Search engine optimization is only one ingredient in a successful website strategy, and while getting to the top of search engine results increases traffic to your site, it’s only half the battle. You can entice people to click, but professional and well-crafted website design is what will push your site across the finish line and lead to increased conversions, lower attrition rates, increased trust, and a more successful website investment. 

14 Reasons Why SEO Doesn’t Matter if You Don’t Have Website Design

1. Website Visitors May Not Take Action

Conversion (a website visitor taking the action you want them to take) is the key goal of your website. Whether it be contacting you, signing up for a free event, downloading an e-book, or purchasing something, your site should focus on driving people to take the action you want. Without the right design leading your customers on the proper journey through persuasive messaging and graphics, your sales funnel, lead generation, and online orders will suffer.

2. Your Web Pages Could Take Too Long to Load

Google’s recommendation as a best practice for maximum web page loading time is three seconds. Anything longer and visitors are likely to click away from your site, and your search engine rankings will be adversely affected.  Design experts have many strategies for reducing a web page’s load time.
If you do not optimize your design for shorter load times on every page of your site, you will lose valuable traffic and have a higher bounce rate.

3. Your Website Design Could Render Incorrectly

Professional site design ensures accurate rendering in a wide variety of browsers, Internet connection speeds, mobile devices, and visitors’ potential physical limitations or impairments. It’s the only way to ensure that someone visiting your site is seeing what you intend for them to see, regardless of their browsing environment. Design experts can also frequently test your site, as the technology behind browsers and mobile devices changes often.

4. Visitors Could Have a Bad User Experience

If your site’s messaging and graphics are confusing, frustrating, or inconsistent, this will not be good for your brand or your sales, and it can lead to higher attrition rates. Too many clicks between steps or annoying pop-ups can also increase bounce rates. Design experts can make sure that your visitors enjoy coming to your site and that they leave with positive sentiment around your brand, your company, and your products and services.

5. Customers Might Not Find What They’re Looking for

Navigation is of paramount importance to help your customer find the answers to the problem they’re trying to solve by visiting your site. This is a key component of website design, and without a well thought out and crafted navigational flow, your customers will be frustrated and you will lose sales and conversions. 

6. You Could Damage Your Brand’s Image

Remember what websites looked like in the early 2000s? Do you want potential customers to see you as state-of-the-art and groundbreaking or out of touch and irrelevant? Just like fashion or interior design, if your website design does not keep up with current trends, or if it doesn’t align with your target market, you can look unprofessional and dated, and it could adversely affect the way customers perceive your brand.  

7. You Could Lose Customer Trust

When visitors come to your site, they immediately make judgments about your company’s dependability, reliability, and expertise. A poorly designed site, with broken images or an amateurish look, will leave them wondering if you are someone they want to do business with. This is even more true if you are an e-commerce company that accepts credit cards. Customers have to know their personal information is safe, and a poorly designed site tells them it might not be.

8. You Could Lose Visitors’ Interest in Seconds

Research shows that when someone loads a web page, they decide in the first few seconds whether they plan to stay and read more. Studies also show the longer they stay, the less likely they are to leave the page. You only have a few precious seconds to capture interest and attention from a potential customer and convince them to stick around to learn more. Without a compelling and engaging design, your customers will leave as quickly as they came.

9. You Could Be Targeting the Wrong Market

SEO and design strategies should center on a well-defined target market. SEO tactics that raise your site to the top of search rankings without taking into account deeper context are time and money wasted. For example, a site that ranks highly for a keyword search of “remote control” can refer to a TV controller, a toy car, or software that allows you to control your computer remotely. Design will help differentiate your company in spite of potentially ambiguous keywords.

10. You Might Mislead Potential Customers

It is not enough to bring traffic with SEO claim. It is crucial that your design backs up these claims and supports a visitor’s expectations. If you include an offer for a free e-book download in your meta tags only for the purpose of SEO, for instance, and there is no e-book (or it’s difficult to find) in your design, potential customers will be highly displeased and will click away. SEO and design must be in complete alignment.

11. Your ROI Will Never Improve

Website design is not just a one-time implementation. It’s about scientifically testing, iterating, and improving conversions, lead generation, sales funnels, online purchases, and customer engagement through data and behavior analysis and industry knowledge. Without a continuous design improvement process in place, your results will stagnate and you will miss out on opportunities every day.

12. You Can Miss Additional Marketing Opportunities

A successful design will seamlessly integrate digital marketing initiatives like social media sharing buttons, customer engagement, exit-intent strategies, and visitor feedback. Implemented successfully, and these can be tremendous assets to the success of your website. But if overlooked or implemented poorly, these strategies can backfire.

13. You Can Negatively Influence Potential Employees, Investors, and Partners

Remember, anyone doing research on your company for any reason will visit your site, not only prospective customers. This includes potential employees, investors, partners, and even members of your community and the press. Your website says everything about you, and if you want to make the best impression possible, attract top talent, instill trust, and ensure a positive brand association, you absolutely must implement a professional website design.

14. You Might Sabotage Future Opportunities and Traffic

As cliché as it sounds, you really do only get one chance to make a first impression. Search engines keep track of previously viewed sites, and even if that history is cleared, people will remember their experience from your site. If your visitor is unsatisfied and bounces from your site for any reason, you will have to work twice as hard to get them to come back, even if you still rank at the top of search engine results.

You put a lot of effort into getting your site to the top of the search engine rankings. Don’t let those efforts be in vain! Website design is a complex, fluid set of principles and strategies based on scientific research around human behavior, and it’s the only way to ensure your investment has successful outcomes. Schedule your free online consultation with Wren Interactive and discover how effective design can complement and support your SEO practices.