Are you an entrepreneur or a business owner looking to create a website for your business?
Most business owners in our current digital age either already have a business website or are ready to create one. If not, then they are most definitely holding their company back by not giving it the soil it needs to grow.
Today, businesses of every size are global businesses!
How? You may ask.
The answer is simple – online presence!
No matter the size, shape or location of your business, the competition is only a Google search away.
Therefore, we have created this complete guide to building a professional business website to blow away your competitors by an amazing web design.
While building and owning a business website may not be a difficult task, the return on investment can vary widely. There are many common mistakes which often stop businesses from successfully generating substantial sales.
In this website design guide, we will cover some of the most essential aspects of the design process. Don’t worry, we won’t bore you with technical jargon, we just want to give you the tips to help your business succeed.
As a business owner, you will know the importance of every little detail and how every sale, no matter how little, is crucial to the success of your business.
We will cover all the steps (the ifs, the buts and the whys) of web design in this guide, including:
- Why is your website design so important?
- What are some of the elements which are essential?
- Why things like the layout of the website and mobile friendliness are important?
- The most crucial question is, how do you actually choose a web designer or an agency to get the job done?
- And of course, how can you maximise your sales?
Not only will these steps be covered thoroughly, but we will also look at the general workflow tips to ensure how you can get your business website design right.
If done right, you will maximise your business by creating a professional business website!
Why website design is important for businesses
The main reason we are making this guide is so you can understand what goes into the website design process and why it is important to have a website that looks good for your business.
As a complete website design guide, we will explore in depth-questions and the appropriate answers to them, especially for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
So, without further ado, we’re going to delve deep into why website design is important for businesses.
Reflect Brand Identity
Website design is key to the establishment of your brand identity!
Once that is established, it must be reflected on all other aspects of your business. So, just like a traditional store, no matter what you are selling, a product or a service, you must display it to attract customers.
Your website will represent you and your business online. It must reflect your brand’s identity, what it stands for, what it provides to its customers and all the other USPs of your business.
With this element of web design, you will attract visitors who are specifically looking for your services and convert them to customers.
Improve Customer Experience
The next reason why website design is important for your business is that it will improve your customer experience.
You want to make sure that your site isn’t chaotic, cluttered or confusing, otherwise visitors might back out and click the next available site. This backing out is not just a lost customer for you, but it also hurts the rating of your website by Google.
Google is like Santa for online businesses, you must always be on its nice list, or else you miss out on all wonderful the gifts!
You don’t want your visitors to bounce off your website, since no business can stand to lose out on potential customers. Read all about the importance of Bounce Rate from Neil Patel.
With an effective web design, your visitors will get the grand experience they expect and they will become your valued customers.
Design Elements of a Good Business Website
There are many things you need to consider when incorporating a good website design. Mostly because your website will be a custom website which will differ from others and might even have different design elements to it depending on the CMS your website is built in.
However, we would always recommend WordPress as it is the simplest for your potential customers to understand and the layout is rather simple as well.
Take a look at some of the most important elements of a good website design:
- Create your own branding colour
One of the most important elements of a good website design is your branding recognition. You will want to design your website with a certain array of colours that match your brand and logo design.
A good web designer will recognise this and implement your specific colours throughout your website.
With an in-depth knowledge of web development, the designer will be able to implement this correctly. These design elements are a must throughout your website if you want it to effectively come across as a professional web site.
If you have a logo for your business that’s branded on any of your promotional material, be it leaflets, business cards etc., you want to apply the same style and colour scheme to your website design.
For example, our custom website design has a navy-blue logo with a white background, so we’ve implemented blue and white throughout the site:
This reminds the customer whose website they’re on, as they scroll through your home page and related pages. It also makes it easy for us to highlight our call to action buttons as you can use a contrasting colour, in this case green, to make them pop.
You can use this same tactic to maintain consistency across your pages as it’s quite jarring to see various background and content colours on each page.
You also want to make sure you use the same format, style and typeface guidelines for all your pages to avoid the same jarring presentation.
Minimising distractions is key to keeping people on your website and making the whole process as streamlined as possible.
- Utilise the white space
One important thing to notice is the amount of “white space” we have around our primary question and call to action. Any open space on a website is known as “white space” which, contrary to its name, can be any colour, and is used to frame the content you want to draw the visitor’s eye to.
You can see another example of this on our local SEO page:
Your eye is drawn to each individual segment and you can tell they are separate, thanks to the white space between them. Also, all the content is channelled down the middle effectively using the white space.
