When creating a website, attention to the design is just as important as any other detail. Your customers care about design. Whether they know it consciously or not, people react to visuals and are naturally drawn to good design. Studies show that 75% of users are making judgments about a company's credibility simply based on visual design alone. Source
You can have a website that has everything you asked for or everything you wanted displayed, but if the design is bland, clustered or outdated, people will keep scrolling on Google until they find a professional, or "legit" looking site. Of course design isn't everything, but if a competitor has a site that outshines yours then your consumers may drift towards the more appealing site. Why is that?
Your Website Sets a First Impression
In some, if not most cases, people come across your site before they even know about your business. If they visit your site after searching for your specific service such as "landscaping company" and your site is at the top of the search list, they may keep looking past you if your site didn't give them a positive first impression within the first few seconds they were on your page.
If your website seems outdated, unappealing or unattractive, people might associate that same feeling with your business as a whole. A negative first impression can lead to a negative number of leads as those leads may turn to your competitor who has the better looking site.
38% of people will stop engaging with your website if your content and layout is unattractive. (Source)
With that in mind, according to a study from Google as well, it only takes 50 milliseconds (which is 0.05 seconds) for people to form a first impression of your website (Source
). Poor web design can lead to the loss of potential customers and also can hurt your credibility. People prefer to view content on an attractive or visually striking website and if your website is not, you are likely losing more than 1/3 of your visitors. The bottom line is, design simply impacts how your audience perceives your brand and a good web design helps you keep your leads on your page.
Your Website Sets the Tone for Customer Service and Trust
This idea sort of goes along with the above. People may judge how a business works with their customers by looking at their website.
Think of your website as a customer service representative. If your website design feels clean, bright, modern, and inviting, your audience will feel more welcome on your website. With this same thought in mind, if your website is outdated, stale, and unappealing, people may view your business as unorganized or careless and may even doubt your legitimacy compared to some of your competitors who actually took the time and went the extra mile to have their site shine.
Website design also builds trust. For example, if you have people coming to your site making bulk online orders, you want them to feel safe and comfortable while putting in their personal payment information. If people don't feel safe while putting in their information on your site, they are going to find a business that makes them feel like their information is in good hands and their orders will be fulfilled without any doubts.
You don't want people to have a negative feeling at all when visiting your site and a web design that is recognizably good or familiar to what your customers have experienced in the past helps to keep them from feeling anxious while on your site.
Website Design Creates Consistency
Brand consistency is very important and having a website that correlates with your brand is crucial. When you're trying to get new leads for your business you also want to build up your brand awareness. Customers are significantly more likely to purchase from a brand they recognize for their consistent image and content output, therefore having a site that reflects your brand and company image is important.
In order to gain consistency, your website should contain your uniform branding fonts, logos, colors, styles, and layouts across every page on your website. If you want to become recognizable and unique apart from all of the other websites, your website should be a precise example of your brand and should reflect your beliefs and image as a company.
If you have a different design theme or look on all of your pages and your website lacks consistency, this will make your site look unprofessional or visually confusing to the user. It also makes it harder to build brand awareness and recognition because your audience won't know which colors, graphics, logo, fonts, and which images to associate with your brand. By building consistency, you keep leads on your page longer and get them more familiar with your business by having the more professional looking, cohesive site over your competitors.