It’s unfortunate that many small business owners simply don’t see the impact that having an attractive web design can have on their business. This is especially important when they are thinking about the potential of selling the business down the road.
There are quite a few reasons that having an attractive design can help their business, but many entrepreneurs still don’t give it the priority it deserves.
These entrepreneurs don’t realize exactly how their website’s design affects how much their business is really worth. They may not understand how not having an attractive design can lower the offers they receive from investors when it comes time to sell.
I want to show you a few different reasons that an attractive web design can actually be viewed as an asset, instead of just another expenditure.
#1 – Convert More Visitors into Customers
CRO, or conversion rate optimization, refers to how well you are able to convert visitors to your website into new leads and then convert those leads into new customers in your business.
Let’s say that your website is currently bringing in 100 visitors per day. Right now, you are able to convert 20%, or 20 of those visitors into a lead and then you convert 5 of those leads into new customers.
For a product that’s priced at $100, you are generating $500 for every 100 visitors that come to your website. Now, there are two different ways you can raise your daily revenues — either increase your prices or increase your traffic.
A third way would be increasing your conversion rates. This can be easier than both of those strategies. By increasing your conversion rates from 5% to 10%, you’re doubling your revenues to $1,000 per day. And you’re doing it without having to drive more traffic or increase your prices.
#2 – Search Engines Love Easy-to-Navigate Websites
Organic search engine traffic is some of the highest converting traffic you can drive to your website. If you want to obtain higher search engine rankings, you’re going to need to pay attention to how your visitors interact with your website.
Right now, the biggest factor that influences your search engine rankings is the amount and the quality of backlinks that are pointing to your website. However, search engines are beginning to evolve and are spending more time looking at how visitors interact with your site.
Search engines can tell when a visitor lands on your site and clicks the “back” button to return to the search results page. When this happens, the search engines are assuming that your website wasn’t helpful to the visitor.
If visitors land on your pages and see that the website is unsightly or nearly impossible to navigate, they’re going to click back and find another website that isn’t ugly and is easy to navigate.
To ensure you are able to compete with those websites at the top of the search results pages, look at your web design as an investment into your SEO marketing strategies.
#3 – Your Branding “Sticks” to Your Audience
While an unattractive website may stick in consumers’ minds, it won’t be there for long.
Reputable web designers can help you inject your brand’s messaging and personality in a way that hits home with your audience. This way your audience will think about your business when they have a problem you’re able to solve.
At this time, branding isn’t getting enough respect, especially with regards to web design. To see the importance, let’s use the example of a local small business.
If that business has broken windows and a front door that’s barely holding onto life, customers aren’t going to want to come back and will remember the business based on the poor looks.
However, if that business is considered to be gorgeous and inviting, customers will remember the business and come back to it time and time again.
#4 – Your Marketing Gets Easier to Do
Most businesses that continue to grow will eventually be sizeable enough that their customers will become their marketers. They will recommend your products or services to their friends and those friends will tell their friends.
This increases your customer base without any extra effort on your part and brings customers already warmed up to the products and services you’re offering.
If you have a terrible website, there is no way this is going to happen and other bloggers and website owners will be less apt to link to you.
Reason #5 – Your Consumers Will Appreciate It
If you were to interview the average website visitor and ask them what their biggest complaint was, more than 50% would probably tell you that it’s not being able to find what they’re looking for.
Your customers and readers will love you for having an attractive design that’s easy to navigate. And remember that search engines will be looking at visitor interactions as a part of their algorithms and ranking processes moving forward.
If a large percentage of your employee costs are in providing customer support, then you might have a navigation problem. You can save your customers’ time (and yourself money) by making important information is easily found on your website.
Go to your website and pretend to be a consumer with a question. See if you can easily find the answers to your most common customer support questions. If you can’t, then you’re costing yourself a lot in terms of time and in future sales. Most customers want to help themselves, so put the needed information front and center.
#6 – Your Business is Judged on Your Internet Presence
Customers, clients, investors, your competition, and nearly everyone else that lands on your website will be judging your business based on how good your website looks and how easy it is to use.
