Great web design instils trust in your business. According to web credibility research from Stanford, 75% of users admit to judging a company’s credibility based merely upon their website’s design.
Today, 85% of customers search the web before making a purchase decision or even progressing further, your website has the best chance of being a prospect’s “first impression” of your company and offerings. And it turns out, the look and feel of your website are the primary drivers of those first impressions.
First impressions are 94% design-related. But that's not all, quality content matters too. A lot. But even the best content is rendered powerless when it’s poorly designed. Studies of user behaviour have found that visual appeal and website navigation have the biggest influence on people’s first impressions of your business. Positive first impressions lead to higher satisfaction. The initial impression that a user gets from your site can have a priming effect on how they perceive future interactions with your business. Research shows that positive priming can boost user satisfaction and, as you might expect, negative first impressions put significant drag on user satisfaction. Loading time and device optimised design are key factors too. First impressions can last for years. And there’s an abundance of research to prove it. One study found that the NBA players’ careers are determined by their position in the draft, regardless of their on-court performance. Another study finds that subsequent impressions, no matter how contradictory, can never make up for the first impression – bringing a more than literal meaning to the saying that...
“you never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
The truth is, visual appeal matters. A lot. And nowhere is that more true than on the web. Today’s Internet user has infinite options about where to commit their attention. And, as the research shows, they form their opinion about your website in milliseconds.
Why do I need a website when I can use Facebook, I have said this many times before, Facebook is fantastic as is all social media, but how will you stand out from the rest, by all means have a facebook, Twitter etc. page but direct people from that page straight into your sales funnel on your website. See your social media as the "Rods in the Pond" fishing for leads and drop/direct them into your basket/website, this is where they will experience the true business ethos you need them to see.
"The stakes are high for B2B and professional services firms"
A good first impression is even more valuable in the professional services arena. At GeckoGrafix, we work exclusively with businesses that provide low volume, high-margin services; like you they know that the value of lead can be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. First impressions don’t just paint a pretty picture; they generate real money.
We find that time and time again, good design pays off. In a crowded, competitive landscape, it’s crucial to carve out a space where your brand and your offerings stand out, grab and hold the attention of your target users. You’ll never know how many leads are lost on a bad first impression. And those leads never call to tell you why they didn’t choose your business.......
So to answer the questions - The Website comes first, with regard to the Chicken or the Egg - I'll leave that up to you!
GeckoGrafix are a freelance web design business based in Cardiff, specializing in creating online presences for small independant business in the expatriate market in Spain.
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