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Great design is not enough to attract website traffic

Last updated 17/01/2024
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Beyond Aesthetics

Good designers examine numerous websites, exploring various industries and design styles—from simple to intricate, and even those that have won awards.

Like everyone else, they appreciate beauty in different forms, whether it’s a sleek website, a captivating painting, or an intriguing sculpture. However, what distinguishes websites from traditional art is their focus on business goals. Unlike art, websites are created not only to evoke emotions but also to achieve specific objectives for businesses.

Recognising this crucial difference is essential. When evaluating websites, good designers don’t solely rely on their personal feelings. Instead, they analyze the data to determine how effectively the website serves its intended business purpose.

Questions race through my mind as I audit websites:
  • Will the website capture the attention of its target audience, and through what channels?
  • How will visitor engagement manifest, and what metrics will reflect this engagement?
  • Can the website drive conversions, and what actions define a successful conversion for the business?
  • Does the website align with a clear and defined business purpose?
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The problem with award-winning websites

The abundance of award-winning websites poses a significant challenge in today’s digital landscape. With thousands of new websites launching every minute, effective information management is essential for online success. Fortunately, search engines like Google have revolutionised the process, providing swift access to the wealth of online content.

While we appreciate the convenience of platforms like Google, it’s concerning that many website owners neglect crucial factors that determine their visibility and effectiveness. Despite boasting visually stunning designs, numerous websites lack strategic considerations such as commercial intent and search engine optimisation (SEO). As a result, these websites struggle to attract organic traffic and fail to fulfil their intended purpose.

In our audits, we frequently encounter beautifully crafted websites that prioritise aesthetics over functionality. Without proper attention to SEO and user-friendly design, these websites become mere digital showcases, devoid of meaningful impact. Ultimately, investing time and resources into such projects yields little return on investment.

In the competitive online sphere, businesses must recognise that aesthetics alone are insufficient for success. Rather than solely focusing on visual appeal, website creators should prioritise discoverability and user engagement. A website’s ability to rank well on search engines and provide valuable content is paramount in achieving its objectives.

Therefore, it’s imperative to reassess our approach to awarding websites. Merely celebrating visual excellence overlooks the fundamental purpose of online presence. Instead, we must emphasise the importance of functionality and accessibility in determining the true winners in the digital realm. Only by prioritising discoverability and usability can websites truly fulfil their potential and deliver meaningful results.

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