Web Design For Your Business
The correlation between your website’s design, the designer you choose, and your business growth potential is a big one. We’d even go as far to say that your business’s bottom line depends on your web design and how your website visitors interact with your site overall. Many times the design of a company’s website or the need for a professional designer may be overlooked when they don’t understand its importance, but we want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.
The design of your website is extremely important, and learning how to make your design work for your business and not against it is crucial to your company’s success. Increasing customer engagement and bringing in more business in the long run are just a couple of the reasons why your website design is so critical in regards to your future growth.
Why Website Design Is Important For Your Business
Building an online presence is an important aspect to any business. Gone are the days when the option of having a website was still that…an option. In today’s business climate, shopping and company research often start online and failing to produce a website to represent your company will most likely mean being overlooked. While adding a website to the mix is crucial for your business, building a website just for the sake of building one will produce less than stellar results in terms of online traffic. Today’s online shoppers look for visually pleasing, user-friendly websites, and when this isn’t available, they move along to the competition.
Appearance is so important that according to Forbes.com, a study entitled “Trust and Mistrust of Online Health Sites” found that 94 percent of people mistrusted a website based on poor design over only 6 percent who mistrusted a site over content. This research shows that a website can offer the most accurate content on the web, but with a poor design, readers most likely will not consider them a credible resource.
The truth of the matter is that no matter which industry is in question, offering an easy-to-use, modern website to your clientele is crucial for growth. If you are wondering why website design is important for your business then consider these reasons before dissing the idea of improving your website.
It increases traffic and customers as a result.
Let’s face it, looks are everything when it comes to a business website. If you don’t believe me then think about the last time you visited a website that was overly cluttered and difficult to navigate. Chances are you grew tired of attempting to search through the confusion and eventually left the site, only to search for another option. Now think about a website you have visited that ran smoothly, was simple to navigate, and provided fast answers to your questions without ever forcing you to speak with a representative. This is the sort of website that ensures recurring traffic or repeat business for your company. Building a website with the customer in mind that runs efficiently and is easy to use will make customers want to return and may even result in them sharing your site with their friends and family.
It reflects the type of service you will offer.
While offering a website to your customers isn’t a new concept and will not make your business stand out, providing them with a fresh, easy-to-maneuver page will definitely grab their attention. The reason a clean site carries so much weight for your business is because through those five minutes spent visiting your website, customers get a quick glimpse into the type of care that your business provides. Basically, without ever having to step foot into your store or speak with you over the telephone, a well-designed website could mean a growing and loyal customer base.
It is a 24/7 marketing tool for your business.
We would get a lot more achieved if sleep didn’t get in our way. Unfortunately, we all have to go to bed sometime and that leaves a huge chunk of time where business owners are unable to market themselves, answer potential customer questions, or sell products. The beauty of building a website that runs well is that it basically acts as a sales representative for your company. Adding a frequently-asked-questions section, creating a shopping area, or even including a contact form are all great ways to allow customers to use your website as method of getting to know your business.
It establishes credibility. Establishing credibility should be important to any business owner, especially considering its importance to potential customers. In fact, a website’s design is so influential to the perceived credibility of a business that according to research conducted by Ironpaper.com, 48% of people cited this as being a factor in deciding the credibility of a business.
How Your Website Design Can Increase Customer Engagement
Having a business be accessible to as many consumers and customers as possible is ultimately what generates revenue for companies. For a successful business, user engagement is just as important as a company being visible. This allows your brand to become available to as many people as possible. It can increase the awareness of your brand and boost both revenue and customer satisfaction rates.
Good first impression
There is no set blueprint for successful user engagement or brand accessibility. It requires the right combination of methods to create a cohesive website that encompasses all business and customer needs. On average, a website has roughly eight seconds to make an impression on a customer. That is a very small window for a good first impression. Similar to a blind date, you only have one chance to make sure your business impresses and keeps customers coming back for more. Not only do you have to impress customers within that time limit, but you need to make them believe that your service or product is useful to them.
Further studies show that the first impression your website makes on a customer is the only chance you get. Online selling is much harder than having a storefront. While stores could have hundreds of people walk in and out of the store daily, a website may not get that same visibility. Even worse, there is a good chance that many customers who visit your website will not return. Making that first impression is crucial to the success of your business.
There is nothing people love more than free things. While it’s not suggested that you give tons of products away, it is suggested that you can provide monthly free trials or free access to certain content if they sign up. You want to show customers and readers that you appreciate the time they are taking to engage on your website. The more they become involved, the more content will be available to them. Free things aren’t always the answer, but they can open the door for more business and a wider net of subscribers.
