Design is valuable, an investment, and will pay dividends over the life of your business. First and foremost, your website may be one of the first things that a potential customer sees related to your brand. If they come to a website that looks like it was built in 1995 using Adobe Dreamweaver, this will reflect poorly on the brand.
Worse, a bad design may be enough to send someone running back to Google and into the arms of a competitor that has a website that is easy on the eyes. A good design is simple. The arch-enemy of a good website is complexity. Why?
- It's confusing. A complex website can confuse your reader, make them unfocused, and make it hard for them to understand the message you're trying to convey.
- No clear call-to-action. When it comes to inbound marketing, conversion is one of the primary metrics you should be monitoring; how many of your anonymous website visitors are turning into leads? A complex website creates the issue of visitors being unsure of exactly what the next steps for them are. The best inbound marketing website design make "step 2" very clear.
- Too much to read. In the inbound marketing world, the phrase "content is king" is bandied about. However, too much content on main site pages (like the homepage) can have the adverse effect of making a user run for the hills. Less is more: can you say the same 15-word sentence in 4 words? Then do it; it's much more likely to be read.
Let's take a look at some real websites that feature some of the best web design I've seen recently. For each website, you'll see a few screenshots and my analysis of why they are stellar from an inbound design standpoint.