I was at a book sale a few weeks ago (one of my favorite activities), looking through a stack of business management and marketing titles that caught my attention. As I was putting some of the books back on the shelf, I suddenly realized that the books I had just decided to purchase were mainly chosen based on the cover design and the typesetting of the pages. All of the books may have had great content (that’s why the titles got my attention), but I did not choose to buy all of them.
As hard as I fight it, and as much as I want to believe otherwise, the experts tell us that most of our decisions are based on (or at least influenced by) highly emotional reactions to subtle, subliminal cues. In his book Blink Malcolm Gladwell talks about the research of Louis Cheskin, who discovered that changing the packaging of a food product actually changes how it tastes. (Yes, hard to believe. It’s in chapter 5 if you want to check it out for yourself.)
This is also true in the case of your website. One study done in the UK found that when people distrusted a company, it was based 94% on the design of the website and only 6% based on the content. Professional design is critical to establishing trust with a prospective client.
I had a friend who told me his website was not important, that no one would make a decision based on such an unimportant thing. Then a few days later he was telling me about how he was considering two vendors for a big purchase, but it was a really easy decision for him because one was clearly the better vendor “because their website was so much better than the other company’s.” I simply asked him, “Did you hear what you just said?”
If your company is a book, your website is the cover. Is it one that people will want to “read”?
To your success!