Some people in life are beautiful. Lucky enough to be at the front of the queue when they handed out good looks.
You’ve met people like this before, right? You’re at a party and you’re introduced to some impossibly good-looking person. You wonder what you could say to them that won’t make you look like an idiot. And then they start speaking and you’re reminded we can’t be at the front of the queue for everything in life.
But now you’re stuck talking to someone with the personality of a cardboard box.
How long is it before you make a polite excuse and go and find someone interesting to talk to? Not long I’d bet.
So what has this got to do with your website?
Well, you need to ensure that your website isn’t the equivalent of that good-looking but boring person at the party. People spend so much energy worrying about what their website looks like, they forget to make sure it has something interesting to say.
It is important to make a good visual impression when a visitor lands on your website. It helps to keep them on your site. But if your website user starts reading and is immediately bored, it doesn’t matter how pretty your website is, they’ll be gone faster than you can say ‘bounce rate’.
Useful content beats good looks
The evidence backs me up. You’ll never find a successful website that is gorgeous to look at, but has no useful or interesting content. You just don’t see them. But, you do get poorly designed websites that are wildly successful because the content is hugely valuable to the people that visit those sites.
Ok, neither of these situations is ideal. But what it shows you is people care more about the value your site provides them, than how good it looks. The ideal situation, of course, is a perfect marriage between good looking website design and engaging, valuable content.
But if in doubt, always focus more of your effort on what you’re saying, not what you look like.