Communicating your brand effectively is essential when it comes to having a successful business. Letting your customers know that you’re reputable and can be trusted is more effective than simply selling your products out in the market without building up your reputation first.
With the rise of the internet, you’re now tasked with pouring equal effort into ensuring that your products are up to par, as well as building a good and unique website that reflects your brand and the quality of your offerings. As you do this, you should also take advantage of a website that has a well-integrated capacity to convert traffic into sales.
While there’s a multitude of options and ways you can capitalize on a good website to propel your sales and expand your reach, building one can be quite challenging at first.
What Makes A Website Good?
In light of today’s fast-paced world, a good website must have the capacity to communicate with your consumers within a matter of seconds of them visiting it. It must have all the relevant information and a call to action that features your products and provides them with insight on what they can do next.
There’s a number of ways to design a striking website; however, looks aside, one important thing to consider is how well it reflects your brand. A good web designer will make use of color theory, website elements, coding language, and the like, but a much better one will have all those and your business in mind.
This means that when you have someone design the website for you, being hands-on is crucial. It’s true that you should trust the designer with their craft, but your involvement in the design stage is just as important. A good web development team, such as Smartly Done and others, is one that’s willing to let you be involved in the process and that can help you have a website that suits your taste and reflects your brand well.
Template Versus Custom Design
In terms of how the website will look, you have two options: you can make use of a template or opt for a custom design. A template utilizes a predesigned interface wherein your brand can be immediately inserted, while a custom design usually starts from scratch.
Making use of a template is obviously the easier and faster route to take when it comes to becoming part of the digital ecosystem, but template designs lack the flexibility that you’d want for your brand.
On the other hand, a custom design fills in the gaps that a template design might have by giving you more choices in putting unique elements that can help in better reflecting your brand. To elaborate further, here are seven ways a custom website design can help your business.
1. It Allows You To Showcase Your Brand’s Uniqueness
You may have competitors in the market, but your brand is your own. You’re the one who thought of it, and you’re the one running it. So it would be a great move to own a custom website design that reflects your brand.
Focusing on your own brand means having to focus on your company’s image. In business, your customers’ opinion of you can either make or break your reputation, so you need to exert consistent effort for them to continue viewing your company in a positive light.
While giving value to your products—or, more aptly, letting your products speak for themselves—is fundamental in ensuring the quality of your services, not every customer will have the chance to try your products out. And since there are a plethora of options out in the market, consumers are at a crossroads when it comes to choosing which ones to purchase.
Guiding your customers to come to a decision by showing off your brand means generating more sales. In addition, trust is established between the customers and your brand, resulting in increased customer retention.
Reflecting your brand through your website can give the impression that you’re more trustworthy, more reputable, and take business more seriously than your competitors.
2. It Gives You More Control
In relation to the design process, you have the option to decide which functions to add or remove from your website. As the business owner, you know your target audience more than the web designer does, so you’re the perfect person to make decisions regarding this.
Moreover, your customers may have different buyer personas. These are preset behavioral patterns that can help you assess the factors that lead a buyer to purchase your products. In relation to your website, you can help create a design that caters to the different buyer personas of your customer base.
It’s often a mistake among businesses, even the larger ones, to think that they know their customers. While demographics and customer profiles are things that may have you thinking you know your customer base, two people of the same demographic may have different factors or reasons for their purchase.
For instance, let’s imagine two customers. Customer A is a 37-year-old male who considers product legalities and prefers to buy them online. Customer B is also a 37-year-old male who considers product legalities, but he prefers to purchase goods in physical stores. Both A and B have the same demographic and profile, but they have different preferred modes of purchase. Knowing these nuances can help you guide the designer in creating a website with an easy-to-navigate interface that can cater to different personas.
3. It’s More SEO-Friendly
One of the reasons that digital platforms have become increasingly famous in recent years is the convenience of being able to do a multitude of things with just one device. If you’d like to get research done, for instance, what was once a grueling process of scouring through different books is now just a matter of typing words into a search box.
However, simple as it may seem, there’s a lot of work behind search engines. Generally, search engines use bots to crawl through various web pages in cyberspace and index them based on a number of criteria. This is important; otherwise, you would be flooded with thousands of search results, of which only a few are valid.
Hence the start of the practice of search engine optimization (SEO). Websites, particularly those that want search result visibility, need to abide by certain protocols and maintain good-quality content to ensure that they get a good ranking.
