Complete Guide To Web Design
A well-designed website can be one of your most valuable business assets, particularly when it comes to marketing. Without a professional, expert web design company to advise you, your website could fail in ways you don’t even realise.
Even if your business is exceptional, if your website isn’t performing to its potential and too few people are seeing it, then you won’t get the benefits you deserve.
Having a website that fully supports your brand and your unique selling proposition, and is user-friendly, will draw visitors in. One that’s hard to navigate, outdated and difficult for you to refresh with new content runs the risk of turning potential customers away.
Finding the web design professionals to help you create the perfect website
The first step is to articulate your aims and objectives to an experienced web design agency and allow specialists to employ their expertise to make your website work for you. This will not only include the design but a marketing strategy covering everything from pay per click to on-page SEO.
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression
First impressions count: if your website is not instantly fulfilling potential customers’ expectations from the moment they land on your homepage until the time they leave, then you could be missing out on vital business. Expert web designers keep up-to-date with the latest tools and trends. They have the knowledge and skills to put them into practice.
Consider the average attention span of a visitor, for instance: their expectation is that a webpage will load within two seconds or less. Keep them waiting just one second more because you don’t know how to optimise your website for speed, and they may go elsewhere. And that’s just one of many factors in attracting and retaining leads online.
Narrowing down your selection
Once you’ve made the decision to commission a new website, it’s relatively easy to find a web designer. There are loads; even more, if you’re happy to work remotely with an agency elsewhere in the country. Fundamentally, they will all offer you the same thing: a website for your business. However, not all web design agencies are created equally.
You may have noticed yourself when searching the web that many websites have a familiar feel. That’s no bad thing in one sense. There are some conventions that help visitors navigate their way around with ease. What you certainly don’t want, though, is for your business’ identity to be lost. You do not want a website that is the same as your competitors’; or worse, is an adapted version of a completely irrelevant template.
Your website needs to be an extension of your business; it must represent YOU
Your website deserves to be unique. The best design agencies will discuss your business and your vision for it, your audiences and your marketing goals to design a site that caters in a tailored fashion to what you want and need.
The additional web design and development services you’re going to need
Web design isn’t just about what a website looks like, though obviously, you want it to be visually appealing. As noted, it must also be accessible and easily navigable. This entails optimising the user interface for the user. If you want visitors to stay on your website, and more than that, to engage with your business and what it has to offer them, then you must make it straightforward for them to do so.
Ask any agency about issues such as responsive web design, which in part ensures that viewers can get the full benefit of your visuals and content whether they’re viewing it on a smartphone or a desktop.
Talk about the potential for lead generation through calls to action, whether that’s a video that invites comment or an online contact form.
And finally, discuss ongoing support and maintenance. You will need a promise of technical support once things are up and running. But equally, it’s your website and you should retain the power to update and amend it with new content, price changes, special offers, and blogs, for example, without having to pay a premium and waiting for an age for your designer to tweak it.
Does location mean anything?
Does the web designer’s location matter, if you like their work? There is no right or wrong answer here. Today’s technology means it’s as easy to hold virtual, online meetings with a web designer, for instance, as it is to travel to their premises.
On the other hand, many managers and directors of businesses prefer the face-to-face approach. It’s really down to personal preference. It is far more important to find a firm of web designers that is a good fit with your company’s ethos.
You can often get a good sense of this from their own website. Do you find it aesthetically pleasing? Do the ‘Home’ and ‘About Us’ pages resonate with you and the way you do business? Does their portfolio of past clients inspire and impress you? And on a practical level, do they offer the specific services you require?
The agency that places a strong emphasis on content and SEO services will not deliver the same as the company that tackles online marketing and eCommerce. If your primary goals are to attract leads and sell more, an agency that shows demonstrable past success in the latter services will be the stronger contender for your business.