Why Design-Driven Websites Don’t Sell

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Does your website sell

So your website looks pretty. But does it sell?

As you may have heard, we have started holding monthly marketing workshops at Design Extensions in an effort to help as many people possible with messaging and digital marketing for their businesses. One of my favorite things about these workshops is the real-time website audit exercise. Basically, our owner, Jay Owen, asks for volunteers to have their websites critiqued in front of the crowd.

This exercise is one that should be performed by all business owners or those responsible for marketing a business because it cuts right through the often-biased perspective you have of your own site, allowing you to see what your customers see.

Jay says a website that sells should answer three questions immediately before a user has to scroll down the page.

  1. What does the business sell?
  2. Why should I buy it?
  3. How do I buy it?

If it doesn’t answer those questions clearly and quickly, then the website is failing. For one workshop attendee who has an e-commerce site, the lack of a clear call to action to “shop now” has potentially costs them thousands. For another, the attempt to make a relatively bland industry sound exciting with a flowery sub-header has potentially left hundreds of site visitors confused and likely to abandon their session.

So how/why do so many design-driven websites not meet this criteria? Vanity.

Seriously.

The obsession with aesthetic that you see driving things like social media strategy and package design is costing business owners big time. Now, I’m not here to say design doesn’t matter. It does matter and always will because design builds trust. 

Good design is not only pleasing to the eye, inviting people into your brand, but it also gives your brand credibility. We’re conditioned to trust quality design. However, we also have short attention spans, not to mention limited time and patience. This fact means design-driven websites without clear messaging won’t be effective. That’s why it is imperative that design is driven by the aforementioned three criteria of a website that sells. 

Do me a favor. Open your website in the next tab of your browser. (I suggest doing the same on a mobile device.) Scan your site for the answers to these three questions:

  1. What does the business sell?
  2. Why should I buy it?
  3. How do I buy it?

If your website isn’t clearly addressing these three questions, or you’re not sure if it is, then we can help you find out! We will conduct a free, 10-minute website analysis for your business to point you in the right direction, helping you make your website the ultimate sales and conversion tool it should be so you can watch your business grow.

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