they’re just going to leave or “bounce.” That may seem like a lot to accomplish in a very short period of time, but if you make the effort to design an appealing website with clear directions, then it’s very likely that you’ll see very good results. The Nielsen Norman Group reports that “the average business metrics improvement after a usability redesign is now 83%. This is substantially less than 6 years ago, but ROI remains high because usability is still cheap relative to gains.” So you can expect to see a pretty good return on the time and money you invest in making your website easy to use.
In summary, you can’t thoughtlessly throw your company’s image out into the internet. Well, you can, but that minimal effort just to get your name out there will not be enough attract people to your website and convince them to do business with you. You have to earn a visitor’s trust. And you can earn that crucial first layer of trust by designing your website to give your visitors an overall enjoyable experience, a good first impression, and clear directions.
To learn more about incorporating good design into your website…