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7 Ways Lousy Web Design is Hurting Your Bottom Line
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7 Ways Lousy Web Design is Hurting Your Bottom Line

Oct 22, 2018   /   BY SecondCrew

Is your web design and development putting your business on life-support?

Your web design is a multi-national business front, more so now in the virtual age, than even brick-and-mortar stores were in their prime.

Just say AMAZON three times to yourself, and then convince us that you can still compete with the big boys without great web design.

Forbes describes the virtual phenomenon taking over the world like this, “. . .the Amazon effect has introduced consumers to an almost completely frictionless shopping process with near-immediate results.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling sneakers, French pastries for a wedding, or digital accounting services. Your design tells someone in seconds if they should buy from you.

Without good web design and development, your business is simply going to be gasping for breath.

In fact, if you had a million dollars to invest in your restaurant, corporate office, or fashion boutique’s architectural design to impress clients, or the same million dollars to invest in your virtual real-estate – the later choice is where smart money is spent.

And if you think that web design just couldn’t be that important, think again.

The Harvard Business Review recently did a study on exactly what makes people want to purchase from a website, and the results may surprise you. It comes down to “trustworthiness.”

Building trustworthiness amounts to making the user-experience is more than just easy, but pain-free.

Here are seven reasons why lousy web design and development might be hurting you. (If you need instant site design inspirationcontact us at Second Crew.)

 

1. You Aren’t Designed to be Mobile and Smartphone Friendly

There are 4.917 billion unique mobile users in the world, according to Hootsuite and We Are Social’s Digital in 2017 report.

Mobile App usage is skyrocketing.

You can thank millennials for that.

A report from the Manifest states that social media Apps are among the most used, and if you’re website isn’t both compelling, and easy to use, it isn’t going to make the cut.

The same report revealed that smartphone users often delete an App simply because they don’t have enough memory to run it.

Penny Wilson, CEO of Hootsuite said,

One of the greatest opportunities of a digitally connected world is the ability to have immediate conversions, wherever and whenever customers want.”

Here are a few interesting facts on the subject that will get you scratching your head:

  • The number one App millennials can’t live without is – AMAZON. While it’s true millennials are clicking away on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat like their fingers were glued to those sites with industrial-strength adhesive, our very first example gets the prize for the most-visited site via an App

Image credit: Comscore.com

 

  • 63% of Millennials usually agree to accept an app’s push notification request. How do you get someone to agree to a push notification – those little messages you get on your phone to check the latest sports scores, find out your flight status, or be reminded that you need more facial moisturizer which happens to be on sale at your favorite site?

 

Example of a push notification an airline might send you.

 

You have killer web design, that asks for permission to send them.  Million-dollar web marketer, Neil Patel states that they can boost engagement and click-through rates by as much as 50 percent. How’s that for building trust?

Example of a push notification an airline might send you.

Here are a few push notification services we love at Second Crew:

  • Push Crew – PushCrew can help you send unlimited Push Notifications directly to your clients or customers through their web and mobile browsers, even when they are not present on your website. Works seamlessly across Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browsers.
  • One Signal – Use this service to simplify the interface for push notifications and email across Apps and your web pages. This allows you to focus more fully on great content creation (which we talk about here) and focus on user engagement.
  • Push Pad – One of the easiest ways to add push notifications to your website.

 

All Americans are leaving mobile browsers in favor of mobile apps in hoards, though.

  • E-Marketer states that in 2017, the average US adult spent 2 hours, 25 minutes per day using mobile apps, a jump of 10.3% over last year, and it’s only going to keep trending in this direction.
  • More than ever, it means that unresponsive designs (slow load times, non-mobile-friendly navigation) are going to frustrate the end user. This does not build trust. You want potential customers to stay engaged, not run them off. The easier and more intuitive your design is, the higher your conversions will be.

 

2. Your Font, Color, and Design is Way Off

Design in and of itself is paramount in importance.

Without good design, it’s like trying to sell thousand-dollar tins of caviar covered in cat poop.

No one will ever know how good your business is if it looks lame on the outside.

Even the shade of color that you choose has a profound psychological effect on your clients, so you need to get it right.

This is the foremost visual cue that will help to brand your company. It’s like your logo – only taken to the next level.

Were you aware, for example, that women prefer shades of color (a vibrant color mixed with white), while men prefer hues (a color mixed with black)?

Image credit: uxplanet.org

Or that serif fonts are considered more trustworthy, but also more old-fashioned compared to Sans serif fonts, though they are easier to read?

These design considerations are not trivial.

If you are trying to build a brand that is fun and cutting-edge, say, a Silicon Valley startup, your web design should look very different than a company that wants to build trust based on hundreds of years of tradition, or a mom-and-pop company that’s been handed down through generations.

Here are some additional design elements that can turn people away from your site, according to Medium Corporation:

  • Boring web design/lack of color
  • Busy or overly-complex layouts
  • Pop-up advertisements and flamboyant ads
  • Small print that you can’t easily read
  • Slow website intros and load times

 

3. You’re Pissing Off Google’s Bots

It doesn’t matter how slick your web design looks, if it isn’t easy to navigate – i.e. easy for Google’s bots to crawl – you’re facing an uphill battle to get eyes on your page and high click-through rates.

