You would be surprised to know, however, that 4 in 10 SMBs still do not have a website.
Of that number, almost 3 in 10 claimed that they have no plans of creating a website in the future.
Forget about the website design, the absence of a digital address will be the death-knell to any business.
For instance, consider the following statistics:
- Nearly 6 in 10 people are not going to recommend a business with a poorly designed website.
- 4 in 10 mobile users will likely go to the competitor if they have trouble accessing a business website.
- Nearly 9 in 10 will contact a business within 24 hours after visiting the website for a specific need.
- Almost 4 in 10 will leave the website due to poor layout and unappealing design.
- About 9 in 10 people will not return following a bad experience with a website.
- More than 7 in 10 will judge a company’s capability to deliver a service based on the website design.
Why Invest in a Website Design in Birmingham, Alabama
It is tempting to sign up for a free website builder just so you can claim that you have a digital address. But many complaints about websites stem from the dissatisfaction of having a website that can’t truly be edited in a way that will allow the end user to achieve their design goals. And maintaining a website built from a builder platform can be frustrating and limiting. Usually having a custom built website brings the most satisfaction. But still, having any website versus having no website at least gets you some traffic. However, your first impression may work against you if the website does not look very good.
In order to help you determine what goes into planning we have written a very comprehensive guide to website design. If you are looking for a website design company in Birmingham they should cover all of these areas with you.
But how important is the design’s impact on traffic? About 94% of the criticisms on online businesses are related to poor website design. And low-trafficked websites don’t do well with Google.
When it comes to Google, it is all about rankings.
As shown in the graph, the top-ranked website on the Google search engine results page cornered about 33% of the traffic. The second and third runners-up got 17.6% and 11.4%, respectively.
Consequently, the top five results will capture over 75% of the total Internet traffic. It means that if you are on Page 2, you will have to fight for scrap with your other competitors.
Why is Quality Important to Your Website?
Consider these factors:
- You want to make a good first impression on your prospects. You only have a brief moment to persuade them into staying longer, so make it count.
- You want to direct your potential customers to your sales funnel directly so that you can complete the transaction quickly. People go online to address a need. They would appreciate it if you stop wasting their time and point them toward the solution immediately.
- You want people talking about your website, and get free word-of-mouth advertising in return. When people have a good experience when using your site, they are likely to recommend it to their network.
- You want to rank high on Google’s results page to direct traffic to your website and edge out your competitors. Search engines also gauge the user-friendliness of the website, as well as its readiness to accommodate Google’s spiders.
- You want to edge out your competition. Even if you have the best product in town, it would be useless if you cannot reach the intended audience. It is highly likely your competitors have already invested in a customized website designed to rank high for Google.
- You aspire to be taken seriously by your customers. A professionally made website can establish credibility quicker than any testimonial can. At any rate, customers will likely doubt the testimonials posted on a shoddy-looking page.
- You want to establish trust. Paying for a custom website indicates that you are willing to invest in your business. The implication is that you are not going to cut corners, so you must also have poured in money to roll out only superior quality products.
- You want to promote your brand. Make no mistake about it, people will judge your brand according to your website design. They will have a poor impression of your brand if your site looks rushed and cheap.
Top Elements That Your Website Should Never Be Without
While your website must be visually appealing to capture the visitor’s attention, you need sound fundamentals to make them.
These elements are crucial for your website to rank high on Google’s search engine results page. Without them, your prospects might not even know you exist!
Below are some of the common components of the most high-ranked websites:
Attractive website design
Consumers are highly emotional. Chefs know how crucial food preparation is to the gustatory experience of their clients. It is why they put a large stock on visual appeal. Your website must be aesthetically pleasing since the design will be the first one the visitors see. It will then form their impression of your business. Do you know how many seconds it takes for the visitor to shape an opinion about your website? Two seconds? Five seconds? Nope. Try 50 milliseconds. If you have no idea how fast that is, try blinking your eyes.
Page loading speed is a crucial factor in making your visitors stay around longer. Google’s standard is less than half a second, although that seems to be unreachable for now. So, it is considered excellent if your website’s loading speed is between 1-3 seconds. For comparison, about 46% of the total 2 billion websites on the internet today load from 6 to 10 seconds. Nevertheless, Google has a handy guide on the bounce rate. As you can see from the graph, the slower your website, the more likely your customers will leave without visiting the other pages or clicking on the link.
Just a second delay in your page loading speed will cut your page views by as much as 11%. Not only that, your customer dissatisfaction level will shoot up by 16%.
