Isn’t it annoying when your online competitor gets more traffic and makes more sales than you do even though their website is ugly? Your website is stunning so how can this happen?
Well, it’s not necessarily the beauty of a site that sells. There is a disturbing web trend that seems to indicate that “ugliness sells”. Is it really the ugliness that sells? Not quite.
Let’s make it clear: you don’t need the most wonderful website ever to make people trust you. You don’t need Flash to blow their minds with some fancy special effects. You don’t even need sound to make them believe in your business. All you need is to address a real need and offer solutions for it.
When your competitor is making money hand over fist and their growth is off the chart, could it be because he or she make people a plain offer in a simple, understandable manner? No flashy website design…no large graphics that take forever to load…just an easy to use website. That’s right: heavy graphic driven websites are slow. People don’t like to wait. So they browse to a faster website, with no fancy design, one that provides for fast access to information. Simple sites are accessible. This accessibility probably works at subliminal layers of the mind, causing people to think: this is a simple, reliable site, the products must have the same qualities.
Your website is the digital projection of your business. But understand that each online business should find a functional web design style: what works for a search engine will not work for a consumer electronics website. So, before designing a business website, stop and ask yourself: what do my clients expect? What do they need? What do I expect from my clients? Do I want them to make a purchase or click on an affiliate link or ad?
Don’t get this wrong. A nice professional site design is important. You do need an astonishing web design for a fashion site or for an art site. You also need a good design for a business website. However, if you are going to promote affiliate links or simply win revenue from pay-per-click campaigns, you actually WANT people to go away from your website. You WANT to have them click on your ads and links. So: ugliness is your key on this type of website. A good example of an ugly site that has had great success is Craigslist. Have you ever seen anything that ugly? Yet, this is one of the most popular jobs classifieds sites, in spite of this. People like it: it is fast, easy to use, functional, and serves its purpose. It doesn’t dazzle, but informs.
In conclusion: it is not ugliness that sells, it is the usability of the ugly website. If you manage to create a site that is both usable and trustworthy you don’t need to worry about the “ugly” competition. You are on the right path.