Design is incredibly important to your business. When a customer lands on your website, the design is what lets them know if they should make a purchase or not. And now with the Google updates, it is also what determines if a user even gets the chance to get to your page. 

Why? Because if your design is outdated, that’s the exact perception your customer will have of your business! Similarly, if your site is clean, modern, and user-friendly, that’s the impression your customer will have of your business!

As for the Google reason, there are many, but one of the main ones is they want their visitors satisfied. This means that your website should offer the same user-friendly experience and visitor satisfaction level as Google. That might sound like a tough task, but with some common sense, patience, and the right guides, you can make it happen. 

So it makes a lot of sense to focus on design. Focus on how your business is being presented to your customer.

However, there is one important idea to keep in mind: design, for the sake of design, is worthless.

In other words, although a pretty site is far better than an ugly site, it still doesn’t come close to achieving your site’s true potential.

Your website is built for a purpose. Maybe it’s meant to sell a product. Maybe it’s meant to get an email opt-in. Regardless of your site’s purpose, this much is true: your site is unique.

Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to create a unique design from the ground up? In order to get your site to really work for you and promote your business, having a unique design that fits your business perfectly is absolutely ideal. Sure, there are plenty of templates out there to choose from, and some you can even customize, but none of them are going to fit your brand perfectly, so why try to bend your brand to fit a template when you can build it yourself for a custom-tailored look and feel?

However, instead of creating a design that matches what the business is all about, many online business owners focus on copying other designs.

This can make your site look great, but it certainly won’t make your site unique. And, in some cases, these designs can actually hurt your conversions! In today’s article, we’ll be talking about three “trendy” web design styles that can actually hurt your online business.

The Slideshow

Slideshows look good. No doubt about it. But they are extremely distracting! Think back to the last time you saw a slideshow on a website. Did you click on any of the images? Or did it just serve to distract your eyes from what the business was all about?

In design, the following idea is crucially important: every element of your design should lead the customer towards the close, which is, what you want them to do!

A slideshow—at best—presents the customer with WAY too many options. Instead of focusing on multiple options, we should pinpoint what we want our customers to do more than anything else (buy, opt-in, etc). Then our design should work to persuade our customers to do just that!

A slideshow design can also cause a sluggish site. Visitors want a site that is quick and if they don’t get that from you, they will move on.

Image Focused Design

This is one we see all the time. The design is simple: a large image, with text over that image.

And, while it looks absolutely gorgeous, it does very little in showing the customer what the business is about. It’s highly irrelevant.

Think of it this way: if your massive picture is relevant to your business, why are you taking the focus away from it by putting text over it? And if it’s not relevant to your business, why is it up on your site in the first place?

If a visitor cannot get everything they need from the image displayed, it is not worth the space it takes up. Think of all the marketing and advertising strategies that could utilize in that space. You could have call-to-actions, informative content, and opt-ins in this prime real estate. Why take it up with an irrelevant image that gets you nowhere? 

Focus on a well-designed navigational menu. You want the visitors to land on your site and see what they need immediately, not after clicking through several links to get to anything substantial. As much as you may not want to hear it, most people are very easily distracted. Hey, did you hear what I said? MOST PEOPLE ARE VERY EASILY DISTRACTED. What does this mean to you Mr. website owner? It means if that image you thought was so amazing must be clicked to get to your main page, and then the visitor has to click again to get to where they want to be, the only thing they are going to actually click is that little x at the top of their screen…

Remember: what is the focus for your business, and how can you get that across to your visitor instantly?

Pinterest Layout  

This one drives me insane. Pinterest has done an incredible job at innovating. And Pinterest is a fantastic example of how to do web design – they created a unique style from the ground up… a style designed to work perfectly with their business.

And it does!

But there are thousands of sites that have taken up the Pinterest layout. And for the majority of these websites, the layout doesn’t suit them!

Pinterest is a somewhat unique type of site. Therefore, putting the Pinterest layout on a site that focuses on selling products or services to people who aren’t just looking for entertainment is a recipe for disaster. 

This is just an example of following the leader….when the leader is Superman and he leads you off a cliff. What happens you ask? Well, look up at Superman flying high in the sky and then look down at all his followers who are smashed on the ground below him. If you are not Pinterest, DO NOT try to be, if you are not Facebook, DO NOT try to be, the ultimate result is that you fail, miserably, and your brand will forever be remembered as a dud, so don’t try making a comeback after that leap of death. 

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, web design is actually simple. But it requires an intimate knowledge of exactly what your business does, and exactly who your customers are (and how they think!). 

If you know the answers to these questions, you’re fully capable of creating a web design that perfectly caters to your customers.

And when you do that, you ensure that your customers will—for the most part—do exactly what you want them to do in the first place! 

Just stay away from copy-cat designs and create your own path. If you have a good brand, a great product, and excellent customer service, you will succeed, but it all starts with that web design. There are a variety of styles that may work for some, but not all. Keep a close watch on your audience. Create forums, read reviews and look through your social media pages to find out what they are saying about you. You are only as good as your customers think you are, and only as successful as they say you are. If they are not interested in what you are doing, or they are not talking about you to their friends, family, and co-workers, chances are you are doing something wrong. Keep your focus on your visitors, your customers, and you by doing so you can come up with the perfect web design for your business. 

The end result is a website that works for you. What more could you ask for?


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