Image credit: LinkedIn

 

Googlebots (also called spiders or crawlers) discover new and updated pages to be added to the Google Index.

They use a massive set of computers to do this, but these bots, even with incredible strides in AI, need an easy-to-navigate site for the best results.

Google’s crawl process begins with a list of web page URLs, generated from previous crawl processes, and augmented with site map data provided by webmasters.

This means your site map is just as vital as its design.

Good development of your web pages helps you stand apart from the billions of sites that these bots crawl daily.

LAMPHUN, THAILAND – July 8, 2018: Woman is typing on Google search engine from laptop. Google is the largest and most popular Internet search engine in the world.

While Google page rank isn’t everything, it’s key to being successful.

Over 70% of clicks to your site will come from organic searches filtered through a first-page ranking on Google.

A high Google page rank is like an oxygen tank when your site is choking for air and has no or low traffic.

Google Analytics is also your first spot to see where your web design can be improved. You’ll learn where your traffic is coming from and where it likes to linger once on-site.

You’ll have:

  • referral traffic from e-mail drip campaigns or social media links
  • direct traffic when people type your URL right into their browser
  • organic search traffic generated from good SEO, and great web design and development

 

You can also look through search queries on your site in Google Analytics to see what your customers want more of.

Expert marketers even say that providing customers what they want should be the first step in product or service design.

 

4. You Aren’t Publishing Quality Tailored Content

Why do millions of millennials obsessively shop on Amazon? They have an uncanny knack for displaying relevant content about products that their customers are interested in. When you open your Amazon homepage it greets you with customized product suggestions.

And like Bill Gates declared in 1996, “Content is King.” The man – like him or hate him – must have had a crystal ball. Because this still holds true two decades later.

Showing content that is relevant to the user is a shift in marketing that consumers will continue to see on the web. The technical term for this is tailored content. Your content should do the same for your website’s visitors.

Tailored content also gives you relevant opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell to your customers. Awesome content does a few simple things to boost sales and engage customers more fully:

  • It gives social media peeps stuff to cut and paste into their streams. Share-worthy content has an attention-grabbing headline, is broken down into digestible bits, uses images or better yet, video, and always includes a WordPress plugin like Sharebar.

Image credit: WordPress

  • It encourages back-linking which helps SEO. com says that back-links, also known as inbound links are like a “vote of confidence” in your site. A good tool to help build back-links is Link Explorer.
  • It gives you a chance to use long-tail keywords that are harder to incorporate on static pages. Long-tail keywords allow you to outsmart your competition because you aren’t competing for the same phrases or words for page rank.

For example: ‘stilettos’ is a typical keyword, but ‘stilettos you can wear to the prom’ is a long-tail keyword.

Long-tail keywords allow you to target your ideal customer with more precision.

  • Great tailored content also allows you to appeal to the narcissism of every Internet user. In other words, when someone opens their web-browser, they’re going to get content ranked according to their historical preferences.

If they love sharing things about themselves (and they do) and you’ve given them a way to do that on your site through content that asks for feedback or engagement, you’re appealing to the little bit of narcissist in all of us.

Here are five easy steps to publishing tailored content:

  1. Check Google Analytics or another analytics tool to see what search terms people are using to land on your site. Provide more content based on those terms.
  2. Use longer articles as a starting place as they tend to rank better. 3000+ word blog posts go a lot farther than 5 500-word blog posts. Add shorter articles on to these (called cluster articles) to build more engagement and explore topics in more detail.

 

3. Do good SEO research and incorporate it into your content. Search Engine Watch states that you should:

  • Use both medium and long-tail keywords. Try Keys4Up. It’s a free keyword generator.
  • Use Latent Semantic Indexing or (LSI). You can use an LSI keyword generator like LSI keywords or LSI Graph.
  • Make your title tags more emotional. CoSchedule found that emotional title tags get up to 40 percent more click-through.
  • Use images. You’ll get 53% more likes on Facebook when you do.
  • Solve a problem. Simple enough. People want answers, you know?
  • Use trending topics. Today’s trending topics can be found at sites like Mashable, or Digg.
  • Share content about others in your industry – buddy up and have them do the same for you.

 

5. Your SEO Stinks or is Non-existent

We know it doesn’t sound fun to keep track of Google’s constant algorithm changes and then adapt to them so that your page rank stays high. Google changed this algorithm at least 10 times in 2017 alone.

However, without good SEO, all your great design, and super-fast load times on your website will still fall short. Expert-level SEO can mean the difference between just breaking even and becoming a multi-billion-dollar company.

How does a 34% click-through rate sound? That’s what Google’s first-page ranking will earn you.

So, yea, it’s worth it to optimize SEO for that coveted status.

