In this two-part series we’re taking a look at why your small business could benefit from professional website design.
All business owners – be they large or small businesses – need to have an online presence. Having a website has become essential; it is effectively your calling card and gives your business credibility. But is it enough to have an amateur create this, given the fact that this is the first impression the public will have? Small businesses can save a lot of time, money and resources by bringing in an external designer. Here is our guide as to why your business needs professional bespoke web design service.
Creating a strong and engaging brand is essential for any business. You want your products or services to be instantly recognisable through design, colour or perhaps a slogan. This brand identity should translate across all areas where your brand is visible, including business cards, any promotional ads or leaflets and of course your website and any online promotion. Perhaps you have a vision of what your customers would like to see, but a professional web design will objectively identify your brand and build your website accordingly.
Your existing customers know your level of service and the quality of your products. But a stranger, someone who has never come across your brand before, has to be won over by their first impression. They will judge your business by looking at your website – and that‘s it. When visitors come across what is obviously a “homemade” website they could get completely the wrong message about your business. A lack of professionalism, lack of trustworthy content, lack of clear purchase points and the sheer size of your business website can ultimately make any site visitor doubt that the business is credible. However a professional web design can create the exact opposite first impression: Professionalism, quality, trust, enticing to buy and visually appealing to the eye. In this case, first impressions count all the way.
A professionally designed website will attract more customers as their first impressions generate trust and excitement about your business from the get-go. Gaining new customers with a homemade website can be impossible if you lack the technical skills to make it great, as warning flags as to how trustworthy your business really is will be raised. Web design puts the visitors at ease, and subsequently sales and bookings will happen naturally. If the checkout process on your website is easy and visitors can create their own accounts, they are likely to come back. They will remember how simple and effective the entire experience on your website was – from finding the information they were looking for to purchasing what they needed.
Every business has a substantial number of competitors in our modern market, especially on the web. There are millions of websites online and everyone is looking for a slice of success. By having a professional web design you place your business website above any competitors who haven’t invested in their own. In order to have a chance of shining, your website too must sparkle. That means it must look polished, easy to use and, frankly, expensive. Your aim should be to rise above the rest through quality.
All good web design starts with a layout plan. Not only must the layout correspond to the content you are presenting, but it also needs to be functional; the layout must be optimised for the content.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
Do you have lots of high resolution images?
Is your content relatable, truthful and relevant?
Is it easy to navigate the website?
Does the text look exciting and inviting to read?
Is it obvious what type of service/product your business offers?
If a visitor lands on your website and they don‘t immediately recognise what this website is about or they cannot navigate to where they would like to go, you have lost a potential customer within seconds. If the opposite is true, you have gained a new fan and more importantly, possibly a repeat customer.
Unless you yourself are an artist or designer, the finer points of web design might seem unnoticeable to you, and therefore not important. This is a mistake, however, as subconsciously the design details make a serious impact on the viewer and help generate that invaluable first impression we keep mentioning. The presentation of the elements visible on your screen is extremely important: image size, text size, the placement of these relative to each other, and the amount of positive and negative space are all extremely important in web design. The font styles and size all create a subliminal message and give impressions as to the nature of your business, as does the choice of colour.
Keep an eye on the UK2 Blog for Part Two of The Benefits of Web Design for Small Businesses.