8 Reasons Visual Elements Are Essential For Start-Up Business

Surprisingly, many small business still do not own an effective website! In this article, guest writer Anna Rodriguez explains why the visual elements of your website are at least as important as the content.

There is no overstating the importance of an online presence in running businesses effectively. If your business, regardless of size, is unsearchable, it doesn’t exist. At least not for the digitally-obsessed generation.

This does not only mean maintaining accounts or pages in social media. You can’t allow your business, its growth and potential, to be limited to restrictions set by social networking sites. On Facebook for example, only a minimal amount of text is allowed for boosted posts. This is why a website is among the essentials for startups as they can be designed according to a set of specifications and achieve specific goals.

But while it’s already 2017, almost half or 46% of small US businesses still don’t have a company website, according to a report by research firm Clutch. Cost and lack of technical know-how were listed as popular reasons for not having a website, but nearly a third said they don’t see the relevance of a website in their industry. Quite surprising, really.

This is truly unexpected, knowing that consumers assume businesses have a website, according to 2014 survey. The report said 34% of consumers think that a “clear and smart” website gives a business more credibility, and that 36% of consumers are more likely to contact a business with a website.

But “clear and smart” do not just happen.  There are essential web design elements that should be put in place. Visual elements are everything.

Humans are visual creatures

Photo courtesy of Unsplash via Pixabay

Regardless of what you hear about inner beauty and character, the truth is that humans are visual creatures. Every digital marketing agency has to concede to what science has acknowledged all along: humans process visual elements instantly.

Science tells us that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. This means that ideas and concepts need to be hooked to an image if it were to make an immediate impact.

First impressions matter. A lot.

It takes a blink of an eye for humans to make snap judgments about certain things. As far as a website is concerned, all it takes is about 50 milliseconds for them to form an opinion whether they like a website or not. In fact, a British research found that 94% of first impressions are design-related, and only 6% are based on content.

For most users, the key elements to a good website have a lot to do with visual appeal. A study found that first impression depends on factors such as structure, color, symmetry, amount of text, etc.

So if you want users to take a good second look at your website, make a good first impression.

Easy, breezy navigation

Photo courtesy of JuralMin via Pixabay

There is a logical place for everything, whether inside the house or knick knacks in your bags. When something’s not in its proper place, things go wrong, your mood most especially.

Modern websites have to be organized in a way that makes sense. It should be easy to identify which content is top priority, based on size or location. Main buttons should be easily located. Keep usability in mind to enable users to quickly find what they’re looking for. When a website is organized, it will be a breeze to navigate and explore it, making the website truly user-friendly.

Communicate a story effectively

Websites are tools in telling a story, which is at the heart of any communication strategy. Visuals help contextualize your brand’s message or the content that you offer on your site. Visuals are crucial website designs that put content into perspective and add extra value to it. Sometimes, you don’t even have to write an essay or a kilometric blog. All you need is a compelling image.

Enhance the experience

Photo courtesy of sasint via Pixabay

Visual elements enhance the user experience in a way that it can turn something ordinary into something magical. Thus, a user’s visit on the website should produce a positive experience. People want to feel rather than just see. And if you use visuals well enough, you can surprise unsuspecting users with stunning images, layout or videos that they won’t soon forget.

Highlight key messages

Visual design elements complement search engine optimization (SEO) efforts really well, and this is why visuals are essentials for startups. They can be used to highlight key messages more than text could ever do. It is a good way for startups to convey what they truly are and what they are offering. You can’t present everything on visuals all the time, but they sure support your content in a way that leaves a lasting impression.

Build strong relationships

Photo courtesy of cuncon via Pixabay

Your market needs to identify with your brand and business. Visual appeal helps you do that. With just a look at your website, a user knows whether you understand him or her—and that is crucial in building relationships. Visuals help a brand connect with the audience. If visuals are powerful and riveting enough, people are drawn in. That is always a good start in building and maintaining relationships.

Appeal to the emotions

Pictures are worth a thousand words. A news website, for example, that used children in the Aleppo crisis in its banner will make anyone want to know more about the Syrian crisis. If you want to communicate with your audience in an emotional level, trust visual elements to awaken the senses and convey feelings of joy, delight, sadness or anger. And when emotions are tapped, it would be easier to trigger a call to action.

There’s no point arguing whether visuals should be prioritized over function or usability. They are not opposing ideas, but concepts with similar goals. They should work together and complement each other. Visuals are good in driving home a point or a message, and they also make everything look and feel just a little better.

 

Anna Rodriguez is a manager and a passionate writer. She writes about investment, home improvement, green sustainability, business and tech innovations. She owns Homey Guide Blog. You can follow her at @annrodriguez021

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