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It’s Important for Small Businesses to Have Great Websites From Day 1

Everyone knows you should have a website. Your online presence brings in consumers and gives you influence. With the 24/7 nature of Twitter, quick communication with consumers is now key. Customer support needs to be instant, and unless you’re a very small start-up, your support should be streamlined through your website—this kind of technology is just expected now. Without a website you’re simply losing business. The question is: what difference does a good website make?

First Impressions Are Everything

Missouri S&T’s Laboratory for Information Technology Evaluation used eye-tracking software to discover that users take less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression of a website. Five or so seconds later and the users had focused an area, scanned it, and were on to the next one. Other studies have shown that you have about 50ms to make a good first impression. Either way, your website needs to redefine the meaning of clarity.

Many small businesses run websites that just aren’t suitable for today’s world. These sites are static and have very few pages. Vitally, they don’t have any content management, meaning that these websites can’t perform basic tasks like posting photos and news—but fixing these things doesn’t matter when consumers can’t find your website in the first place.

Before internet users go shopping for goods or services, nearly all of them go to Google. If your website doesn’t show up in the immediate search results then you’re losing out on hundreds or thousands of conversions. A well optimized website will be able to make a good first impression before a user even arrives at the home page. Carefully crafted meta tags and Search Engine Optimized content will not only allow users to find you, these tags will ‘sell’ your site in a ~160 character snippet—getting you that all important click.

It All Comes Down To Design

Once your current or would-be consumers arrive on your site then it all comes down to good web design. The makeup of your website needs to build trust. Dissecting a research study titled “Trust and Mistrust of Online Health Sites,” Drew Hendricks found that “design elements are exponentially more powerful than content, in terms of mistrust.” When the participants of this study were asked why they mistrusted a website, “94 percent of comments were directly related to web design elements, while only 6 percent referenced specific content.”

Calls to action can be designed with space and typography. Using these tools, your site can lead the user’s eyes to wherever they need to be. Every part of the website should have a function. Browsing habits are leaning more and more towards the preference of photos and videos but overdoing it can seem cheap. In the high-speed world of first impressions, cutting corners can leave consumers confused or even worse: just plain uninterested. When the stakes are this high, investing in a good website is the route that all leading small businesses are taking. Crucially, they’re investing in websites that will scale alongside their growth. These well-designed websites enable businesses to target wider markets, and improve their customer service, but most of all, good design enables you to showcase who you are as a company—your products and services, your achievements and testimonials.

Under all this design is a structure of reliable, cross-platform capable code—but that’s something for us designers to worry about. The first step for you is choosing the right agency. We pride ourselves on delivering websites with solid design that will give you every advantage you need to succeed online. If your current website doesn’t match your goals, or if you’d like to increase your reach and conversions, then contact Duo today.

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