Why It’s Important for Startups to Invest in a Well-Designed Website?
Startups have been an integral part of the US economy for decades. Even one of the worst economic downturns during the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t stop the ever-growing startup ecosystem. In the United States, business startups grew from 3.5 million in 2019 to 4.4 million in 2020, a staggering 24% increase.
In this thriving digital age, websites are a must for startups. A well-designed website allows you to set your foot in a competitive global economy with confidence. It helps you cut through the noise, build a unique brand identity, and attract your target consumers effectively – the whole nine yards!
Why Startups Should Invest in a Professionally Designed Website?
For startups, first impressions matter a lot. Most consumers will choose (or reject) a brand based on their first interaction with it. And in a digital universe, where people spend 23 hours a week online, your website is where they will first interact with your newfound business.
With a professionally designed website, you would be able to transform visitors into loyal customers. This alone is reason enough for startups to invest in a website. But it is just one of the many benefits it entails.
Here are a few other reasons for a startup to invest in a website.
#1. Build Brand Awareness
Startups can’t survive without a steady cash flow. In fact, running out of cash is the top reason for startup failure. According to a recent study by CB Insights, 38% of the startups fail to raise capital or run out of money.
One of the best ways to ensure a steady cash flow is to build brand awareness. It’s considerably easier to sell your products or services if you are a well-known brand. That’s why people grab iPhones off the shelves as soon as they get launched.
As the digital face of your startup, your website can help you strengthen your brand awareness. An SEO-optimized and user-friendly website can help you attract more web traffic. The more traffic your website gets, the faster you can build brand awareness.
#2. Improve Customer Engagement
Customer engagement is also a critical factor for startups to succeed. It helps you increase your sales through repeat business. Fully engaged customers represent a 23% higher share in profitability, revenue, and relationship growth than the average customer.
In today’s digital economy, engagement begins with your website. Thanks to a stunning and interactive website, you can engage your customers to head on. This sets the stage for repeat interactions in the future.
Your website will always remain at the heart of customer engagement, allowing you to increase your band of loyal customers.
#3. Establish Credibility
To be a brand with a loyal fan following, a startup first needs to establish its credibility. People will buy more if they trust your newfound business. A website allows your target audience to help understand your business better.
But most importantly, it lends you legitimacy. In this digital era, not having a website is a red flag. A website with stunning images and relevant content like an about us page, client testimonials, and a portfolio can assure your potential customers of your credibility.
#4. Better Search Engine Visibility
Most people prefer online shopping, all thanks to search engines like Google. The best way to get on the good side of Google and other search engines is to have a website. With an SEO-optimized website, your startup can eventually rank higher in the search results.
The higher it ranks, the more traffic it attracts, leading to more sales conversions. Plus, unlike a physical store, your website is reachable 24/7. The inherent scalability and accessibility allow you to expand your consumer reach quickly and efficiently.
The added convenience of dropping an email or getting actionable insights via your blog increases takes it to a whole new level.
Understanding the Building Blocks of a Well-Designed Website for Startups
As you can see, there is no excuse for a startup to avoid building a website. However, creating one just for the sake of it will do more harm than good to your startup. If your website isn’t in sync with your business goals or isn’t functional, your customer would leave – probably never to return.
It’s imperative to consider the elements that make a website stand out.
Here are a few you should not miss out.
#1. Mobile-Friendliness (Responsive Design)
First things first, your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Mobile accounts for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide, 54.4% in the fourth quarter of December 2021, to be precise. If your website isn’t responsive, you are going to miss out on a large chunk of your target audience.
Moreover, Google noticed the growing share of mobile internet users long before anyone else did. Since 2015, mobile-friendliness has been one of the ranking factors on Google.
If you have a mobile-friendly website, you are already in the good graces of Google. So, making sure your website is mobile-friendly should be the first thing on your list.
SEO-friendliness is another equally important element a successful startup website needs. Search Engine Optimization is the backbone of a high-ranking website.
It essentially fills the gap between search engines and your readers. SEO makes it easier for search engines to find your website whenever a relevant search phrase comes up.
