Did you know that 75% of customers judge your company’s credibility based on your web design?
Think of your website as your best sales representative.
Does it attract your users? Does it offer them value and incentive to engage with your brand? Does it communicate your offering clearly and efficiently?
If you’re looking to improve your existing corporate web design or build a new website, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into corporate web design to compare a custom vs. template approach, share inspiring business site examples, and explain the process and considerations for creating your corporate site.
What Is Corporate Web Design?
Corporate web design is the process of designing and developing a business website to serve as a pillar of a company’s online presence.
Not to be mistaken for a promotional website, the focus of a corporate website is to promote an entire company rather than focus on a single product or sub-brand.
While promotional websites are focused on specific products or services, a corporate website does not promote, advertise or market products, but instead emphasizes business performance, corporate news, staff and social responsibility.
The main purpose of corporate web design is to reflect the company’s success, fortify its reputation, build trust and inform about services and products ― but not focus on them.
Template vs. Custom Web Design: Which Should You Choose For Your Corporate Website?
There are a variety of website building services that allow you to design your own website using a template in a matter of hours. Some of these templated services include:
- Shopify (for eCommerce websites)
The biggest advantage of these platforms is that they are affordable and user-friendly, enabling you to create a website for your business even if you don’t have any web design or coding skills.
Ironically enough, this is also the biggest disadvantage of these platforms.
Their DIY nature means that you are very likely to end up with a website that is unoptimized for conversions and has limited functionality.
The worst-case scenario is ending up with a website that’s indistinguishable from your competitors — after all, there are only so many templates to choose from, which means your web design won’t exactly be unique.
If you are serious about launching a professional website that is optimized for SEO and conversions, then you may want to work with a professional web design agency that would create a custom web solution.
Web design experts can help you create a website that is tailored to your company’s needs and target audience to help you grow your brand online.
Although working with web design agencies does require an up-front investment, you will find that the money you spend on professional web design services is well worth it.
A custom website is unique, not only in its functionality but in how it brings a company’s value proposition to life, which is something that cannot typically be achieved with a template.
Corporate websites are not meant solely for clients and consumers.
Instead, they should also serve as a tool that communicates your company’s value, mission and accomplishments to your shareholders, investors and partners, while also providing educational content that will help you establish thought leadership.
At Digital Silk, our experts use data-driven insights to design each part of your custom site, from top to bottom.
Check out the video below, where our CEO compares the websites of two top car brands – Ford and Tesla.
Best Business Websites For Inspiration [Designed By Digital Silk]
Let’s look at some of our favorite corporate website designs tohelp you find inspiration for your own business website.
We provided FieldEdge with a corporate website designed to engage prospects through concise and benefits-driven copy.
Many of the website’s animations follow you as you scroll, building interest and creating an engaging and immersive user journey.
Ample white space and a sticky menu offer easy navigation without overwhelming the user. The final result is a site that offers a clear user journey, along with personality and unique branding elements.
This motion graphics website helped our client Tecnam, an Italian aircraft manufacturer, take off in the international market to boost brand awareness and drive revenue.
Our team created a Legacy section with horizontal scrolling that creates a unique user journey and visually guides website visitors through the story and timeline of the brand.
The emphasis on the visuals is further extended into the individual product pages that are rich in aesthetic appeal with high-quality imagery and include factual technical data.
We designed a custom website for Triterras, a FinTech innovator company.
Our experts paired distinctive design with motion graphics and infographics, to create a unique digital footprint an engaging user experience.
The dark theme with golden elements is fully on-brand and follows modern website trends.
The website relies on interactive elements and animations to make the user experience more immersive and engaging.
The custom B2B website we developed for Liberty Global Logistics represents one of the best work practices in the shipping industry with superior user experience for each customer: a custom API integration with LGL’s scheduling software.
This setup allows users to check the shipping schedule and request a quote right from the website.
Our team implemented an easy-to-use map on the website’s homepage that allows visitors to see where LGL will ship to and download their desired routes for easy viewing and sharing.
The full-page design allows for easy scrolling, browsing and an amazing user experience. Subtle motion graphics and custom-designed infographics keep visitors engaged throughout the site.
A provider of managed office solutions and technology, Document Solutions features a modern, dynamic and fresh website design perfectly reflects our client’s brand image and resonates with a relevant audience.
Dynamic modules help keep large amounts of information structured flawlessly to avoid overwhelming consumers with large paragraphs of text and ease their decision-making process.
One of the most notable features our web design team implemented on the Document Solutions website is the strategic use of color, with each of the company’s services and service pages differentiated by a specific shade.
This not only contributes to the website’s aesthetic appeal, but also simplifies the user journey by making it more visual.
Creating Your Corporate Website: Considerations & Key Phases
1. Target Audience Research
The first step of the website creation process is to determine who your website is for.
Think of your target audience as your website’s foundation. Take the guesswork out of the equation by performing thorough target audience research.