A company website with strong interactive qualities allows for customers to explore and dig deep into products and offerings available to them. If there is a lot to look at and comprehend, some buyers might become overwhelmed by the volume of information. Instead of waiting for a customer service call, visitors to the site could potentially utilize live chats, which will allow their voices to be heard and their questions to be answered promptly by someone who knows the products and the company.
Live chats offer high levels of customer satisfaction because the communication with a professional is instant. One click and they can be connected with someone from the company. One of the benefits of offering live chats is that a company is then able to gather consumer data while resolving any customer issues. This information is imperative because the company can use it to provide better services or create stronger marketing campaigns.
One of the worst mistakes a company can make when creating a website is to have the main page too cluttered. A customer won’t know where to go first, and it might be difficult for them to easily navigate their way around the website to find the products they want or the information they seek. Having a website that provides clean lines with organized tabs will ease client confusion and allow customers to take their time perusing. A customer who stays to look will probably stay to buy.
Additionally, having a website that is compatible with all means of electronics such as smartphones or tablets is just as important. Being able to transfer those clean lines to smaller devices is extremely significant. With people becoming more dependent on their electronic devices, it’s imperative that the way customers engage with your business is seamless. And with no shortage of ways to make your website adapt, there is no reason why it can’t be successful on multiple platforms. Particularly in part because so many consumers make orders through their smartphones and having a website that isn’t compatible could cost you sales.
How To Make Your Website Design Work For Your Business
Whether you’re doing the work yourself or hiring a professional web developer, the end result should be unique to your business and ultimately benefit your company through revenue growth and traffic increases. The internet contains millions of websites, a large percentage of those being businesses. Small or large, each of those businesses must have a competitive edge that draws customers in.
A successful website isn’t all about the aesthetic. Although that is an important part, it’s not the only thing that businesses should be concerned with. The overall concept of the website should be something cohesive and creative that sets your business apart from all the others. Why should customers shop at your store? Why are your products better? Are you willing to go above and beyond for customer satisfaction? These are some questions you might want to ask yourself as a person looking at your website. Not all of these things need to be addressed immediately upon arrival, but customers should be able to piece together the answer to these questions shortly after exploring the website. Creativity and vision are obvious traits of any great website design, but attractive imagery alone will not guarantee sales or consistent web traffic.
In order to have a successful web business, you will no doubt need foot traffic. Marketing is a large part of any business, particularly for a business that doesn’t have a storefront and relies on internet communication. In many ways, marketing goes hand in hand with the design of the website. Everything about the website needs to be cohesive. Your business goals should also align with what your company is about and its mission.
- Search Engine Optimization: Search engines are some of the most widely used websites on the internet today. Optimizing your website for varying search engines for main keyword phrases can significantly impact the traffic coming to your company website. People will look up anything from math problems to medical symptoms and all at the press of a button. So why not use this amazing tool to your advantage!
- Social Media: It may seem obvious to some, but social media is a great way to market your company and get more awareness of your brand out to consumers. It can be a challenge incorporating social media into your website in a way that is cohesive, but when done correctly, the inclusion of social-media platforms can boost traffic and ultimately increase sales.
No matter your product or brand, showing that your company is versatile is important in staying relevant. Displaying your best products and services should be your first priority in the creation of your website, but you don’t want to pigeonhole your company to a specific niche. This could have an advantage later on regarding opening as many doors as possible.
Versatility is also about design. If your company wants to give off the impression of a small mom-and-pop shop, it can still do that in a relevant and creative way. Your website should consistently keep up with the times. This doesn’t mean you should be updating your web design every month but remain aware of trends and what moves in and out of style.
In addition to other aspects, customer engagement is at the top of the list for things that need hard consideration. The more customers engage and explore your website, the longer they may stay, which could mean more business for you. Now, this can be done a number of ways, but it can be accomplished through a clean web design. Customers don’t want to spend 10 minutes searching your website for what they are looking for. Helpful tools such as menus and tabs allow customers to find what they want quickly, without hassle.
Unfortunately, companies have mere seconds to make a good first impression. If those precious seconds are squandered because a customer is frustrated that they can’t find what they need, it won’t leave a good taste in their mouth, and they may not return. Your website can pack a lot of punch, but just make sure it’s easy to navigate.
Now that you understand why your web design and business growth go hand in hand it’s important to also know the ins and outs of getting the best web designer that will work with your company’s wants and needs. Choosing the right designer can make or break your business so we’ve pulled together our best tips when it comes to finding the right designer for your business.
