In the modern business environment, having your own company essentially requires that you have a strong website as well. It’s more necessary in some industries than others, of course, but particularly if you are looking to sell a product or service directly to consumers, an appealing, intuitive, and useful web platform is of the utmost importance.
The good news is that it’s become easier than ever for people to create sites for their own companies without necessarily having experience in web design. Modern web design platforms like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and others have simplified the concept, making it easy (or at least an attainable goal) to set up a strong site. Here, though, I’m not going to get into the actual web design specifics. Instead, I’ll focus on steps you can take during the design process to make your company’s website as customer friendly as possible.
Emphasise Visuals & Negative Space
I can’t help but notice that just about every time I consciously admire a website, it’s one that’s both noticeably pretty and vaguely minimalistic. More specifically, it’s usually a site that uses striking, attractive visuals, yet also allows for the presence of negative space. The European athletic wear brand Protest is a wonderful example: the site showcases its collections with vibrant, appealing images, but also has plenty of empty space and virtually zero clutter. It’s been recognised around the internet as one of the year’s best designs, and it’s clear why: its layout shows you exactly what’s on offer without overwhelming you with distractions. This is something every company website should strive to match.
Make Your Uniqueness Stand Out
Think & Grow Business has written before about how to find a profitable niche for your business, and it’s ultimately one of the most important challenges for any company, online or otherwise. Branching off of this topic though, if and when your company does find a niche – something only you can offer, or only you can do a particular way – it’s imperative that it be emphasised, front and centre, on your site. Whether it’s conveyed via a company slogan displayed on a homepage, explained in a short video that greets visitors when they arrive, or anything similar, make your uniqueness stand out. It’s a way to instantly get a customer’s attention and make him or her feel justified in, or even excited about exploring the site further.
Focus On Navigation
This is a fairly common web design tip – particularly for businesses – but it’s one I wouldn’t feel right not including. It’s something we don’t tend to notice consciously, but being unable to navigate a website with ease can essentially provide an incentive to leave said website. Accordingly, it’s vital to focus on ensuring a quality navigation experience for potential customers. It needs to be clear how to get from one page to the next, how to get back to the homepage, and, ultimately, how and where to make a purchase. Going a few steps further, you should also anticipate visitors’ thoughts and needs. If a customer is eyeing a certain product or service, provide easy, visible navigation options to related products and services, for instance.
Provide Payment Variety
This is a step more online businesses seem to be taking, and here I’ll turn to some of Australia’s gambling sites to explain the idea. These sites are driven largely by visitors’ deposits, and it is thus in their best interest to make sure visitors are comfortable making those deposits. Thus, most of them have gotten into the habit of providing a variety of payment options, including digital processors like PayPal, credit card acceptance, and sometimes more obscure options like cryptocurrencies. Now, the average company website isn’t going to handle the same customer or transaction volume as a casino or betting site, but there’s still a lesson to be learned here in designing a customer-friendly site: the more payment variety you provide, the more customers are going to find what they’re most comfortable with when checkout time comes.
Finally, it’s also somewhat trendy these days to offer various sales incentives to site visitors. You’ll see this at sites like the examples I cited in the above sections – clothing shops and gaming platforms – as well as in all sorts of other businesses. But it’s making these incentives visible that really counts. Whether you’re offering free shipping for a product, a two-week trial for a subscription, or 15% off an initial purchase of any kind, make sure every new visitor to your site knows about it. It’s a friendly, inviting gesture, and one that makes your product or service appealing to try, because the customer has little to lose in doing so.