Growing up, I would wonder why some people were paired with other people. There were definitely couples who didn’t ‘match’: one partner was exceptionally good-looking while the other person – well, not so much.
Being young, this made absolutely no sense to me. I was making a classic mistake of looking only at things on the surface. I even remember asking my mom and she said to me; “Looks attract someone, but they won’t keep. It’s about what’s inside that really matters.”
As I grew up, I learned this lesson firsthand. You’ve probably gone through this same experience. There’s a reason we say you can’t judge a book by its cover!
Online Appearances Matter, But They’re Not Everything!
A beautiful person can have a rotten personality, and vice-versa. Most of us understand this, but not everyone knows that the same concept applies to the online world. Appearances matter: your customers will decide whether or not they want to do business with you based in part on how attractive your website is. But that’s not the only criteria they’re using!
The Attraction: Looks Matter
The first part of the lesson is that looks do matter. We’re a very visually-oriented species. When something is nice to look at, it attracts us, all of us. If they did not, Apple would not be as big of a business, nor would Mercedes Benz. Design and aesthetics play a huge role in the success of these brands.
The way things look on your website communicates to your clients a feeling. These feelings will excite, inspire and motivate them to look further. Attraction leads to inquiry. It’s just like dating – first we see someone we are attracted to and then we want to get to know them better. When it comes to today’s modern websites, you want to attract your customers no matter what platform they are on. You want your website to look good on a desktop, tablet or smart phone.
Your website needs to be clear and easy to navigate, neat and uncluttered. Sites today should have quality images and graphics. Content should be easy to read and not overwhelming. The way we lay out text and images together can further attract the client.
These items are all part of the attraction. If your website doesn’t look good, your potential customer is going to move on without paying any more attention to your company. Being good looking brings customers into your sales funnel – but it’s not enough to keep them there. Looks are important, but your website also needs to work well!
Functionality: What’s Inside Matters Most
How a website functions with the design is the most important part of keeping a client happy and satisfied today. They may be attracted by your visuals and layout, but if your website takes too long to load or does not function well on their device of choice it is like a first date gone bad. Think of it as super-speed dating: most website visitors will abandon a website if it doesn’t load in less than 2 seconds!
Today’s customers expect websites to have more to them than just text and images. Looks just aren’t enough. Clients today are looking for a deeper relationship with features that enhance their experience:
- Video demonstrations
- Site searches
- Photo galleries
- Basic, but supporting animations
- Social interaction
- Fast checkouts
Having enhanced features is not enough. They must also perform well. Remember, if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig! Your website needs to have the beauty of superior functionality supporting all of the visual components. Website load speed, feature functionality, and ease of use all matter. Without these components to keep your customer interested, they’ll move on to another website and start a relationship over there.
If you’re thinking about re-designing or re-developing your site in 2014, consider the lesson my mom taught me – looks attract, but they do not keep! You want a website that’s beautiful inside and out. For a site that offers superior functionality and compelling aesthetics, give us a call: we’ll help you make it happen!