How Important is a Professionally Designed Website?
Question: How Important is a Professionally Designed Website?
Short Answer – Extremely Important.
Having a professionally designed website is a BIG DEAL.
75% of users indicated they judge your credibility based on your website.
It takes less than 50 Milliseconds for people to judge you based on your website.
Almost 60% of people say they won’t refer their contacts to a business with a poorly designed website.
88% of people who have a negative experience on a website never return.
People Always Judge A Book by The Cover and Little Else
Think about that – 75% of people say they judge your credibility by your website.
Your credibility is EVERYTHING in business (and in life).
And people are judging you based on your website design.
But let me share something with you having a background in marketing research – the number is more like 100%.
Everyone makes snap judgements based on appearance.
It isn’t that 75% of people judge you based on your website, it’s that 25% of those people questioned want to believe they are better than they are.
Lessons From Marketing The Invisible
There is an old school book called Marketing the Invisible by Harry Beckwith.
You can’t even get it any more. You can get his book Selling the Invisible though, and it should be required reading for all business people.
Here is the short version of some of the insights you can glean from his books:
The #1 factor people used to determine how “good” their doctor was, was if they wore a white lab jacket or not. Not where they went to school. Not their national ranking. They made their judgements based on how much they “looked” like a professional doctor.
People look at your shoes to determine if you are successful or not.
For men, back in the day, wearing a big, heavy, expensive watch was something people looked for to decide if you were worthy or not.
And one of my favorite quotes: The longer the sign on the door suggests “struggling young attorney” – the longer the struggle is going to be.
People make snap judgements every moment of their lives based entirely on appearance.
This has always been true, and most likely always will be.
Judging You by Your Website
One of the things that is true now, that wasn’t true when Harry Beckwith wrote Selling the Invisible is that now, ALL of your competition, is right next to you.
When someone performs a search on the internet, they find you, and everyone else.
Then they start clicking on the top search results (85% of all clicks go to the top six results, and 70% of those go to the #1 search result) and judging everyone based entirely on appearances and how easy it is to learn about you.
You are not going to be there to defend any deficiencies in your website design appearance.
You won’t be there to explain that even though your website is out of date, you are really good at what you do.
People take less than 50 milliseconds to judge you.
And if they find you are not up to par, they discount your credibility.
Not only that, but when your website isn’t professionally designed, they won’t refer their contacts to you.
Why? Because they don’t want to embarrass themselves by being associated with a poorly designed website. It makes THEM look bad too.
You Are Going to Be Judged - Dress Well
Back in when I was in college trying to become a marketing and advertising superstar, I got to perform an experiment.
My classmates were filming me.
I dressed myself in very clean, new, working attire suitable for outdoor work like landscaping.
I was clean shaven, hair combed, and my clothes were new, but they were obviously “work clothes.”
I went into a retail store and all of my classmates followed closely behind.
I approached the jewelry counter and started looking at watches.
There was a female manager about ten ft away.
She never looked up.
She never acknowledged me at all.
I stood there for five minutes, and she never came to talk to me at all.
Then – I went out to the parking lot and changed into a cheap white oxford shirt, tie, blue blazer, and khaki pants I had bought the day before from the Salvation Army Thrift Store for $10.
I went back in, approached from a different door, and went back to that same jewelry counter.
That manager stopped what she was doing, came over, showed me ten different watches and told me all about them.
My classmates got this all on film, and we presented it to the class the next day.
Everyone was shocked. It wasn’t a “slight” difference in how I was treated. It was a HUGE difference.
I learned right then – dress well. It matters.
Summary - How Important is Professional Website Design
The credibility of your business is being judged by the appearance of your website, and little else.
This is the initial digital marketing hurdle you must overcome to have ANY chance at winning new business online.
Spend your money on professional website design.
Know you are going to be judged almost entirely by your website’s appearance, and act accordingly.
People love to say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but we do.
We do judge books by their cover and seemingly little else.
So make sure your “book cover” is awesome by getting a professionally designed website.
About the Author
Tim VanDerKamp is Co-Owner of Stay Wild Digital Marketing. A website design company based in Salt Lake City. To Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org