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Why Ugly Sites Sell More Than Pretty Sites
What the heck is going on lately? Most internet websites I go to now, all I see are pretty graphics everywhere. I see moving images, I see crazy JAVA, things flying around.
Don't get me wrong, some of these graphics are truly amazing - I love to see them! But, that's the problem! I only love to look at them, when I'm done looking at them, I LEAVE! Lately, there's been a disturbing trend of everyone spending huge amounts of money on web graphics. The problem? There is NO proof that this really helps your sales!
As a matter of fact, one of my biggest money makers is a consulting service...
...I put that page up in 5 minutes (after writing my copy). Believe it or not, but even being such a high priced service - that page converts about 2.5% - of course I get very targeted traffic...
LOOK AT HOW UGLY IT IS!!!
BUT, it has content! It has great copy, it's got my face, my voice and a great service - the ACTUAL key ingredients to making a website that sells...Now, the problem is that most people are very logical - you would THINK that a good looking site should sell more - it makes sense right?
You expect that a good looking site probably increases your credibility - I mean, come on, it shows your visitor that you REALLY mean business, yadda yadda yadda...But, again, look at MY site - I'm selling a high priced consulting service to business owners - I'm actually selling my expertise in the internet business world. Yet, the site design (or lack there of) seems to have NO influence.
Just so you know, I DID try a nice fancy design for that page. You want to know what happened to my conversion? It plummeted down to 1.4%! Now, that I've got your attention, let's look at why it is that a prettier site probably sells less:
1. More graphics take longer to load.
Not everyone has fast internet yet - actually, most people don't. No one wants to wait for hours for a site to upload!
2. More graphics distract your visitors from your message.
Your graphics can actually work against you because your visitors spend more time focusing on them than they do focusing on your copy! Remember, it's your COPY that sells - so if the visitor isn't reading the copy - he/she is NOT going to buy. Period.
3. Some visitors may not like the colors, you may be sending the wrong message to different cultures.
Just because YOU love the colors of your graphics and you love the color scheme of your website does NOT mean that your visitors do too. There it is, those are the three MAIN reasons to keep your website AS neutral AS possible.
So, remember, PRETTY does NOT always equal more sales!
Ugly sites DO sell and will continue to do so. What matters is what you're selling, your own expertise, and your copy writing. In the end, the best way to know what works best for your visitors is to TEST, TEST, and TEST some more!
Until next time,
This article was posted on January 17, 2005