Whether you’re an established business or have just started out building your brand, a responsive website is a must. Your business’ website is more than just another point of contact between you and your customers: it’s a direct reflection of who you are and what you stand for, and the very thing that can push you above your competition.

But why should I care about web design and having a website?

Well, more people than ever are online today. A recent study found that over 87% of people search online for local products, services and businesses, and 73% focus specifically on a business’ website to make a decision whether to buy or not. Your target audience is online, so having a strong online presence through a well designed website is the only logical step.

However, you need to make a difference between a good website and a bad website. The principles of excellent web design – aesthetics, navigation, ease of access, SEO, and more – are precisely how your website can help your business. When done right, your website can showcase your products and services in a way that speaks less about their features and more about the value they offer to potential customers. The first rule of closing a sale is focusing on value – how your product addresses the customers’ needs, wants and pain points directly, rather than simply droning on and on about its features.

Your business website needs to tell the world about you and your company and presents the perfect platform to convince your customers why you deserve their trust and hard-earned money. When done right, a great website also makes you look professional. The aesthetic value is a key component of the effective website design and its’ integral to its usefulness because let’s face it, first impressions do matter. If your goal is to build trust, you simply can’t make a compromise with your website’s quality: according to a recent study, a poor website design is the major reason why people may decide to mistrust a brand, regardless of the content on the pages.

Of course, trust, credibility, and a sense of professionalism are key to a business’ success but if you care about measurable ROIs, a website is a must. Your audience is online, searching for local vendors to trust, and the combination of excellent SEO and appealing website design are what distinguishes you from your competitors. Even if you’re focused primarily on your physical store, having a solid web presence can translate into extra business: the right keywords can drive more local clientele, and the well-designed website can persuade them to trust you over a competitor… or someone they don’t even suspect exists because they’ve neglected the value of a good website!