How Web Design Can Make or Break Your Online Business

backlinks, conversion optimization, web design

December 1, 2017 by

Editor's Note: Jock Purtle is a successful business broker and entrepreneur with Digital Exits. Today, he joins us to discuss the importance of good web design, and how it can make the difference between success and failure for an online business.


For many small business owners, the design of a website is the last thing they think about when developing an online marketing strategy. This is a mistake: quite a few of those same business owners may want to sell their business in the future, but that will become significantly harder if the website doesn't impress potential buyers.

What's true for business brokers is also true for customers and clients. Your website design should be viewed as an investment that can raise your bottom line rather than as an inconvenient expense to keep up with trends.

Whether you've put forth the effort to craft an attractive, high-converting site or not, there are many ways that web design can sink your business or make it float. In this article, we will share some of the ways that a good website can help your business succeed.

What Good Web Design Can Do

1. Turns More Visitors into Paying Customers

The term 'conversion rate optimization' refers to how well your website is able to turn visitors into paying customersTo understand the concept, think about a site that brings in 120 visitors per day and converts 40 of those visitors into email subscribers. Now imagine that 15 of these subscribers become paying customers.

This means, for a $100 product, you can generate 40 email subscribers and $1500 in revenue for every 120 visitors you bring in. While this seems like a perfectly respectable outcome, if you optimize your conversion rates and turn 60 of those visitors into email subscribers, you can effectively generate $3000 per day with the same traffic.

A simple way to optimize conversion rates is through analysis of a customer base and target audience. Through research and analytics, a business can craft messages that are much more effective at converting potential customers, and make their website more attractive in the process.

2. Taps into Organic Search Engine Traffic

When it comes to high converting traffic sources, organic search engine traffic is the best you can drive to your website. But if you want higher organic search rankings, you must pay attention to the way visitors interact with your website. 

One of the biggest factors that search engine algorithms consider to decide where your website should rank in search results is the quantity and quality of backlinks you have pointing to your website. To capitalize on this, you should start deliberately using better keywords in your content and building high-quality backlinks on other sites. This practice falls under Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

As search algorithms evolve, they are also looking at the way visitors to you site spend their time, and whether they believe it is relevant to the search term they used to find you. When your website is well designed and easy to navigate, visitors tend to spend more time on your site, bringing it higher in rankings.

3. Makes Your Branding Easier

There are a tiny number of websites that manage to sustain large businesses even with ugly designs. However, visitors will remember your website after they leave, and that's why you should take an approach that will make your brand "sticky" in the minds of potential clients.

Think about a local storefront. If the facade is dilapidated, the front door is busted and windows are broken, customers may remember the business, but it won’t be in a good way. But if the storefront is elegantly lined in gold with a red carpet beckoning people to an interior filled with classy artwork, customers will have a hard time forgetting.

You want your business to be like the second example, and to do that, you should dial into the minds of your customers. Afterwards, create an experience that will impress them while also staying true to your business’ branding.

A high-quality web design makes this possible, and it's worth hiring a reputable web designer who can help you craft perfect brand messaging that portrays your business personality in a way that resonates with potential customers.

4. Marketing Becomes Easier

For many businesses - after a certain amount of marketing effort and time has passed - they will reach a point of "critical mass". This means that new customers will come into the business while also doing the business’ marketing for them.

This is commonly known as word-of-mouth marketing, and it saves you time and money while putting you in front of a perfectly targeted audience. Not only do many businesses strive to reach this point, but it's very attainable. Research shows that customers are likely to recommend a business they've had good experiences with.

However, with an unattractive or broken website, this is much less likely to happen. Visitors do not want to share an ugly website across social media. Bloggers won’t be linking to it either. On the other hand, if you are proud of your site, others will be more than willing to recommend it.

5. Readers Will Keep Coming Back

Suppose you interview 100 of your visitors and get honest, transparent answers from them about their biggest complaints.  Chances are high that more than 50% of them will tell you they couldn't find what they were looking for.

When it comes to building a website with ease of navigation, you’re not only trying to stay in a search engine’s good graces: you also want to ensure that visitors are happy, and able to find what they’re looking for when they find you.

Take a look at how much time your employees spend answering questions and providing support to your customers. If they devote large amounts of time and energy to providing support that could be provided through content, you may need to shift your focus.

Most of your customers would rather be able to help themselves, and you can facilitate that by creating content to answers those questions and provide support.

Final Thoughts

Whether you intend to keep your business and profit from the growth strategies here, or implement them to raise your valuation in order to sell, it’s hard to ignore the impact a good website can have on your business.

Investing in the right web design will help raise your bottom line, increase your profits and make it easier for you to stand out among competitors. At the end of the day, these are all factors that can make or break your business, so take the time to get it right!

To learn more about building a website that will impress clients and potential buyers, check out our classes on the following topics:

Turn Website Visitors into Customers via Conversation Optimization

Introduction to SEO

The ROI of Social Marketing: Online and Off

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

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