Intuitive site design
Intuitive means that your visitors do not have to rack their brains to navigate your website. You can direct the user toward their goal without pause, which allows them to perform a task in the least steps possible. For e-commerce sites, for instance, you want them to find the item and add it to the cart so that you can complete the sale. Intuitive designs will add to the user experience. Just remember that visitors will come to your website equipped with stock knowledge. They already have set expectations based on their previous experiences with other websites. Your job is to make the interface seem seamless.
Visible share buttons
You need to spread the gospel about your website, and your customers want to help. However, they would pussyfoot around the idea of sharing your products or services if they have to jump through hoops to do it. You want your share buttons to be visible so that visitors can share the content on their social media pages with one click.
In addition to a website, Mom-and-pop stores and brick-and-mortar shops in Birmingham, Alabama absolutely should set up a Google My Busines (GMB) listing. This free (for now) listing will help people find you once they perform a local search on the search engine for restaurants nearby, for example. Your local listing should also include your business telephone number, e-mail, and the map of your location. In the same manner, they should be able to book reservations or make an order on your website.
In recent years, organizations have realized the need to humanize their companies and make them relatable to their customers. Gone are the days where corporations were viewed as evil enterprises that gobble everything in their way. The “About Us” section will tell people about who you are and what you aspire to be. It also gives you the chance to elaborate on why you are different from your competitors. It will help build an emotional connection, which, as you know, influences purchasing behavior.
Experienced web designers know that the website should reflect the brand. It gives the company an opportunity to introduce itself to new visitors, while also making sure to pander to its loyal customers. It means your logo and corporate colors must have a prominent position on your website so users will immediately establish the connection.
The content is an essential ingredient to best SEO practices. Quality content will help link you with your target market by utilizing the correct keywords. In SEO’s early days, keyword density was the name of the game. The article still maintained a dominant position on the search engine results page, even if it would be unintelligible. Nowadays, the algorithms emphasize relevance and resolution over the number of keywords. Google will rank you highly when you create value and address the pain points of the customers.
Customers read reviews before making their decision whether or not to purchase a product. Nearly 9 in 10 people perform their due diligence and they trust online reviews more than targeted ads. Endorsements from real people will spark confidence about the quality of your services and boost your sales. For instance, they would be twice as likely to engage with a website if the review is 4-Star or higher than if the review is less than 4-Stars.
Testimonials from real customers will boost your credibility and trust factor. Do not be afraid to ask your customers to post their positive feedback on your website. You would be surprised by how agreeable they are.
Your website design should revolve around your call-to-action (CTA). But it does not have to be a single one, just like the example below. You can use multiple CTAs depending on your goals. Having multiple CTAs, however, is a tricky proposition because it may overwhelm some of your visitors.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to place only a single CTA unless you have a services page or you are an e-commerce site. However, it is also commonplace to find two CTAs. The idea is to appeal to two types of visitors–one who is ready to purchase the product or service, and the other one who is still on the fence.
How Much Does a Professional Website Designer Cost?
A professional website will set you back a few bucks. But you will get more value for your spend if you take the time to talk over your website’s goals with a reputable design company or designer to gauge whether they can deliver what you need.
You have two options:
- Hire a website design agency
- Enlist a freelancer
Both options have their respective pros and cons.
For example, a web design agency will be the pricier choice. But freelancers may be stretched thin since they have to accept as many projects as possible to make their business viable.
Another advantage of the website design agency is quicker turnaround time since it can deploy more teams to focus on your project.
Finally, a web design agency can guarantee better technical support. Creating your site is just one part of the process. You also need to maintain and manage it to ensure no disruptions in your business.
But how much does a website cost?
There is no easy answer to that, because multiple factors come into play when evaluating the cost.
Depending on your need, you may spend as little as $1,000 to over $150,000. A business website with multiple moving parts requires a more complicated code. In the guide, Top Website Development Trends of 2021, we go over all of the more modern development trends, implementation of these could also add to the costs.
Then you have to also consider the maintenance cost, which can range from a low of $500 to as high as $60,000 annually.
The good news is that you can easily contact digital marketing agencies that service the Birmingham, AL area and get a quote for a website design at no extra charge.
Whether you are a small business or not, you have to invest in a website to reach out to new customers. Your digital address must not only be functional, but you should also pay attention to website design to make a good first impression.
Builders like Squarespace, Weebly, or Wix allow businesses to launch their own websites. While they present a cheaper and faster solution, the generic code does not provide much flexibility or the ability to offer a complex website.
The simple fact is that free website builders are not suitable for Birmingham, AL businesses who want their customers to take them seriously. Instead, you should call in a professional for a bespoke website design that will help you meet your business goals and allow you to generate returns in the quickest possible time.
Remember that your goal here is to develop a website that is successful for your business and, ultimately, achieves you goals.