This process will help you determine:
- Who your target audience is
- What their needs or pain points are
- How your website and your business can help them meet those needs or alleviate those pain points.
2. Competitor Research
In addition to serving your customers, your corporate website should be a distinctive brand asset for your business.
Attractive, engaging and user-friendly websites set brands apart from their competition. To achieve this, competitor research is an essential consideration of the design process.
During this phase, you will map and analyze the websites of your key competitors and look for patterns to identify best practices, gaps and ways to advance user experience and build a website that differentiates your company from the competition.
These insights will also help you:
- Define your brand’s unique value proposition
- Outline a data-driven conversion funnel
- Conduct comprehensive keyword research
3. The Website’s Purpose
The third and final thing to consider before getting started with creating your website is its main purpose.
We’re talking about the website’s conversion funnel — the journey that your website visitors will take to end up right where you want them to be.
The definition of a conversion and the structure of the conversion funnel varies depending on the business and its goals.
For example, if you run an eCommerce website, the conversion funnel should guide the user from your homepage to your product pages, and eventually to the checkout page.
If you run a health insurance brokerage firm, on the other hand, your website should compel your visitors to request a quote for enrolling in a health insurance plan.
In other words, in addition to exposing your brand to your target audience, your website should make a specific, measurable contribution to your business performance and bottom line.
And as surprising as it may seem, the actual design of your website has a direct impact on this — from the locations of your Calls-To-Action (CTAs) to where the testimonials section is located.
Crafting Your Corporate Website
Once you cover the necessary considerations, you can proceed with creating your business website.
If you hire a web design agency to help, they’ll cover the whole process to ensure that your web design solution resonates perfectly with your target audience, stands out from your competitors and accomplishes its specific purpose.
The phases of corporate web design include:
- Discovery: The discovery phase includes a discussion around the scope of your project, along with your target audience, platforms and channels, measurable goals and more
- Wireframing: During the wireframing phase, web designers will create your website’s wireframe — a structural skeleton that establishes the website’s basic architecture
- Design: In the design phase, designers take the wireframe and expand it with visual design elements until they get a complete mockup of what your website will look like
- Development: Once the design mockups are ready, the designers will turn it over to the web development team to build a fully functional website based on the design
- Iteration: As the name suggests, your website will go through several iterations during the iteration phase until the developers eliminate all potential performance issues and bugs
- Optimization: When your website is stable and operational, SEO experts will step in to ensure that it’s optimized to rank high in search engines and attract organic traffic
- Launch: Congratulations, your website is now ready to go live and start bringing you new customers, while being monitored and optimized on a regular basis to maximize results
5 Elements Of A Successful Corporate Web Design [Recommended By Digital Silk]
Web design is a rapidly evolving field with new trends and best practices emerging faster than many brands can keep up with them.
However, there a few fundamental elements that aren’t going anywhere any time soon and are essential to your website’s success.
Here are our recommendations.
1. A Clean Layout
When it comes to corporate web design best practices, less is often more.
The purpose of a well-designed website is to provide a clear path to navigation and put the most important elements of the website front and center.
A website with a clean design will not only load faster, but it will be easier to scan through, allowing for more information to be absorbed by the visitor and resulting in higher onsite engagement and lower bounce rate.
Removing unnecessary elements helps you draw the reader’s attention to what matters most.
A clean design puts the focus on the value you bring to your clients and customers and sharpens the message, without distracting them or making them feel overwhelmed by other unnecessary elements.
2. An Excellent User Experience
Let’s talk about first impressions.
Having a great product or service doesn’t mean much if your website is slow or has a poorly designed interface.
The user-centered design puts the user first, making their needs and objectives the top priority during the web design process. User experience will make or break your website, your product or service and your company’s reputation.
This is when the audience research insights come into play. The audience research (discovery) phase will help you answer the most important questions regarding your audience.
You will use these insights to make informed decisions about the next steps in the design process. The more you know about your audience, the better.
Strategic website design can set your website apart from the competition by creating experiences that feel tailor-made to the user.
Some of the key elements of excellent user experience are:
- Usefulness: Your website should fulfill users’ needs
- Usability: Your site must be easy to use
- Desirability: Design elements should evoke emotion and appreciation
- Discoverability: Your content needs to be easily navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
- Accessibility: Your website needs to be accessible to people with disabilities
- Credibility: Users must trust your brand and believe what you tell them
3. Intuitive Navigation
Intuitive navigation is a crucial element of any website. A well-designed navigation bar enables visitors to move around your website and find the information they want, without interfering with the user flow.
Navigation affects your ranking and traffic volume, as well as your conversion rate.
Some of the industry best practices when designing the navigation bar include:
- Stickiness: The navigation bar should follow the users as they scroll down the page, allowing them to easily navigate the website.
- Calls-to-action: The navigation bar should feature at least one primary CTA to help you increase conversion rates.