Here’s How to Choose the Perfect Website Designer for Your Company
Choosing a website designer can be difficult, especially since choosing the right one is so crucial for your company. Your website is often the first impression potential clients will have of your business, and it dictates how they understand you, feel about you, and will ultimately lead many visitors to a decision about whether or not to buy from or partner with you. The complexity or simplicity of your business’s website, its look and feel, and even things like font choice and page load speed are all decisions that will represent your business to the outside world.
Of course, you want to hire the right web designer for your business — but how can you be sure? Here are four factors to think about before you make your decision to ensure you choose the perfect designer:
1. Know what you want before you talk to potential web designers. It’s important to be open to your designers’ recommendations, after all they’re professionals — but it’s also crucial to know what you want, especially before you hire one. Make sure to think about the following factors before you reach out to potential developers and designers:
- What functions, features, and capabilities do you want your website to have? What do you want it to do?
- What services do you need or want, and what can you do on your own? For example, will you provide your own website copy and photos, or do you need a designer who can help with those services?
- Do you already have a strong idea of what you want your website to look like, or are you open to guidance?
- If you have seen websites you’d like to emulate, make sure to show those examples to potential designers.
2. Look at websites they’ve created in the past and see if you connect with their style. It’s usually a good idea to look at samples of past work and choose someone whose design and development work you trust. This way, you can be more sure you’ll be happy with the finished product and you can trust your designer’s advice and recommendations with past work in mind. And in a similar vein, if you have friends, colleagues, or contacts who may know of some good design firms, reach out and get recommendations from people you trust.
3. Be realistic about the involvement you want to have after the website has launched. Depending on your business, there will likely be some sort of upkeep needed after your site has been created, whether it’s creating blog posts, updating pictures and information, or keeping up with stock and sales. Think about whether you have the capacity and skills to make these changes yourself before talking to a web designer. Factors like these let developers know how they’ll need to make the site and how hands-on they will need to be once the bulk of the work is done. Plus, depending on the level of involvement a given web designer offers, this can help you quickly weed out the designers that aren’t right for you.
4. Find out how available a designer will be after the site is done. Of course, you don’t want anything to go wrong with your website, but if it does happen, you’ll want to have any problems taken care of as soon as possible. Make sure to ask how (and if!) a designer plans to offer support once the site is officially up, or how they’ve dealt with troubleshooting issues for past clients. And if a designer won’t be available once the site is done, that’s not necessarily a deal-breaker—just make sure it’s written in a common coding language, so you won’t have a problem recruiting a new web developer to get it back on track.
8 Tips For Finding A Web Design Company For Your NJ Business
It’s no surprise that New Jersey businesses need a top-notch website in order to attract consumers when they’re searching online. Since users often leave web pages within 10 to 20 seconds, it’s imperative that your site catches their eye while being user-friendly, and gives them a reason to stay on your page longer than the average visit. If you currently have a standard website that is not easy to navigate, you are missing out on potential sales since consumers will most likely be landing on your site and quickly clicking off.
With so much at stake, it’s important for you to understand the importance of a great website and a strong online presence to go with it. Think of your site as an extension of your company. You wouldn’t send a dull salesperson to customers, so why create a flat website?
And the way to a great website is using a professional and creative design team that can create it. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Know your goals
Before you start searching for a design company, you need to know exactly what you want your website to achieve. For example, if you’re an ecommerce business, your focus might be return-on-investment (ROI), building a customer base, and higher conversion rates. Or if you’re just trying to promote your brand, you need to focus on visibility and informative content. You should also have a solid budget in mind before your first meeting. That way you’re clear with what you want and how much you’re willing to spend.
- Ask questions
Look at websites that you admire and see who had a hand in building them. The design team is sometimes listed at the bottom of websites or you can even directly ask these sites who they’ve worked with. Once you start interviewing web design companies, ask for testimonials and references from past clients. And ask if they have experience working in your industry.
- Communicate clearly
Agencies should always be clear when explaining exactly what they do. If you’re ever confused, don’t hesitate to ask questions so you’re not misunderstood. A great company will be ready at all times to answer and appreciate your questions.
- Discuss who will be doing the work
Ask if their design team is in-house, abroad, or local. It’s difficult to work with an agency that has a team across the world where the time gap can get in the way of quick web fixes. However, if the web design company resides in New Jersey, like in Morristown or Montclair, but they use a remote designer in lower Delaware, that’s perfectly fine as long as your designer remains easily accessible.
