A company’s web presence is a central element of its digital strategy. Websites are high-profile branding and promotional tools that connect with customers around the clock. They communicate your values and vision, inform consumers about your products or services, and facilitate growth. That’s why it’s so important to develop a corporate website design strategy that captures and conveys the unique strengths of your business.
Effective web design strategies advance your brand identity, support your marketing efforts, and drive customer engagement. But businesses can only reap the benefits of a well-built website by making the right investments. Haphazard and underdeveloped digital marketing strategies tend to yield uneven or underwhelming results. On the other hand, approaches that prioritize user-centered design, search engine optimization (SEO), and branded messaging are much more likely to generate desirable outcomes.
To that end, we’ll look at some of the important features and principles your corporate website design should support.
Let’s Talk Corporate Identity
Corporate websites should capture and convey the company’s identity, mission, values, and branding. Of these elements, branding has a particularly high impact. Companies should strive to align their branding efforts with the needs and values of their customer base. To help build a cogent and unified online presence, website branding should also reflect the company’s goals and objectives.
Marketing experts take varied approaches to branding, but effective practices always begin with an audit of the company’s current approach. At this stage, marketers should consider questions such as:
- Does the branding strategy connect with the needs and preferences of the company’s target consumer base or demographic groups?
- Has the company made any acquisitions? Are these acquisitions integrated into the corporation’s broader branding and marketing strategy?
- Are visual branding elements consistent and thematically unified?
Brand identity should then guide corporate website design. So, businesses must establish consistent standards and usage rules for design elements, including:
- Layout and visual structuring
- Links and clickable elements like buttons
- Color schemes
- Images and other forms of integrated visual media
When handled correctly, website design encapsulates and communicates corporate identity in a subtle but powerful way.
Content Strategy and Information Architecture
To make the most of your corporate website, you must present content and information in a logical, strategic, and organized way that balances both content strategy and information architecture.
Information architecture is especially important. Websites that lack logical, intuitive organization tend to generate higher bounce rates. This can erode consumer trust in the business or brand and ultimately impede growth objectives.
To achieve desirable outcomes, corporate website design should prioritize:
A user-centered website design puts user needs first across every element of their digital experience with the company. To identify the correct approach to take, businesses can develop buyer personas. Buyer personas are generalized representations of a company’s customer base created from research. They consider elements such as:
- Age ranges and occupations
- Income and location
- Buyer goals, values, and preferences
- Pain points that drive them to seek your company’s products or services
- Personality profiles
By building accurate buyer personas, businesses can anticipate and preemptively cater to the specific needs, wants, and preferences that drive users to their website. When handled correctly, user-centered design will reduce bounce rates, eliminate design errors, and generate competitive advantages by providing a superior and seamless website experience that speaks the customer’s language and provides the right content at the right time. You can see this concept in action in this UpTop case study.
In 2023, Forbes reported that more than half (51.2%) of all website traffic in North America originates on mobile devices. Given these traffic volumes, businesses can no longer afford to treat mobile-responsive web design like an afterthought. Instead, corporate digital strategies should treat mobile app UX design like a foundational concept.
Fundamentally, this means that corporate website design must consider cross-device functionality. Businesses can achieve this by paying particular attention to four interlinked elements:
- Readability: Text-based content should be readable on both desktop and mobile websites. This generally means using short paragraphs, leaving lots of white space on the page, and selecting larger font sizes.
- Interactive Element Formatting: Buttons and other clickable or interactive elements should be large, well-placed, and easy to use.
- Viewing Orientations: The website’s layout and functionality should remain consistent regardless of whether mobile users access the site with a vertical or horizontal orientation.
- Load Times: Data-light websites load faster, which is a feature both mobile and desktop users vastly prefer.
This real-life case study highlights a successful approach to mobile-first corporate website design.
Accessibility and SEO
Web accessibility is the critical concept of ensuring that websites are usable for as many people as possible. In addition to considering both mobile and desktop users, accessibility should also consider users with visual impairments and movement limitations that could affect their ability to navigate a complex layout.
Accessibility also extends to situational circumstances, such as:
- People who are moving in and out of internet coverage, such as subway or commuter train passengers
- Users with limited or slow internet connections
- People who are accessing the site in bright outdoor daylight
- Users who cannot or prefer not to play audible elements
What’s more, SEO strategies can support superior accessibility through elements like:
- Optimized page titles that succinctly and accurately describe page contents
- Prominent, easily readable headings and subheadings that make content scannable
- Logical and navigable sitemaps
- Useful internal links with accurate, descriptive anchor text
- Alt text that provides written alternatives to static images
Finally, accessibility may be about more than just considering the variable needs of different users. In some contexts and jurisdictions, it also represents compliance with legal guidelines.
Interactive web features create opportunities for users to dynamically engage with site content. When properly leveraged, interactive features generate the kind of personalized experience known to resonate with online consumers. They also drive user engagement and often function to keep users on the site for longer periods of time. Ultimately, this increases the likelihood that users will become paying customers.
Examples of interactive features include:
- Customer service chatbots
- Surveys and quizzes
- Videos and animations
When it comes to interactivity, corporate website design principles stress the importance of keeping features simple, user-friendly, responsive, and relevant. Short load times are also critical, as slow-loading media-rich features tend to drive up bounce rates.
Performance Optimization and Website Security
Website performance and robust website security both play important roles in building trust. When websites are slow, difficult to navigate, or illogical, it reflects poorly on the company and may even drive customers to competitors.
Security is equally critical. If a user receives a warning that a corporate website isn’t secure, they become far less likely to both visit the site and patronize the business. So, corporate website design should also include elements like secure socket layers (SSLs). These generate security certificates and encrypt data flowing through the site.
Websites with eCommerce features require industry-standard security features or better. But two-factor authentication (2FA) does a better job of protecting login credentials and other sensitive user-supplied details.
Take Your Corporate Website Design to the Next Level
With online channels now dominating commerce, businesses can’t afford to stick with a middling website. Well-designed, user-centric websites drive growth and profitability. UpTop specializes in helping businesses build the kind of optimized digital presence that generates positive results.
Start your journey to a superior corporate digital strategy today. Contact UpTop to discuss your business objectives.