There are numerous web design basics that businesses need to know in order to thrive online. In this post, we discover how a well-crafted website can elevate your brand, engage your audience, and drive business growth for small and medium-sized enterprises.
In the 21st century, every business needs a website. If you don’t have a website, you’re left behind. Still more than ever, your website offers the first impression your potential customers see when validating you and your business offerings before making a decision.
For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), investing in custom professional web design is not just a nice-to-have but a necessity. Sure, everyone can use tools and builders like Wix and Squarespace, but there are a few additional benefits you’re getting with professional vs. DIY web design.
In this article, we are going to look into some web design basics for businesses and talk about how a professional web designer can help provide greater value to you and your business website.
Click the text above to learn more
Creating a Strong First Impression
First, a well designed website is oftentimes the first impression potential customers have of you and your business. There are some common web design trends, flows, and patterns that set professional designs apart from DIY designs. This can include things like ensuring a visually appealing design, navigation considerations, and also important technical aspects like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) [see point number three], page speed, and custom functionality.
The first impression from a professionally designed website can significantly influence a visitor’s perception of your business and their likelihood to engage with your services or products. For this reason, as business owners, we need to ensure our website is full of fresh new content, kept up-to-date, maintains a fresh look with industry trends, and much more. If your business is not in a technical space, do you want to be spending all your time of maintaining a website or running your business?
🔑 Keys to First Impressions:
- 🎨 Visual Appeal: Aesthetically pleasing design, industry trends.
- 🧭 Navigation & Functionality: Easy navigation, technical aspects like SEO and page speed.
- 🔄 Regular Updates: Keeping content fresh and up-to-date.
- ⚖️ Business Focus: Balancing website maintenance with running the business.
Enhancing User Experience
I’m sure we’ve all been on a website where the user experience (UX) was horrible. Either things didn’t load correctly, it was slow, finding what you were looking for was next to impossible, and a million other things. No matter what the issue was, I bet that you remember the experience as overall negative and if you haven’t previously done business with that company, you probably left and went to a competitor instead.
Your customers are no different. Regardless of if you’re getting a professionally designed website or making it DIY, UX needs to be a top priority. The site design should prioritize the user journey, ensuring that information is accessible, pages load quickly, and navigation is intuitive. Enhanced user experience leads to higher user satisfaction, increased engagement, and a greater likelihood of converting visitors into customers.
🔑 Keys to User Experience:
- 💻 User Journey: Accessible information, quick loading, intuitive navigation.
- 😊 Satisfaction & Engagement: Improved UX for higher user satisfaction and engagement.
- 🛒 Conversion: Turning visitors into customers through better UX.
Boosting Search Engine Visibility
Why are websites still such a big thing when social media, artificial intelligence (AI), and other platforms are taking over as “search engines” for younger users? Well search engines are still king and are still the primary method people use to find what they need on the web. SEO is more or less free advertising for your business. With proper SEO, your website will show on search results for queries that your customers are looking for; getting you leads.
Custom-designed websites are built with SEO best practices in mind, ensuring that your site ranks higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). This increased visibility translates to more organic traffic and, ultimately, more opportunities for business growth.
The downfall for DIY? Unless you’re well-versed in SEO, you’re more than likely missing key SEO principles to incorporate in your site design, which could lead to lower rankings. What are some key SEO items to make sure you do?
- Page Titles and Descriptions
- Image Alternative Tags (Alt Tags)
- Proper Page Hierarchy (Using Headings and Text Properly)
- Choosing Proper Keywords + Incorporating Them Throughout the Page
- Responsive Page Designs
- Fast Loading Speeds
- + More
🔑 Keys to SEO:
- 🔍 SEO Importance: Visibility through search engines, free advertising.
- 📈 Higher SERP Rankings: Custom design for better search engine ranking.
- 🚫 DIY Downfalls: Potential misses in key SEO aspects.
Building Brand Credibility
The more robust and better looking your website is, the more credibility your business gets right off the bat. The less professional the look and feel, the less credibility you receive and the more on guard your customers may feel.
For example, let’s use an e-commerce website. If you get on a site with a single image, poorly formatted text, little to no information, a hard navigation, cheesy looking graphics and design, among other things… are you more or less likely to trust that store and enter your credit card there?
The website brand credibility can be a huge asset to have in getting easy sales. It signals to visitors that your business is established, trustworthy, and committed to quality. This level of credibility is especially crucial for SMBs looking to build a strong reputation and compete with larger players in the market.
🔑 Keys to Brand Credibility Online:
- 🌟 Professional Image: Robust, professional websites enhance credibility.
- 🛍️ E-commerce Trust: Professional design for customer trust in online purchases.
- 💼 Competitive Edge: Credibility as a tool to compete in the market.
If your website doesn’t have a mobile version, you’re missing out on web traffic. More than ever, customers are browsing the web on mobile devices. Your website needs to be designed for desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.
Lucky for you DIY-ers, almost all design platforms make mobile responsiveness easy with little to no work required from you as it’s built into the templates. This makes it easy to ensure that your website is accessible to every customer no matter what device they’re using to research you or make a purchase.
🔑 Keys to Mobile Responsiveness:
- 📱 Cross-Device Access: Essential for reaching customers on various devices.
- 🔄 Built-in Templates: Easy mobile responsiveness with modern design platforms.
Customization and Scalability
Finally, customization and scalability. Site builders are inherently designed to be simple. Now they have come along quite well the last few years allowing for customization but unless you know HTML or CSS, making these custom designs will be difficult if you’re taking the DIY route.
Here’s really where professional design shines. By hiring the right web developer, you can get a completely customized website with the exact design and features that you’re looking for. As your business grows and scales, the web developer can build upon the existing website and even create more custom solutions to better make your website serve you. This level of customization and adaptability is a significant advantage for SMBs with dynamic needs and future growth aspirations.
🔑 Keys to Customization:
- 🛠️ Custom Solutions: Professional web design for tailored features.
- 📈 Business Growth: Scalability to match business evolution.
- 🚀 Future-Ready: Adapting to dynamic needs and growth aspirations.
Click the text above to inquire now
Investing in custom professional web design is a strategic move for small and medium-sized businesses seeking to make a mark in the digital landscape. From creating a strong first impression and enhancing user experience to boosting search engine visibility and building brand credibility, the benefits and time-savings are immense.
On the other hand, taking the DIY route can save you money from the start to free up business funds into other areas of the business. Just know that if you aren’t properly designing your own website, you may be turning away free business leads who are visiting your website.
As you venture into web design basics for businesses, consider the long-term value of a professionally designed website in elevating your brand and driving business success. We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences with web design for businesses in the comments below. Join the conversation and explore the transformative power of professional web design!