We all know that a professional and user-friendly website has the ability to boost brand exposure and sales for your business. In this day and age, your website is (or should be) your most qualified salesperson. If it fails to generate leads on a regular basis, then it isn?t doing its job.

When embarking on a web design (or redesign) project, there is a tendency to focus very much on the superficial ? how the website looks. Some business owners believe that a ?fresh lick of paint? is all that?s needed to attract more customers and improve conversions. But that really only scratches the surface.

Here are four reasons why your new web design might not generate the profitable results you were hoping for. It should come as no surprise that #1 on the list is:

You didn?t think about your users

Listen ? your web design can have all the image carousels, parallax scrolling, and Flash animated load screens you want. But these ?impressive? effects are the last thing you should be thinking about when designing or redesigning your website. First off, you should be thinking about the needs of your users.

Even if your website looks the part, your users will soon become tired of it if essential components, such as being able to find things easily, are overlooked. When people visit websites, rarely do they spend their time gushing over how beautiful it is. They?re not here to linger and admire, they?re here to a) find something, b) read something, c) buy something.

It may sound boring, but the truth is that people like familiarity. Your attempt to create something that deviates from the norm may actually put them off, particularly if it makes the website hard to navigate. So the take-home truth is this: don?t try to reinvent the wheel. Build a website that meets the needs of your users in a pleasant and efficient way.

You went for style over substance

We?re often led to believe that creativity is the holy grail of marketing. I?m certainly not here to dispute that. However, when it comes to designing a website, creativity actually isn?t the be-all-and-end-all. ?What an unfashionable thing to say,? I hear you cry. Stay with me.

Let?s consider the following statistics:

  • Nearly 8 in 10 of consumers will stop engaging with content that doesn?t display well on their device (Adobe)
  • 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won?t load or take too long to load (Adobe)
  • 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience (Econsultancy)

In other words, we need to focus on usability if we want to please our customers. That means having a responsive website that displays well across devices, optimizing the website for speed so that pages load quickly, and ensuring that users have a good overall experience so they are more likely to come back.

A good web designer already knows all of this. What?s more, they also know the importance of having quality content. Whether you create the content yourself, bring a copywriter in-house, or hire a freelancer, you need to be thinking about your content alongside your web design.

Why? Because at the end of the day, content is what drives traffic. It?s the food of SEO. Search engines need ample information about the what, where, how, why and when of your business in order to determine your rank in SERPs. Content is the ideal way to position yourself as an expert worthy of the top spot.

You went ahead and made it yourself

Note: you may ignore the following point if you?re a web designer.

However, if you?re not a web designer and you have no experience in web design, then designing your website yourself is a big reason why it may not work out the way you plan. The truth is it takes years to perfect the art of making beautiful, functional websites. The same result is virtually impossible to achieve in a few hours using a DIY web design tool.

Nothing beats good old-fashioned experience, and while a website builder can give you something very passable for a reasonable budget, you may find it hard to recreate exactly what you?re after. By contrast, working with a professional gives you much more flexibility, not to mention saving you the headache of doing it yourself.

Web designers not only understand the principles of design, they also know how to create a website that will bring targeted traffic and high conversion rates. Everything from layout and hierarchy to color and iconography has a role to play.

Read more: Web Design Services That You Need.

Tips for ensuring a successful web design

It?s clear that design has the power to make or break your digital brand. Here are the elements that a good web designer will focus on to build a website that will benefit you and your business:

  • Intuitive navigation ? making it easy for users to find what they?re looking for
  • Responsiveness ? automatic adjustment to different screen sizes
  • Considered presentation and placement of CTAs for maximum impact
  • Simplicity over clutter ? everything needs to justify its presence
  • Form and function over frivolity ? UX is paramount
  • On-brand aesthetics ? optimal use of color, graphics, and copy

So whether you?re out to create a new website, update one or two key pages, or overhaul your existing design, remember that it pays to go pro. Cutting corners may save you money in the short-term, but could lose you business in the long-term. With the right professional on board, you have the best chance of building a web design that works out exactly the way you planned.

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