In addition to the SEO hacks we’ve already mentioned, here are a few of the latest SEO tools you should be apprised of:

Google is now optimizing for voice searches. Is your website voice-search friendly? If Siri, Google, Alexa and Cortana can’t find your site, you’re missing out on customers.


Voice search icon

Make sure you link keywords to natural voice patterns or speech. If you aren’t sure what that means, practice using your own mobile phone to search for something related to your business on the web and see what comes up. Learn and implement.

Also, incorporate your local business info to come up in more voice searches. This means directions, your phone, address, and close interstates or roads that you’re physical address is near.

This isn’t as hard as you may think.

Use free SEO tools like SEMRush, Yoast on WordPress, or compare your SEO against up to three competitors with Neil Patel’s SEO Analyzer Tool.

Also, forget keyword stuffing. Google is onto it – it’s so done.

Finally, never allows spam in your comments section. This can be an SEO goldmine when people start to make relevant comments about your products or services. However, spammy comments can kill further engagement so nix them ASAP.

 

6. You Don’t Have a Video Landing Page

Video landing pages are going to take over in the near future. 78 percent of internet users are already watching videos online every week.

It won’t be good enough to just slap a YouTube video on your site, either.

If you really want to take your website design to the next level and create massive trustworthiness like the Harvard Business Review suggested you should, then you need to have a high-quality, embedded video-landing page.

A great example of this can be found at Salesforce. Use this as your go-to for creating amazing brand identity.

Tools to create your own videos include: Sproutvideo.com and Biteable.com, but there are dozens more.

If you should feel like hesitating on this little bit of advice, consider a Vidyard Demand Metric’s The State of Video Marketing study done in 2017.

When surveying B2B and B2C professionals and entrepreneurs, they predicted that 69 percent of website traffic will be gained through video, with higher conversion rates than almost any other form of content.

 

7. You Aren’t Integrating Social Media with Your Website

How is Allbirds, a shoe company out-marketing companies like Nike’s and Addidas that have billion-dollar advertising budgets?

They use social media and influencer marketing that is directly tied to their websites and Apps.

They also partnered with a brand that is already well-established, though locally so in NYC, by creating a limited-edition Shake-Shack sneaker, based on one of the burger company’s biggest sellers.

The sneakers were available for one day only, so that also pushed consumers to click-and-pay in a hurry.

If every page of your website design isn’t integrated with social media, you’re missing out on millions in revenue.

Here are a few eye-popping statistics to bring this point home:

  • People watch 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day. Facebook ad spending will outpace total print ad spending by next year.

  • Instagram now has 800 million users. Folks are logging on daily to watch 60-second videos, Instagram stories, stickers, GIFs, and live video. The sites new algorithm discourages organic traffic, and favors paid campaigns.

This is spawning a billion-dollar surge in influencer marketing. There are lots of ways your brand can take advantage of Instagram stories, for example, but it starts on your site’s home page.

  • Twitter has 330 million active users. 86% of them check their accounts via a mobile device at least once a day, and 60% tweet at least once a day – these could be retweets of your company’s tweets.

We haven’t even mentioned LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, and numerous other social platforms.

No matter which SMP you use, you’ve got 7 to 15 seconds to make an impression, if you trust Adweek’s advice, and we do.

Shopify gives these suggestions for better web-social integration:

  • Make sure all images on your home site and social media accounts are high-quality. Without sharp design, what do you think your clients are thinking about the kind of work or products you produce? (This includes your logo.)
  • The profile section of your social media platforms and About Us page on your website should be expertly crafted and consistent. Though your character count may be limited on social media, try to make it the same description in both places.
  • Incorporate a hashtag into your company description. If you are in eCommerce, then #eCommerce should appear in both your FB, Instagram, and Twitter profiles as well as your website landing pages.

 

Also, consider these tools to help with social media management along with your web design and content production:

  • Sprout Social – An SMM tool that works with Google Analytics so that you can see exactly what’s working. With Sprout Social you can keep track of campaigns so that you don’t have to recreate the wheel every week.
  • Hootsuite – This social media tool used by multiple Fortune 500 companies, including Virgin Records, connects with 100s of apps, and can be programmed months ahead to coincide with an email drip-campaign, funnel marketing strategy, and more. Hootsuite’s entry-level account is also totally free.
  • Zoho Social – G2 Crowd’s review of Zoho Social is accurate. You can schedule unlimited posts in advance, track conversations, and measure performance all through a single dashboard.
  • IFTTT – Otherwise known as “if this then what,” is a perfect augmentation of the stand-alone dashboard. You can automate sharing on multiple sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Doof, Vine, Pinterest, Plurk, LinkedIn, etc. Do things like tweet Instagram posts as native photos on Twitter.  

 

In Summary

You’ll spend countless hours making everything just right in your business so that you can out-do your competitors, please your clients, and increase your bottom line.

However, without great web development and design, you’re putting your business on life support.

Give it some fresh air, and apply the tips and tricks we’ve just provided, and please reach out to us at Second Crew if you need help taking actionable steps in the right direction. We’ve got your back.

 

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