- Know the value of content
A great web design company knows the power of content in a business’s website. The voice of your business should echo throughout your entire framework. Therefore, agencies should fully understand your users to know what kind of optimized content to deliver. Don’t fall for copy and paste strategies.
- Get familiar with the publishing platform
Make sure you familiarize yourself with the content management system (CMS) of your desired agency. Most companies use WordPress, so play around with it before you hire your design company. That way, you understand a little more about what goes into a website and if you’re comfortable using the CMS to make quick edits.
- Understand the strategy
A good design agency will clearly outline their plan of attack. Ask them to present their strategy step-by-step so that you can see budget spending and set deadlines. Once you see a strategy, then you can be realistic about expectations and define what you’d like to see happen within six months to a year.
- Maintain a relationship
Launching a website doesn’t mean you end your agency relationship. In fact, the relationship should be ongoing and supportive so that you can continue growing your web presence. A great company will ensure that your website evolves so that you can continue to reach your goals. Ask about any long-term relationships with their other clients.
Overall, you need to find an NJ web design company that fits perfectly with you and your team. They need to understand your business, goals, timeline, and budget. Your website design should be easily navigable, helpful, and useful so you can convert passing users into customers. Do your research and be proactive until you find the right one.
Top Questions To Ask When Searching For A Website Designer
Ready to take your website to the next level? If so, you probably know that having a professionally designed website is one of the most important things you can do for your business. After all, people usually judge a book by its cover, and internet users are no different.
While you’re definitely making the right decision, finding someone to create your new site is also important. Unfortunately, finding a great web designer might be harder than it seems. It’s a complex practice filled with even more complex ideas. How do you even begin such a conversation?
Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of questions you should ask when interviewing a potential designer.
- How do you approach usability?
This is a key differentiator between novices and experts. A website’s ease of use is its usability. You’ll want someone who creates a website for the visitors, not himself. This is also called user-centered. The best web designers will light up with joy when you ask about this detail while eagerly sharing their research and experience.
- Can you show me examples of similar projects?
See if the designer has worked on at least one lookalike website with similar goals. Then you can ask why it was built a certain way and the results. Or if they haven’t worked on a site like yours, they should be up front about it. If you find that they have a wide variety of designs out there, but none of them quite match your niche, that’s still OK. That means they’ll be up for the challenge.
- Can I meet your team?
You’ll know right away if this design company has in-house or outsourced members. They could have a partnership with another reliable company or maybe hire freelancers who’ve never worked together before. Or the company could just be one or two people handling everything. Make sure you ask how they will manage your project and their capacity. If you’re still unsure about a designer’s credentials, don’t hesitate to check references and even the Better Business Bureau.
- Can I make changes to the website later?
While your business grows, it’s no surprise that the website will have to grow with it. Some web design companies charge for these updates on an hourly basis while others set up a convenient content-management system that allows clients to make their own changes seamlessly. A great follow-up question would be what costs are associated with different updates.
- How do you measure results?
Don’t be alarmed if the answer to this question involves a lot of technical jargon you’ve never heard before. Keep your ears perked for words like pageviews, bounce rates, search-engine rankings, inbound links, and unique visits. Web-design companies should have analytical tools to help them track these metrics while gaining valuable insights so you can increase traffic.
- What are your core services?
Look for agencies that offer design, development, and marketing. They will be uniquely qualified to handle every aspect of your online business. Coding capabilities, search-engine optimization, industry best practices, and fast problem-solving skills should come easily to them.
- What do you expect from me?
Besides what’s in your bank account, web designers also expect certain follow-throughs from their clients. Make sure you get your responsibilities straight and in writing. These might include content, hosting, images, and other deliverables. Then again, it might be as easy as just showing up.
The key when searching for a website designer is being informed and prepared. The battle might be half over just by knowing what to ask. Though the journey looks difficult, once you find the best designer for your business, you’ll be well on your way to online success.
How To Pick the Right Website Design Company For Your NJ Business
In the age of technology and the internet, the right website can be crucial to your company’s success. According to GE Capital Retail Bank’s second annual Major Purchase Shopper Study, 81 percent of consumers research a company online before stepping foot in the store. This means that even if a large majority of your business’s purchases happen while customers are physically in the store, chances are that most of these customers either learned about your business or were attracted to it based on their internet research. Eighty-one percent of customers is an overwhelming testament to the importance of having an eye-catching, user-friendly website that attracts potential consumers.