- Proper use of calls to action
Getting those potential customers towards your website is great, but what if you can turn them into leads and actual customers. This is where your “Call to Action” comes in to play, it could be something like “click here,” “buy now,” or even “visit our website.”
You are inviting your visitors to do something and with persuasive & strategic design, they will do what you want them to do!
These are great ways to generate customers because, when a customer reads a little bit of your content and is then ready to make a purchase, the button is right there. So, they don’t have to waste time trying to find it.
Not only that, but it also helps drive traffic throughout your website.
If you look at our homepage, you can see we have a simple question dead centre, two lines of easily-digestible text, and our call to action. So, visitors know what we offer the second they reach our site.
This is especially important with website design for businesses because they need to make sure customers know what they’re about immediately, as most people leave a website after the first 15 seconds.
- Remember your audience
Never lose sight of who your target audience is. Website visitors are not computers accessing your website, they are your customers looking for your business!
Every aspect of your web design must be targeted at attracting their attention, appealing to their emotions, and easy for them to pursue.
If a customer visits your website and wants to speak to someone to better understand, make it easy for them to call you by displaying number where it can be seen.
If you want your customer to fill out the contact form, then make sure they don’t have to spend hours trying to find it on your website.
Give your customers easy access to all the information about your products, or service using the website. You will then, relish the returns.
- Optimise your website
Regardless of how beautiful or functional your website may be, make sure it is optimised.
- Optimised simply means that the website is easy & fast to load
- Images are minimised to a reasonable size
- Files, videos, etc. are all compressed for easy loading
- Make your website easy to find on Google searches (How? Keep reading for this Bonus!)
- Clean up the coding of your website
So, what should you do if you missed all these elements when building your website?
Redesign… rebuild… and relaunch your website!
Contrary to popular belief, building a custom business website design or redesigning an existing website is really not as expensive as many business owners may think.
As a business owner, you should be well aware of the exact costs which may potentially bring in a lot more return for your investment.
Many reputed web design agencies in UK are able to offer standard business website redesigns or freshly built bespoke website designs starting from just £495.
Choosing the Right Website Design Layout
As we have touched upon previously, branding is very important. In addition to this, the layout of the website is also important.
Think of it like this, all of KFC and Pizza Hut’s restaurants have the same layout! You want to choose the right kind of layout for the custom website you wish to have.
The key to this is a simple design that has your own creative flare to it!
This is why WordPress is a perfect choice as there are thousands of templates available and it is the most widely used platform in the world. If built by a good web designer, with a great colour scheme, these templates can be perfected for you and your business.
The home page layout is easily the most important page and it should get its due importance on your website.
Why? Well, simply put, it is the first page your potential customers will see.
An effective home page layout design is like your own customer service agent who will constantly be available to help your visitors around the website.
The website design layout will give your website the structure it needs. The simpler the structure, the easier it will be for visitors to browse your website.
With a proper layout, you can lead your visitors down the path leading to a purchase, call, or form submission. As such, it will help you highlight the most important aspects of your business story.
The following things will be the foundation for the right design layout for your website:
- Home Page Header
- Menu Bar
- Content Column Width
While the majority of website designers don’t like to work in segments for layouts, it is extremely important to individually focus on their specific objectives.
The home page header design will be right at the top of the page and will be something visitors will always see. It must be carefully designed to successfully communicate your business message.
The menu bar layout should be designed to give your website a nice structure of knowing your products, learning more, finding your physical business locations or contact numbers, making a purchase, etc.
The content column width is the viewing area for your customers, so it must be able to communicate your message. This can be done effectively by making use of the space through text, images, videos or other animations.
As soon as your layout is finalised, the next steps are to move on to other aspects like choosing the typography or fonts to be used, the colour theme to be used, etc.
You must also consider the latest trends of website design which are bound to succeed in 2019!
Importance of a Mobile-friendly or Responsive Web Design
Google prioritises mobile-friendly websites over those that aren’t so if you want your page to appear high in Google searches, this is the first thing to optimise.
The reason Google favours mobile-friendly designs is because more and more people are accessing the internet on their mobile phones. As of November 2018, 48.2% of all internet traffic took place on mobile phones, making mobile web design incredibly important.
If you don’t want to miss out on 50% of your potential market, it’s a good idea to optimise your site for mobile phones. The best way to check if your page is optimised for smartphones is to use Google’s mobile-friendly test.
