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Why Your Web Design Matters More Than Your Website Content

Why Your Web Design Matters More Than Your Website Content

Web design
March 18, 2022
5 minutes

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Spent hours on creating blog posts and still have a website that is underperforming? It may be your web design that is causing visitors to click ‘X.’ The design of your website matters more than your website content, and in this article, we’ll explain why.

An online presence is incomplete without a website representing who you are as a brand. Of course, blog posts and pages are helpful tools to express yourself and inform your audience. You can have amazing content on your website, but without actual visitors, it’s of no use. And that’s where design comes in.

Have you ever visited a website that was so slow that you abandoned it almost immediately? Or that didn’t automatically adjust to your phone screen, making it so difficult to read that you didn’t bother trying? You’re not the only one.

You’ve already lost 53% of your audience if your website takes over 3 seconds to load. Poor design can make your website irrelevant, no matter how amazing your content is.

Let’s look at what website design and website content are and why the first matters more than the latter.

What is web design?

First things first, let’s establish an answer to the question: What is web design? Web design is the design process of all the visual elements that make a website. Additionally, it’s the art of planning and arranging these visual elements to make a website both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

With web design, you determine the looks of a website. This applies to the basic elements such as colors, typography, and graphics. But it also applies to the structure of the website and the users’ experience.

What is website content?

Now that we’ve established an answer to the question of “what is web design?”, let’s look at the comparator in our narrative: what is website content?

Website content refers to the textual, visual, and aural content published on a website. From site copy to product descriptions to blogs and articles, content is what you fill your website with.

How to write website content

Even though web design matters more than your content, having good web content is still important. Ideally, you want your website to be a happy harmony of both.

Content writing for websites is a profession in itself. Are you a web content rookie? If you stick to these rules on how to write website content, you should be golden:

  1. Be clear and concise with your information.
  2. Make sure all content is up-to-date.
  3. Your website should only include relevant content.
  4. Break up your content so that it’s skim-friendly.

Learn how to use informal communication to attract customers

Get acquainted with communication strategies that will humanize your brand

Reasons web design matters more than website content

Now that we’ve gone over the specifics of web design and website content, let’s take a look at 4 reasons why the first matters more than the latter.

1. First impressions matter

In a mere 50 milliseconds, your brand is harshly judged by the audience visiting your website. No pressure.

A cohesive, aesthetically pleasing website will most likely have people linger and give them the confidence that this is the website where they will find the answers to their questions. You may think we’re being dramatic here but think about it: you visit a website to access information.

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A well-designed website builds trust. No one will believe your customer service is outstanding if your website is an unbalanced mess looking like a relic of the 90s.

2. SEO impact

With bad design, it doesn’t matter how many strategically placed keywords your website has. Bad design can plummet your page to the depths of the dreaded second page of a search engine.

Loading speed is crucial for your SEO ranking. A good designer can optimize your web design, making sure it loads fast and looks amazing. Win-win!

Another key factor that plays a role in SEO is optimizing your web design for multiple devices. People will abandon your website if your audience looks at your page on their phone screen, but the banners are sized for a laptop screen. These bounce rates are noted by Google, who will banish your website to low ranks.

3. Higher conversion rate

A conversion rate is the percentage of people performing the desired action (a conversion) out of your total number of visitors. So obviously, the higher your conversion rate, the better. With a well-designed website, you’ll see your conversion rate go up, and we’ll explain why.

We’ve got another statistic for you to show you the importance of great web design. According to a study from Stanford, a whopping 75% of users admits to judging the credibility of a business based on its website.

If the outcome is in your favor, people will trust your brand. And with brand trust comes a higher conversion rate. Therefore, good web design equals more conversions.

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A strong call to action, high-quality images showcasing your product or team, clear communication; these visual elements all contribute to your conversion rate.

Learn how to create a high-performing landing page with templates from the web

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4. Stay in control

Unlike social media pages, you control the experience and the message on your website. If your design is well-thought-out, you can gently guide your visitors through your website. You can suggest what page to visit next or what action to perform.

A quick glance at Facebook, and you’re instantly pulled into a million different directions. The holiday pictures your friend just posted, a sponsored ad displaying sneakers high on your wishlist, etc. Everyone is competing for attention, and standing out from the crowd with this kind of competition is a tough gig.

On your website, you have a shot at the undivided attention of your audience. Use it wisely by making sure your design is on point.

Common web design mistakes

Bad web design can hurt your business; that much is clear. Let’s have a look at common mistakes in web design so that you can avoid them.

Missing or unclear call-to-action

Good web design instantly shows who you are and what you’re all about. A strong call-to-action (CTA) is vital for people to recognize what you’re offering.

If your website does not indicate what you want from your visitors or, even worse, have a vague call-to-action that confuses people, your conversion rate will reflect that. We’re all about jaw-dropping design, but without a clear CTA, what’s the point of it?

cta design.png An example of a good CTA by one of our designers.

These are the qualities of a good CTA:

  • It’s instantly clear - For example: ‘buy now,’ or ‘subscribe here.’ There is no beating around the bush when it comes to a good CTA.
  • It evokes emotion - You can do this by adding an exclamation point or sparking curiosity with your words. ‘Learn more,’ or ‘last chance,’ for example.
  • It gives a reason why - What’s in it for your audience? A good example is ‘call today to schedule your free consultation.’ Tell your audience what you want (call today) and why (to schedule a free consultation).
  • It’s unique - Don’t be afraid to go against the stream and get a little creative. Instead of saying ‘buy this now,’ opt for something like ‘unlock business growth,’ or ‘a healthier life starts now.’ Of course, this depends on what you’re offering.
  • It’s honest - Don’t write checks you can’t cash. Make sure your CTA is honest and offers something that is actually available.

Poor quality images

And we mean this in the broadest sense. Keep your website free from grainy, bad-quality graphics, but also don’t opt for cheesy stock images. You don’t want to risk looking the same as your competitor.

Even if you’re just starting out and don’t have any content yet, choose wisely. Here’s a list of unique and authentic design resources to get you off on the right foot.

Website clutter

Do you want your visitors to abandon ship the instant they enter your website? Here’s how:

  • Background music
  • Obnoxious advertisements
  • Multiple fullscreen pop-ups
  • Auto-play videos
  • An overload of animations

A cluttered design is a bad design. Make sure you keep the info on your website clear and to the point.

Learn how design can help you crush goals in SaaS business

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Unresponsive design

As mentioned before, mobile friendliness plays a massive role in the user experience of your website. Since the little devices come in all shapes and sizes, it is imperative that your website does, too.

In addition to mobile responsiveness, you should also make sure that your buttons are clickable and your navigation runs smoothly. Sending visitors to broken links or wrong pages is a big no-no in web design.

Final thoughts

You can have amazing content flooding your pages, but if the design is bad, it won’t matter. Visitors will probably have already fled to a competitor before actually reading the content of a website. Therefore, your web design should come before your website content needs.

Web design is more than creating a visually pleasing website. It plays a crucial role in attracting visitors to your page and giving them a good experience. Once you realize this, you’ll not only attract visitors; you’ll create a trusted experience they will return to.

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Guest Writer: Simone Timmers

March 18, 2022

Simone is a Dutch writer, currently living in Malawi. Whenever not stringing words together, or on her yoga mat, she is preferably exploring any off the beaten track she can find.