Google Instant Preview allows users to see a small screenshot of your website before choosing a search engine result. Do users read the tiny text, or look at a visual? If you went with the aesthetics, you’d be correct: people always judge a book by its cover.
While generating great, quality content is absolutely essential, if it’s presented in an unappealing, or – let’s just say it – ugly way, users are less likely to visit your page. In the event that they do end up on your website, the bounce rate is much higher for sites that lack visual appeal.
How do you create something that is visually interesting and also informative? The trend is toward infographics. Infographics are images, usually vector images, providing information (such as statistics or facts) concisely and attractively. Sites like Pinterest widely feature infographics because most users see these images as more than information or advertising: they see these online billboards as art.
Infographics are a great start in the social media world, but what about your website? Research suggests users prefer minimalistic, clean styles with limited text. It doesn’t matter if a website hosts amazing content, if the layout is busy, loud, text-heavy, or difficult to navigate, people are less likely to read the content.
It’s all about packaging your presence. Who is your company? How do you want people to feel about your brand? If you own a spa, your website should reflect a calm, relaxing atmosphere that would be expected during a visit to your location. If you own a restaurant, people should salivate over the photos your dishes.
When your website is inviting, people are more likely to stay on your website, click through your pages, and share it with friends and on social media platforms. The more professional you look, the more you will get taken seriously on the web. Websites are your online storefront. If you wouldn’t keep a broken display window, you shouldn’t keep a damaging layout.
You benefit from a great website in many different ways. Having lower bounce rates means more people spend more time browsing your website. With higher click through rates (CTR), more vistors choose your website over the other options on search engines. As an added bonus, having an aesthetically pleasing layout leads to more social media sharing. And that’s great for getting the word out to people who aren’t even looking for your company! All of these things benefit SEO and social media presence in countless ways. When launching or changing your web presence, it’s best to start at the source: make sure your website looks professional, attractive, and accurately represents your brand.