I've always been told that first impression are extremely important. Therefore, why wouldn't we put the appropriate effort needed into designing a website? In many cases a company's website is there first point of contact, it's that place where the potential customer gets to know a company. Ok, maybe their just looking for a product, but regardless, what someone sees may make the difference in whether or not they make a purchase.
What does this look like? This area is far to large to condense into one short article, but I'll put a few ideas below.
- User Friendliness i.e. if the site is difficult to navigate or confusing in any way, then chances are you've lost or almost lost the sale at this point.
- Aesthetics Not everyone wants to put the time into how their site looks, but this makes a big difference. Some fonts are easier to read than others. Certain colors are "easier" on the eyes. The design also needs to "fit" a company's style. In other words gear the site to your demographic and what appeals to them.
- Functionality Put plainly, the site has to work. Meaning there can't be broken links and missing images or content.
What to remember? Take your site as seriously as you do your products and any other marketing that you do. The site is essentially another employee representing the company 24/7, therefore it better be exactly what it needs to be to win people over. As a side note, you don't have to re-invent the wheel, but you still have to make the site your own.