Although this number is meaningful, some business owners may not have the experience to upgrade their existing website or even launch a website if one has not already been created. This could result in your business losing potential customers to competition and possibly even existing customers who may enjoy the idea of occasional online shopping or research. If your NJ business is searching for a website design company, then here are some questions that you can ask yourself before choosing a web design company.
Does their quote match other design companies in the NJ area? Cost is an important aspect when it comes to any service, but if you are unfamiliar with or have never worked with a website design company then a high quote may go unnoticed. There is never a “one size fits all” idea with website design, but if you approach each potential design company with an idea of what you are looking for, then the quotes you receive should be in the same ballpark. The best approach when it comes to price is to speak with a few different companies and compare costs between them. This way, if one company stands out more than the others you will know that the price they are asking is within reason.
Is the company located in NJ or do they have an understanding of the area? A strong understanding of the clientele is extremely important for any business. Again, there is never a “one size fits all” idea with website design, and this is especially important when you are taking the customer into consideration. Things like having a drink at the Iron Bar in Morristown, NJ, and dining out at Fascino in Montclair, NJ, may not seem important for a website design, but when it comes to reaching the right customer, these details could be useful and are only truly understood by those living in the area.
Do they understand the NJ competition for your industry or business? Keeping your friends close but your enemies’ closer has never been truer than when it comes to really getting to know your competition. Understanding what has worked for your competitors may inspire similar ideas for your business and fully grasping disastrous changes they have made can help you to avoid mistakes. Web design is no different where your competition is concerned. According to Hubspot, 80 percent of websites lack a call to action. This includes items like having a way to subscribe to your blog, getting a free trial, and watching a video. Understanding what your competition is missing when it comes to website design will inspire you to offer much more on your website and will increase traffic as a result. While this may take some time to fully grasp at the beginning, the appropriate web design company should be able to walk you through some ideas based on what it is your competitors are lacking.
Why Choosing the Right Design Company Can Set You Apart From the Competition
In order to succeed in a very competitive business market, every company needs to have the best brand experience for their customers. Without this, there is no new business and no ways to grow revenue and expand. With the expanse of social media and the mobile web, customers have the ability to shop anywhere from different platforms. Taking advantage of this is a great way for businesses to market themselves and gain new consumer support. Hiring a web design company can help give your business a unique leg up on the competition.
Finding the right company for your business may require some trial and error. Every company you encounter is going to explain how they are the best. But are they really the best for you and your company? Choosing the right company will benefit you because their goal will be to provide you with the best possible web design that showcases your business’s mission. Here are four questions to keep in mind:
Can they help you achieve your business goals?
The whole point of hiring a professional to complete your web design is to support your larger business objectives. In creating your website, a web designer/company is an extension of your business. Communicating these goals to your designer is key to developing a strong and unique website, which will aid your brand in its growth. You almost have to be diligent and extremely forthcoming in exactly what you want to see. Designers are not mind-readers and therefore cannot automatically know the crucial things you would like implemented in the design. Let them know what you hope to see and what your clear objectives are regarding content and formatting. A good designer should take all the criteria you list and meld it into a strong result.
What are your budget requirements?
The cost of a web designer could make or break your ability to hire one. We all know most good things don’t come cheap, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay through the nose either. If you’re trying to figure out how to justify the cost, do your research. Ask yourself what you spent in the last year on marketing or advertising? How many of those expenditures brought in revenue and sales growth?
Before hiring a web design company find out if they have clear evidence, in terms of figures, and tangible results. It’s more about the value of what an agency can provide versus what it will cost. Don’t let the initial cost scare you off. Spending the money for a professional could yield exceptional results, which means you won’t need to spend extra money on other marketing ventures.
Do they have experience in more than one industry?
An agency that caters to a wide variety of industries is a better option over an agency that specifies in only one industry. That may seem like a strange statement, but there are some things to consider that support these thoughts. A company that focuses on one industry may not give you a unique design. If the company is constantly creating the same content, how many times can they possibly come up with something unique? An agency that works in numerous industries is more likely to deliver a website that is distinguishable from others. You want your website to be a cut above the competition, not identical.
Are they on top of modern design trends?
No matter the age of your company, you want your website to look like it fits in this modern age. A web design company should be keeping up with new and modern techniques. Customers are much more likely to use a business that seems modern and up to date. This doesn’t mean that your website needs to be covered in everything new and modern. It should be a nice balance between what is modern and what is proven.
At the end of the day, you want your business to shine. A new website design shouldn’t be cookie cutter; it should be something that sets you apart from the competition and is unique to your business. Look at several different agencies before making a decision. Let them show you what they could do for your business and if that matches up with your goals.