Small businesses never get a second chance to make a first impression and nothing puts off customers more than a poorly designed web page.
As more shoppers head online to shop, it's essential SMEs keep their website up-to-date, attractive and functioning, or risk losing their customers to their rivals.
Catherine McDonald, business manager at Remove The Background UK, an expert in showcasing products online, explained people immediately make the assumption that if your website design is bad, the search and checkout functions are probably bad too.
"Bounce rate, which is when somebody clicks on a link, comes to your website and leaves again within seconds, is quite often [based on] one look at a badly-designed website," she added.
Building trust in your website
A badly designed website also impacts another key ingredient in encouraging customers to part with their cash – trust.
Ms McDonald said websites really only have a few seconds to establish trust and to really win the hearts of your customers you must combine great website design with high-quality content.
Small businesses should provide content that coaxes their customers through the buying process and builds a strong relationship with your company.
As our infographic The Anatomy of Content Marketing demonstrates, high-quality content should lie at the heart of any approach to digital marketing.
Research shows 70 per cent of customers prefer getting to know a company through articles rather than ads and 60 per cent feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site.
Content also drives interaction with brands on social media and interesting content is a top three reasons why people follow a business on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Learn more about building trust in your website:
What would put you off buying from a website? Share your experiences in the comments.