Are You Neglecting Good Looks in Favor of Great Content?

kiss.jpgThey say that content is King, and they’re right – and wrong. We’re attracted to good looks and appealing design sells. With split-second attention spans factoring into the purchase decision, you won’t reach maximum potential online if your website looks like crap.

There are those that believe that online success can be achieved with a less-than-appealing site. They are right – you don’t need a flashy website to reach moderate goals. Neglecting the huge impact on success that good looks and great content achieve together is folly.

First impressions count – far more than many people believe. Humans are hard-wired for attraction to appealing visual cues. We prefer people who fit our instinctive ideas of what matters, and that often includes what these people look like. Men and women psychologically choose partners or find their heads turned by attractive people.

It goes back to the caveman days. We prefer what we perceive might increase the chances of survival and a better life. We’re not cavemen any more – or at least, most people aren’t. But we still judge a book by its cover and an item by its appeal.

Our perceived quality of a product or service is directly affected by its looks. We don’t make choices on pretty items alone, of course, but we’re influenced to buy by what we see. Items that appear nicer than the next or people that seem to look professional win our votes more often than not.

Online, with few tangibles to hold in our hand so that we can examine them closely, appearances matter more than ever. Businesses offering equal products or services must find ways to compete and attract clients in any way possible.

Even lower quality products or services have the potential to outsell better ones if a website’s appeal influences perception properly. The right color scheme holds attention a fraction longer. Attractive images or graphics affect perception in the seller’s favor. Add good content, and that website is a winner.

In the push to increase the quality and value of information offered on the Internet, many forget that factors like visual appeal and quality design play a large role in better success online.

Still not a believer? Take the test. Turn off your logical thoughts for a moment. Use StumbleUpon for a half hour to flick through the virtual channels of websites.

How many sites compelled you to linger? Which attracted your interest the moment you set your eyes on them? How many websites delivered on both strong visual appeal and valuable content? Which websites tempt you the most?

Content is King, yes… but every Emperor needs clothes.

This post was written to help James win a Fender guitar from Rafie in the Just Creative Design contest. Head on over to the contest rules and toss your name into the hat to win!

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.