Website Designing and Its Importance In digital marketing, web design is crucial because it's the only direct way for potential customers to evaluate a company. In the early days of the Internet, many customers were mistrustful of buying products from companies they'd never visited. Most people are now willing to buy from sites that earn online trust, but mistrust still exists for companies that don't appear legitimate or professional. Snap judgments are often made based on website design, and about 35 percent of website visitors abandon sites where they have difficulties performing simple actions. People often decide whether a site is trustworthy or appropriate for their needs in less than one second based on design issues. Another important design consideration involves the most critical user--Google and its army of search spiders--that ranks sites based on design and mobile friendliness. Sites with complex, confusing layouts and poor mobile design rank lower than their competitors with mobile-friendly websites, responsive designs, and intuitive navigation. Video Killed Radio; DVD and Streaming Killed Video; Responsive Design Killed Static Websites Blockbuster Video was a multibillion-dollar empire as recently as 2004, but the company didn't account for new technology and its convenience and appeal, which allowed Netflix to steal its customers. Blockbuster's surprising bankruptcy wasn't a big surprise to people who understand how important it is to stay on top of technology and new consumer trends. A B2B platform's design, content, and features are critical for companies to stay competitive, and responsive design is important to online browsers, established customers, and SEO efforts. Content and user features are important elements of providing great user experiences—especially for B2B customers who seldom convert on their first site visits. Responsive Design with a Mobile-First Attitude Smartphone use grew by 78 percent between 2013 and 2015, and poor website designs—especially mobile-unfriendly websites—were cited by 77 percent of members of the Society of Digital Agencies as big problems for their eCommerce clients. That's why it's critical to design for mobile devices and build out instead of trying to scale down desktop layouts. The premise is that designing for mobile devices is the biggest challenge, so designers concentrate on simplifying design strategy to include only the essential information, which is the best strategy for designing better user experiences. Progressive enhancements provide further information that mobile users can optionally access. It's important to prioritize each design element, avoid large graphics, enlarge navigation buttons, and surround them with white space to make them easier to tap. Mobile usage already exceeds desktop browsing, and 60 percent of all Internet access comes from mobile devices. about 90 percent of U.S. adults carry a cell phone, and 42 percent own a tablet. Mobile phone users—about 67 percent of them—check their devices more than 100 times a day, so websites with mobile-friendly designs and strategic mobile marketing plans stand to win out over competitive sites that aren't designed with a mobile-first approach. Content Management System A content management system or CMS allows companies to change their content frequently without complex coding to personalize displays and content for key customer demographic groups while keeping their websites fresh for SEO and customer engagement. It's important to make it easy for authorized staff to change content without needing to involve the developer or host for each minor change. How to Evaluate a B2B Website Working on a website's design is the ideal time to incorporate software integrations, organize how navigation should work, plan connections, and develop a consistent branding strategy. A consistent brand employs company colors, recognizable logos, and a complementary color palette. The design needs to adjust to small screens and tablets, work on Android and Apple devices, and follow SEO best practices. The design should function interchangeably so that it's easy to add and modify content because fresh content is a key ranking factor in Google's search formula. If the site has many new features, products, or services and appears to be composed of random elements or looks too busy, it might be time to consider a new website design to get the website functions you need. Brand Consistency Brand consistency means several things: using an identifiable logo and company colors, personalizing language in all content for each targeted customer group, and keeping messages and images consistent with the company's concept. Navigation Simplicity Site navigation shouldn't require an engineering degree to understand. Ease of navigation is ultimately more important than any single design element. That not only means including simple, mobile-friendly navigation features but also providing a navigation bar to let visitors know where they are and their progress in operations such as downloading files. Personalized Content Content includes product descriptions, website copy, visual images, video demos, product research and white papers, reviews, and other website elements that communicate a company's message and move visitors along the expanded sales funnel that's essential in business-to-business user conversions. It's important to include the most important elements on displays that are tailored to visitor profiles and to provide easy links to the areas that each group is most likely to visit next. What to Avoid Although content is an important subset of design, aesthetic elements of design account for 94 percent of the comments of people who mistrusted websites in a study of health-related companies called “Trust and Mistrust.” Design elements play powerful roles in building online trust, which is particularly important with new site visitors who will simply move along to another site if they're apprehensive. Common design elements that foster mistrust include: Pop-ups and flamboyant ads Slow load times Lack of color or poor color combinations Small print Complex layouts Sites that don't look professional Blurry images Large blocks of text without visual breaks such as headlines, bulleted lists, and short, scannable paragraphs No visible links to trusted industry authorities Designs that employ too many graphic embellishments and fancy typefaces Lack of legitimate phone numbers, company addresses, and "About Us" information Web Design Statistics that Show Where Customers Hang The word "hang" is a good synonym for the type of website behavior B2B companies want to encourage. Everything about a website should encourage targeted customers to hang around or visit any hour of the day to hang out or conduct business. That means customers should be empowered with as many self-service features as possible. Choosing a Turnkey Web Designer Regardless of the designer you choose, it's always best to choose a development company that can organically integrate design elements of your website and functional features like ERP and CRM. The more fully integrated website functionality and design are, the more responsive your site will be. Great designs captivate new site visitors and deliver better user experiences that convince people to hang on to your site. In B2B eCommerce, websites that function well, look professionally designed, and encourage self-service by providing real answers to visitor questions are the sites that get user conversions and keep customers returning. Choosing a designer involves both aesthetic issues and functionality, so it's best to combine all aspects of web development in the design process by choosing a designer with B2B experience and skills in web development, integration, and customization.