Simple type in your website’s URL:
And you should see this page:
This screen instantly tells you whether your page is mobile-friendly or not. You can open a report on the rest of your website by clicking the “Open site-wide mobile usability report” button.
Choosing a Good Website Designer
Now that you know a lot more about the many aspects of website design, you will now need to choose a website designer for your website.
Which designer you should choose completely depends on your requirements.
If there were ever an easier time to find the right web designer for your specific needs, it’s now!
The only problem is, the web design industry is massively saturated so finding that perfect designer can become a long, drawn-out affair.
Before you delve into the many choices and sorting them to pick one, it is important to know and decide on your exact requirements. Think of it like another milestone in your life like buying a car, a house, etc. and set out exactly your specific needs & goals.
If you do that properly, then the right option will more than likely filter itself out for you!
Where can you look for a qualified, talented website designer?
Finding a talented, qualified and reliable website designer is not easy!
But the good news is that with a little bit of work, you will be able to get find the right website designers.
So, you should always choose a website designer based on your goals rather than the options that are available. This will allow you to make the right decision!
With this in mind, let’s now look at how your needs translate to a functional website for your business.
Depending on your goals, these are the main questions you must answer:
- What type of website are you looking to get built?
- What functionalities do you require?
- Do you want a very basic website which provides information for your visitors?
- Are you looking for more functionality like bookings, purchases, etc.?
This step is essential as it will reveal the exact type of website designer you need!
How can you tell if a web designer is good?
Let’s look at some qualities which set apart good web designers from the rest!
A good web designer will inform you of the achievable features of your website based on your brief. This will include the look and the functionality of the web site.
Not only that, a good web designer in UK will be able to work in a clearly stated process to completion.
But you must consider what sort of process you want to be involved with, whether you want involvement or feedback in every stage or only in important parts of the design or maybe even just the functional aspects.
So, a good web designer will be able to suit their process to best suit your needs and requirements.
Now let’s look at web designers which you should avoid.
If a designer is unable to outline a work process or flow, then stay away!
Avoid website designers who don’t follow a clear structured process. While a written process is best, you should at least stick to one which you can go back to with clearly defined feedback stages.
It is often the case that the feedback stage is never ending, so you must ensure that your feedback is specific rather than vague.
Budget for a good website designer
A massive part of choosing a good website designer is the associated cost. And sadly, as little as possible is not a workable budget!
You must be clear to consider the cost range for a new website design, how much money and time you have to spend on it right now, and whether you have considered the cost for re-designing your existing website.
A bespoke website design is not a cost to you, it is an important investment!
Consider the return on your investment and the budget will make room for itself.
As an entrepreneur, it is always to focus on maximising your return than minimising investment. Set a budget for your website, and convert that to value to your business.
In this way, you can look into hiring a good in-house full-time website designer or an outsourced website design agency, whichever fits the bill!
How long does it take to build a business website in UK?
You may be thinking, “Okay, I just need a website and I need it now!”
Its 2019 and getting a simple, affordable, quick standard website is very easy. Whether it’s for business or personal use, there are many easy options available.
Option #1 – Website Builders
The perfect one-stop solution for those who want a readymade website without any hassles. Although it comes at a cheap price, they are pre-made templates available on monthly subscriptions. You will be limited in terms of functionalities, but you will get a website fast.
Not my recommended choice, as the user experience is not great!
Option #2 – DIY with WordPress
The most popular platform for websites in 2019 is WordPress! It comes with one of the most versatile CMS (Content Management System) for implementing supported software as you learn. It is a tough task but it provides you with 100% control and 100% open options.
Not recommended unless, you have the time & energy to invest along with your budget.
Option #3 – Website Design Agency
This is the perfect blend of the previous options, giving you full control with unlimited options at a cost. But does not dig into your valuable time or energy to learn new things. A good website design agency in UK will be able to create bespoke website design for your business within as little as just a few days. While the cost is cheaper compared to independent website designers, the service is hassle free to you and your business.
I recommend a good website agency like The Website Designer Group who provide excellent customer support in addition to great looking bespoke website designs for a competitive price.
Expectations from the Website Design Process
Before you start the process of creating or redesigning your business website, you must first understand what goes into the website design process for it to be an effective website design!
By now through reading this article you might have some idea of what to implement to make a good website. However, there are many different web design agencies around the globe that do the process a little differently.
