Look, I'm not naive. I know that there's a certain degree of sticker shock for most people when they browse through a designer's site and come upon their pricing for website design. I know that it's really easy to convince yourself that your site's design isn't really that important. But I'm here to tell you, it is. Not just as a designer, but as someone who is frequently a client. Seriously. Can you just trust me for one second that I'm not out to take your money, but that I'm genuinely trying to give you some tips from both sides of things? Because I'll be honest, I'm the first to peace out on a website if it's hard on the eyes and impossible to navigate. Not much makes me quite as sad as a great company with a bad website.
It makes me want to grab them, sit them down, and tell them with all the love and grace in the world "the black background and tiny words on your site makes my eyes hurt and made me bounce off your home page in .2 seconds". And then if they take that well, give them the following reasons to get a new website built, pronto:
Strong design = strong trust. There have been multiple studies done in the recent past on the effect website design has on a company's revenue (hint: the two are intertwined), but one of my favorites that I found in my research for this blog post was this one: 20 people are asked to search the internet for health related issues. They were surveyed on the reasons they mistrusted or rejected the information on the websites they found, and bad design made up 94%. Ninety-four. Content made up the other 6%. That's insane! Content is important, without a doubt. You can't have a good website with crappy, incoherent dribble. But people are drawn to and trust good design first, it's just a fact.
Your first impression is so dang important. How many times have you utilized Google, clicked through the first link that comes up, and immediately hit the back button because the website was too difficult to navigate or hard on the eyes? One of the main things I teach new clients to watch in their website analytics is their bounce rate - how quickly people are leaving their home page before even clicking through to any other pages. If that number is high, than something in their design needs work (& we get to work quickly). You only get a few seconds of someone's time to draw them into your site and eventually your product, make that time count!
It's not just about aesthetics. I know I just went on and on about how your website looks, but as a designer, how your website looks comes secondary to how your website works. How it flows. That there are multiple avenues to your landing pages, it's easy for prospective clients to contact you or find your pricing. When clients upload their website content to me, it's my job to dissect and deliver it on their new site in the way that best communicates their mission to the world. Not to say that you're not capable of doing that on your own, but this is where hiring a designer can come in really handy. As a person that is looking at websites and doing continuing education on what consumers want all the time, designers just have the upper hand on the development and dispersion of content through your site.
It sets you apart. There are a lot of really beautiful websites out there, because there are a lot of crazy talented people in this field. Crazy talented. But there are also a lot of really not great websites out there because there a lot of people who don't think website design is worth it. And look, to each their own. But if you want your website to stand out in a very oversaturated world, the design has to be on point. Unless you've created a completely new-to-the-internet product (which is amazing. email me.), there are other people in your field with similar pricing, services, etc. Stand apart from them with a clean website design. Plain and simple.
I know this can come across as a sales pitch, so let me say this - obviously I'd love to work with you. I'm a small business owner, I'd be a fool to not include a little "hey, hire me!" somewhere in my blog posts (hey, hire me!) But the heart behind Magnolia Ink is to help other entrepreneurs succeed. So if you don't think we're a good fit, I'm okay with that. Just please do some more research and find a website designer that is. Because you and your business deserve to put their best foot forward in the internet world.