Three things a business owner should generally avoid doing, unless they’re a graphic artist or a copywriter, are designing their own website, writing their own marketing copy, or designing their own brochures. As with any professional skill, good writers and graphic designers develop their craft through years of training and practice. Whenever a business owner (or someone they designate) ventures outside their realm of expertise and takes a stab at a copywriting or graphic design project, their lack of experience usually shows.
Website design is no exception; and today, Internet users are much more attuned to the difference between a professional-looking website and an amateurish one. It’s true that not all small business owners need to hire professional website designers, especially those that are content with staying small. Sometimes a simple online brochure created on an easy-to-use template will do the job. The downside, however, is that a website that’s thrown together conveys a message of cutting corners and sacrificing quality, which doesn’t reflect very well on the business it represents.
Is Great Web Design a Realistic Goal?
Businesses that need to project an image of quality, expertise, or trustworthiness usually need to have a web design that reflects those qualities. That’s where professional website designers come in, because they know how to select and combine images, fonts, and navigational functions that will make a company website impressive to look at and easy to navigate.
Great web design, which is attainable by virtually any talented web designer, makes an indelible impression on existing and potential clients of a business. In the same way that the appearance of a store, professional office, or restaurant makes you want to go in — or avoid the place entirely — a business web site can have a similar effect.
When a website is aesthetically pleasing, informative, and well organized, it increases the probability that site visitors will explore the site, learn more about its products and services, and be more inclined to become new or repeat customers.
One of the reasons that the services of a talented web designer/developer are often necessary for a small business is that the business climate is so competitive. All things being equal, a great web design could be a contributing factor to a local building contractor, a law firm, a catering business, or a chiropractic office gaining market share. Granted, there may be other factors in place, such as an effective social media marketing program, a public relations campaign, or just a better method of generating leads, but great web design is often one of the building blocks of success.
Why does it matter to have a professionally designed website that stands out among the crowd? It’s because of the same reasons that sales letters, television ads, and other forms of traditional marketing need to catch and hold the public’s attention: people are bored with sameness and mediocrity. By hiring an affordable small business website designer who knows his or her stuff, you can create an impressive 24/7 advertisement of your business that can answer questions, provide useful information, and promote your products and services.
Whether or not you believe that perception is everything in attracting and retaining customers, having a professionally designed website does create and project a clear image of quality, high standards, and being attuned to the latest technologies, strategies, and techniques. To a lot of potential clients and customers, that can make all the difference.