The Web Designer Group which is one of the leading web design companies around the globe usually makes a standard website within as little as 7 working days.
So, as you can see, the design process can be both fast and professional. Which in turn makes customers happy that they can have a product finished within just a few days and the pricing is quite good as well with their standard 5-page website at just £495!
Although we don’t have a huge insight into every other company and how they create websites but you should look for a standard website design process.
Understanding Business Requirements
- Know products or service
- Understand business flow
- Identify target group of customers
- All other client requirements
- Relevant information for converting visitors to customers
- Helpful information which answer consumer queries
- Include variety in the form of images & videos
- Collect appropriate data from client
Creating Relevant Graphics
- Relevant images & graphics incorporated for website
- Include visually appealing graphics
- Client feedback
Design & Development
- Create design outline for mock-up
- Tweak design & layout for best structure
- Incorporate perfect blend of design & content
- Client approval
- Check for complete functionality
- Working links, form submissions, etc.
- Working across all browsers & devices
- Client feedback after complete testing & development
- Client approval
- Check Everything & Go live
Updates & Maintenance
- Optimised for digital marketing (SEO, SMM, SEM, etc.)
- Functional redesigns in terms of business growth or changing goals
- Regulatory changes in terms laws, regulations, policies, etc.
For entrepreneurs or any small to large business owners, the right web designer with a stated design process can create anything you wish for your business and offer your customers a reliable platform for your products or service.
This is why, we would recommend The Web Designer Group for people looking to own and operate a website for their business in the UK.
Want to Increase your Sales? Here’s a Bonus to Boost your Sales!
After you have a professionally built business website, you must remember that you have setup your store for customers to have a good experience but you must ensure that they are able to locate your business. With a website, you have somewhere for customers to shop in, but they don’t necessarily know how to get there.
As a new business website owner or even one that is established already, you may not be getting the numbers of visitors you would expect. This means you need to look into your website’s marketing strategy and how easily you can focus on simple design aspects to boost your sales.
You need to focus on modern day business aspects such as SEO, SMM, PPC, etc. in total – Digital Marketing!
Whether you take into consideration a new website or an old one, how do you measure its success? Your sales alone only account for your business success but the investment you’ve put into the website is left unmeasured. You will fail to see what’s working and what’s not!
Digital marketing strategies like implementing Social Media Marketing (SMM), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC). With such strategies in place, you will be able to set a goal and work towards that goal.
Additionally, you will be able to measure methods and choose the most successful one for your business. If you think that you need online customers then you must look into paid ads through PPC. If most of your potential customers are on social media like Facebook, Twitter then you should focus heavily on SMM.
As we are living in the google generation, if most of your potential customers find you or your competition by searching on google then you should invest in SEO from a reputed digital marketing service provider. SEO today is one of the most successful, effective and long-term online marketing strategies for business websites.
Once you have your online presence through a professional website, you will be able to provide many services or products from your small business on the web.
The next crucial step to take is for you to get seriously involved with search engine optimisation and other forms of digital marketing for your business.
These marketing activities can get your website from nothing in the google rankings to page one, where all of your customers can see you. However, we promise to give you a complete in-depth guide to search engine optimisation and digital marketing in our next article.
For now, you can visit the blog section of The Web Designer Group and have a look at our SEO & online marketing blogs.
In the meantime, get a website if you don’t have one and redesign it if you have missed even a tiny aspect of what we discussed in the guide today. Remember that one of the many great things about having a website is that you can share all of your great updates throughout social media.
So never underestimate what the tiniest of things can do to trigger a boost in sales. Dealing with all these small aspects will give you much exposure that you will need in starting up, or establishing, or boosting your web presence.
Other than the many things we have thoroughly covered in this guide, you can slowly begin to understand what to expect from the website design process. You will realise the importance of adding these essential elements, while incorporating responsive website design aspects.
You might even decide when planning your website requirements with your web designer or developer that you want them to think outside the box. Never back away from trying a few new things that constitute adaptive design and trends which are bound to succeed in 2019.
At the end of the day, the goal of your business website is that it needs to be relevant to your potential customers. So, you can make revenue off your website, either with call to actions or with an eCommerce system, whichever is custom built to reach your particular business goals will be most beneficial.
Hope you enjoyed reading this complete guide to website design, especially for business owners and entrepreneurs.
Let us know what you think about the tips and techniques discussed in this post and you can leave us a question in the comments if you’d like to learn more about how to make your online business successful.