Your SEO strategy will vary depending on many factors. However, there are a few things you will most likely need to do to make a website more SEO-friendly. They include:
- Optimize titles, meta descriptions, and content with the right keywords.
- Create SEO-Friendly URLs.
- Include keywords in the first 100 words of your blog and other on-site content.
- Include high-quality backlinks on your website.
- Improve website loading speed across devices.
- Optimize images with the right keywords.
- Make it easier to share your content on social media.
If you haven’t paid attention to this, get your website audited immediately. A detailed SEO audit can help you understand what your website lacks and take the necessary steps accordingly.
#3. Relevant Informative and Updated Content
The high-quality and keyword-optimized content is the powerhouse of your SEO. Search engines like Google love websites with regularly updated and relevant content. Posting fresh, relevant, and actionable content can help your website rank consistently higher.
Moreover, your on-site blog is an excellent way to engage your target audience. It presents you with a platform to:
- Share your expert insights and real-life experiences.
- Share your achievements, news, and charity or social work.
- Establish your authority as an expert in your niche.
- Tell your story.
In other words, an updated blog plays a critical role in generating brand awareness and reeling in more customers.
When you decide to create a website for your startup, plan your content strategy well in advance. Make sure to maintain a consistent brand voice across all content platforms, be it your website, social media, or guest posting. That’s a no-brainer for building your brand recognition.
#4. Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials lend credibility to your brand. Nearly nine out of ten consumers worldwide read reviews before making a purchase online. This indicates how much confidence your users will have in your brand if your website lists a few customer testimonials.
However, make sure to post reviews from real customers. Better yet, try to share customer reviews from third-party sites like Google My Business or Yelp on your website.
Remember, polished reviews don’t appear authentic. Less-than-perfect testimonials not only look authentic but also hold more sway. Even if a review isn’t clean cut, post it on your site as it is.
#5. Social Share Features
Social share features make your website more accessible and shareable. There are many ways to add social share features to your website. You can add feeds from your Twitter, Instagram, and other social media accounts to your website.
Add social media accounts to your website. It helps your users check out your social media profiles with a click. Keep your social media content updated to boost user engagement. This will allow your consumers to share your products or services on social media or give a shout-out every now and then.
#6. Interactive Design
Interactive design or user interface may not necessarily have to be feature-rich. Sometimes, even the simplest website design can leave a lasting impression on your users.
In most cases, adding too many elements or functionalities may backfire. Users often don’t like cluttered web designs. Keeping it simple yet eye-catching can work in your favor. However, it should be in line with your business goals.
For example, UpCodes has a simple web design. It reflects their business goal, which is simplified building code searches. The banner/header gives a clear idea of what UpCodes does and how you can start using it. It’s engagement 101!
The home page also shares a list of clients, impressive stats, and featured articles. Besides lending credibility to UpCodes, the stats also grab your attention immediately. It is arguably the one thing that makes the website stand out.
Most internet users also want easy navigation – a critical part of interactive design. If it is easier for users to move from one page to another, they will stay a little longer on your website.
Decluttering your menu, highlighting anchor texts, and optimizing the placement of internal links are some of the steps you can take to ensure smooth navigation.
Also, analyze your target audience to understand their pain points and address them in your web design. It all boils down to offering a seamless user experience that encourages potential customers to spend more time on your website.
Websites are integral for startups. It’s the first step in ensuring the success of your startup. A website not only acts as your virtual office but also helps attract customers.
It can also help you build brand awareness, improve customer engagement, and generate more leads without breaking the bank. All of this translates into the steady cash flow your startup needs to thrive.
It is, however, necessary to build a professional, SEO optimized, mobile-friendly, fast-loading, and interactive website. Only a website like this can help you win over customers and set your startup for long-term success.
About the Author!
Mark Haugstad is the creator of WaterMark Design based in Elk River, Minnesota. He has over ten years of experience in web and graphic design, working with small businesses across industries. Focused on providing quality service and affordability, he firmly believes in determination, integrity, faith, and having fun each day.