Updated: Feb 7, 2019
Invest in good web design, and you'll reap the rewards for your business. This is because good design has a direct and measurable impact at every stage of the sales funnel.
Good web design can have a tangible, measurable ROI
Many small- and medium- sized businesses understand the need for a website and web presence in our digital economy. A website is often the only ‘storefront’ a company will have, as online storefronts don’t require the same level of investment as bricks-and-mortar retail, and the potential customer reach is much higher.
Many companies, however, don’t invest where they need to - in good web design. Good web design doesn’t necessarily mean a flashy website with lots of videos and animation, but a site that beautifully communicates the brand message and is easy and clear for customers to use on desktop and mobile.
Think of it this way: if your physical store isn’t organized, clean, and easy for a customer enter and browse, customers won’t come inside. So why would these same customers spend time on a bad website that is hard to use?
When you think of it like this, website design has a direct impact on your bottom-line. It affects how many people move through to the end of the customer journey, and ultimately make a purchase. The effect of web design is visible (and measurable!) when considered in the context of the sales funnel.
There are four phases that customers go through when visiting your website, each phase requires different tools and know-how
Phase 1: Get people to visit your site
It’s critical that your site is visible when people search for a product or service that you offer. If people don’t see you as an option, they’ll never pick you! This is the concept behind SEO: Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a core feature of great website design that helps your business reach the front page of google search results. If you run a location-specific business, having a business listing on maps services will also help make people aware of you when searching in your area. This means your site should also have good metadata - page and content descriptions that show up on the right searches, that make it easier for people to find you and more appealing for them to click on your site.
Measure progress using the Attraction Conversion Rate These features combine to affect your Attraction Conversion Rate: what percent of people browsing for relevant products and services actually click through to your site? You can actually track this using Google tools such as Google Analytics to help give you a better idea of how much of your potential market is walking through the virtual front door.
Phase 2: Turn site browsers into potential customers
Once people reach your site, having good page design that communicates your brand message and stands out against competitors is vital. If your competitors’ sites are clearer and more appealing than yours, they are more likely to get the business! Making your calls-to-action visible, clear and easy-to-use is important here. If customers don’t know how to contact you, or if your site has lots of problems with links not working, content not showing clearly or confusing instructions, browsers will quickly leave to find another option. This also affects their chances of returning to you in the future - bad impressions tend to stick and are difficult to change. Measure progress using the Lead Conversion Rate
This can be measured via the Lead Conversion Rate: how many customers follow through on filling out a contact form, or putting items in a shopping cart? You can measure this and track which pages may have potential problems via services such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, or data from ecommerce platforms such as Shopify.
Phase 3: Generate sales from potential customers
By incorporating certain design elements and leveraging principles of human behaviour in their online stores, webshops can boost the rate of potential customers actually following through on a purchase. For example, this can mean designing for the Hicks Law principle - the more options offered, the longer it takes to make a decision, and the more overwhelmed a potential customer can feel - leading to them being less likely to make a purchase! Further, including simple and widely-used payment options can also help generate more sales. For companies that don’t offer online shopping, having strong integration between your website and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to easily manage and follow up on leads will help lead to more sales. Integration with third-party systems is an important part of good web design that can often be missed, and gaps in the process inevitably lead to potential customers dropping out due to frustration!
Measure progress using the Sales Conversion Rate Success in these areas is measured by the Sales Conversion Rate: how many potential customers actually make a purchase? For e-commerce this can often be measured via your shop’s platform, but often it involves combining data from different sources, for example your web analytics software and your CRM system, to arrive at a trackable metric.
Phase 4: Earn repeat business from customers
Web design elements can also help earn future purchases from customers. Post-purchase celebration messaging and automated follow-up emails can generate positive associations about the brand and company that makes it more likely to be chosen in future. Incorporating service additions such as package tracking alerts and easy order retrieval can help online stores meet the standards set by high-volume competitors. For post-purchase service issues, making contact options easy and visible, and ensuring service is accessible can also make a big difference. Often, customers who have a poor experience with a product can remain loyal if the service experience is excellent.
Measure progress using the Loyalty Conversion Rate How many one-off customers turn into repeat customers is often directly measurable through ecommerce platforms and CRM systems. This metric often indicates problems with product quality, purchase experience and post-purchase service, all critical problems as repeat business from previous customers can have a strong impact on profit. Further, ensuring a positive experience for customers not only impacts their likelihood to return, but also what customers are saying about your company through word of mouth and online reviews. This in turn affects your ability to attract new customers as well, so there is a multiplied impact on the bottom-line.
Good web design does have measurable ROI with a direct impact on your company’s bottom-line. However, the crucial thing is to have the right tracking systems in place that generate relevant metrics, so you can measure the value of changes made and can see the tangible value that is being delivered
Want to know more? We offer web design packages to suit a variety of needs, and can also help train you and your team in tracking tools such as Google Analytics and Shopify Analytics. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org