To help you understand the concept, let’s go back to the examples of the two different businesses I mentioned above. One business has a beautiful storefront and feels inviting and luxurious to their clients. The second business hasn’t been taken care of. Its doors are broken and inside is completely disorganized.
As your customers, clients, investors — and your competition — all view your website (or your storefront), what image are you portraying to them?
If the doors to your business are broken, how will your customers come in to shop? If your store is disorganized, how will they find what they came to buy? If the checkout process takes too long or they can’t find any staff to answer their questions, do you really think they will continue to do business with you?
On the flip side of that same coin, if your store looks clean and beautiful and the products are well displayed, your customers will easily find what they came to buy.
If the checkout process is easy-to-navigate and secure, your customers will feel more loyalty to your company.
If you have answers to their most commonly asked questions posted so they’re easy to find, they will tell your friends and family about you. This increases your business and raises the sale price you can ask of investors.
While a buyer may be able to fix these problems themselves, the amount they’ll pull out of the offer they submit will be far higher than the investment you make into having your website design taken care of before you get the business listed for sale.
#7 – Your Competition has a Great Design
The internet has made it incredibly easy for entrepreneurs to build successful businesses and bridge the gap between being a local business and an international business. Long gone are the days where a business is stifled by a small local market.
Even though the internet makes it so easy to become successful, it also creates a major problem: it makes it easier for your competitors as well.
This means, especially if you’re in a highly competitive industry, that you need a way to stand out from your competition. Solid brand messaging coupled with a great website that’s functional and addresses your customer’s problems and needs is critical.
As investors begin digging through your business model they are going to look at how well you’re able to stand out against your competition. If your website design is holding you back the offers you’ll receive are going to reflect those issues.
#8 – Investors Want to Save Time and Money
When buyers are looking to acquire your business, the last thing they want to do is create a new job for themselves. If they believe they are going to inherit your problems (like a faulty or outdated web design) they will submit significantly lower offers.
With a proper website and design that’s “keeping up with the times”, you’ll ensure that your investors do not have to sink their own money into getting the project completed once they acquire the business.
This gives you the opportunity to negotiate the cost of the web design into the final value of the site and justifiably raise your asking price.
If they see that your business is getting constant customer inquiries because the information your visitors are looking for is hard to find, there are broken pages on your website, or the website doesn’t work right on multiple devices, you can expect them to reduce their offers.
Look at the Numbers
When you break down the numbers and look at exactly how a website’s design can not only affect the business’ bottom line but also the business’ value when it comes time to sell, the figures are staggering.
For instance, take a look at some of these numbers that have been drawn from different studies on the effects a website’s design can have a business and their customers:
- 77% of web design agencies believe that poor website designs show weaknesses in their client’s businesses.
- 48% of people surveyed stated that a website’s design has an immediate impact on whether or not they believe a business is credible, and whether or not they should work with that business.
- After landing on your page, a visitor will have an opinion formed about your website (and your business) within .05 seconds.
- 38% of people will quit engaging with a business if they find the business’ website to be hard to navigate, unattractive, or difficult to find the information they’re looking for.
- More than 13% of adults will access the internet through a mobile device, while less than 11% will access the internet through a desktop computer.
Your website should not only draw traffic in through your marketing strategies, but it should also ensure that you can maintain your visitor’s attention long enough to get them to do what you want them to do. With an ugly website, this tasks becomes an uphill battle that many businesses simply cannot win.
The ultimate end goal for every business owner that wants to sell one day is to make the business as attractive as possible to investors. The key to doing that is to raise the business’ bottom line value.
Each of the different strategies that I’ve broken down for you to help increase the value of your business, which will be compounded in the final asking price you’re able to list the business for when you decide it’s time to sell.
Stepping back from the business for a minute and realizing that a high-quality web design is actually an investment and not an expense, can help you make huge impacts on your business’ bottom line. This will put more money in your pocket when you close on the deal with a buyer that’s ready to take over the business you’ve built.