Among these protocols is having optimized architecture and bloat-free coding. Using a custom website design increases the chances of preventing coding faults, thereby increasing your website’s search engine visibility and ranking.
In addition, this improves the overall user experience of your visitors. If you’ve ever visited a website that loads pages extremely slow despite having no connectivity issues, chances are, there was a problem with the website’s coding, or there was an issue in transferring data packets within the server. Regardless, having a custom design for your website decreases the chances of such loading issues occurring.
4. It Helps Prevent Your Brand From Looking Shady
It’s true that an advantage of custom website design is that you’re given more control. However, if you’re misguided, you may end up wasting the control you have over your website’s look.
Let’s say you prefer a more maximalist and cluttered look, which may be fine when you apply it to your office or your home. But when it comes to websites, less is usually more. Gone are the days when web pages were littered with pictures, texts, neon colors, GIFs, and other elements that fill up your screen. If anything, websites that look like that are often perceived as dodgy nowadays, and it may decrease your chances of converting traffic to sales.
Also, having a cluttered website could affect your SEO ranking, since more elements may mean slower loading times. Remember, you need to give your visitors the best experience possible.
With custom website design, though you hold most of the control, you still have to work hand in hand with the designer. You can provide each other with input, thereby creating a website that is tailored to your business and that has the touch of professionalism that web designers are able to give.
It may seem like there’s a slim chance of customers perceiving your website as shady, but you need to build a good reputation. Maximizing and exhausting all your options and resources to do this is important in building a good brand.
5. It’s More Flexible
Both consumers and markets are rapidly changing. One minute, your business may be catering to a specific demographic; the next, you might notice you’re getting customers from other demographics your business didn’t previously appeal to. This is possible because of how dynamic the market is nowadays.
With a custom website design, you have the capacity to overhaul your website as needed. And since trends and demands change every now and then, you’ll definitely need it at some point.
It’s important to show your customers that you’re able to keep up with the times. It gives the impression that your business is flexible and capable of change. Customers need that assurance, particularly in the customer service industry, where mistakes often happen and customers require accountability.
Also, the value system of consumers may change, and so will their attitudes, personalities, and behavioral patterns. This means their customer profiles and buyer personas may change too. Having the capacity to modify your website at times like these can be advantageous for you, especially when the business is doing well.
Expanding your business means furthering your reach, but even if your website is capable now, it may not be sufficient to handle the influx of traffic of a bigger customer base. With a custom website design, you can ask your web developer to design it in a way that makes it ready for massive change at any given time.
6. It’s Cost-Efficient
Between template design and custom design, the former is relatively cheaper than the latter if you compare their upfront fees. However, if you factor in the relative costs you will incur long-term, custom website designs are actually the cheaper option.
In the long run, template designs can bloat your expenses by billing you for the add-ons, security features, and other additional elements. On the other hand, since the custom design is usually handled by a web development agency, additional support like troubleshooting is already covered. Maintaining a website is difficult, and a dedicated support system to help you out as needed can help you save on fees that you might have spent had you opted for a template design.
7. It Keeps You In Step With Your Competitors
If you’ve been searching for reasons to choose a custom website design, it’s probably because you heard about it from someone or read about it somewhere. This is a good indicator that it’s a widely practiced, well-known digital marketing strategy that your competitors may be using too.
You don’t want to be left behind in business trends. As a business owner, you’re responsible for leading your company to a place of success and innovation, where you have healthy market competition with your competitors. And since competition is healthy among businesses and promotes market growth, by being a good competitor, you give more options to your customers of which products to patronize.
While this may seem counterintuitive in increasing sales, product quality becomes more valuable in the context of having to choose among a list of options. You won’t know if your toothpaste is good if you haven’t tried a different manufacturer’s toothpaste, after all. This is why branding is also important; you can’t set yourself apart if there’s nothing to set yourself apart from.
The same could be said with SEO. Since websites are ranked based on a number of criteria, customers will know that the rankings aren’t for show and that they have merit. This breeds more trust on their end, thus driving businesses (such as yours) to aim for higher rankings.
Bearing your company’s and customers’ best interests in mind, it’s important to consider these factors to fully reflect your brand. As a business owner, you’re the one who gets to decide what kind of website design best suits your company. And, after reading the points above, you may already have a good idea of what choice to make.