- Contact info: The navigation should include the contact information as a CTA.
- Descriptive labels: Descriptive labels in your navigation are good for site visitors because they communicate meaning instantly. Descriptive labels also help search engines understand what your website is all about. Avoid generic labels such as “Services” or “Blogs.” People don’t go to websites looking for “Services” or “Blogs.” They visit websites looking for answers and information.
- The order of labels: In website navigation, just like any list, items at the beginning and the end are most effective, because this is where attention and retention are highest. This is why you should place the most popular, important items at the beginning of the navigation.
4. Compelling Content
Even though the design is essential in making a good first impression, content is what keeps your audience coming back.
Having a content-rich website will positively affect your overall SEO ranking and help you establish credibility and thought leadership, and retain customers.
The content includes everything from the copy, product and service descriptions to videos, photos and blog posts.
More specifically, content presents your audience with information and its ultimate goal is to promote brand awareness, brand loyalty and visitor engagement.
Content provides value to your visitors. According to Forbes, most clients want companies to educate them on their services, and not sell them.
Content should be used to promote ideas, discussion and interest in your industry, blog or business, answer questions your visitors may have and offer them useful information that results in higher targeted traffic volume and increased conversions and engagement.
Other types of content like testimonials and reviews are used to build brand trust and loyalty and are viewed as an essential element of the website.
For your content to be effective and get the desired results, your audience needs to be able to find it and that can only be achieved with SEO, which includes the use of keywords, internal and external links, image alt text and more.
5. Conversion Optimization
When it comes to building an effective website that helps generate business online, you need to have two questions in mind:
- How will this website help me generate traffic?
- How will the website engage visitors and turn them into leads?
Whether the goal of the website is to sell products, entice visitors to sign up for a free trial or even apply for an open position at your company, it is important to ensure that the conversion journey of your website is well-defined and structured.
Getting traffic to your website is only half of the job.
As previously mentioned, your website acts as a salesperson. It is often the first point of contact a prospect has with your business.
As such, your website needs to move the relationship forward and seal the deal.
By optimizing your website for conversions, you can generate more sales for the same amount of traffic.
Instead of wasting more money on PPC campaigns, social media ads or other digital marketing methods to drive more traffic, conversion optimization allows you to efficiently convert your current traffic into leads and sales, thereby minimizing your cost per acquisition.
At this point, you can choose to invest in more advertising or simply benefit from the increased profit.
Optimizing a website for conversion takes a scientific approach, as there are hundreds of variables that affect your website’s conversion rate.
This is why hiring a professional agency and web development consultants to help with the design is a crucial step to successfully establishing your online presence.
How To Find The Best Web Design Company For Your Business Website
Depending on your industry and business type, look for a company that’s familiar with your industry’s best practices and has an established track record of building effective corporate websites.
When scouting for a web design company, the best way to find the most qualified and reputable companies is by browsing agency directories.
Agency directories and marketplaces serve as your guide to finding the best professional agencies, categorized by their areas of expertise and ranked by their trustworthiness, reviews and proven track record of success.
Some of the most notable agency directories include:
- Agency Spotter
- The Manifest
- Top Agency
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few agencies based on the criteria you’ve chosen, it is time to start the screening process.
To make sure you engage the right company to design and develop your corporate website:
- Search for an agency that is fully staffed with industry professionals. Make sure all of the experts you need are in-house at the agency, so the agency is not reliant on outsourcing their business.
- Explore the agency’s services and pricing. Before making a decision that is mainly based on the price, you need to ask the agency what you are getting for that price, how much time will be invested into the project and what the billing procedure is like for add-ons or work outside of the project’s scope.
- Understand how the agency is measuring its results. One of the best features of doing business online is that everything can be measured, from CPL (cost per lead) to CPA (cost per acquisition) to bounce rates and abandoned cart rates. Make sure that the digital agency you hire will not just wow you with grandiose statements, but can show you case studies with actual results they have delivered to other clients.
- Research the agency’s credentials and qualifications. Find out if the company staff includes respected professionals in their industry and do your research. Are they recognized as industry leaders, keynote speakers, thought leaders or published authors? Have they worked on any groundbreaking projects or do they have any special credentials showing other expertise?
You can learn more about questions to ask when hiring a web design agency in an article we recently wrote on the topic.
Key Takeaways On Corporate Web Design
Your business website is often the first point of contact with your brand for your potential clients or customers. The first impression counts.
Follow these steps to create an attractive and distinctive corporate website:
- Perform audience research to learn more about your target audience, their expectations, needs, problems and preferences
- Analyze competitors’ online presence to gain more insights and find gaps you can use to your advantage
- Determine your website’s purpose and how it will contribute to improving your business performance
- Design and develop a highly functional website with a clean page layout, intuitive navigation, compelling content and elements optimized for conversion
If you are not sure you can do it on your own, find a web design agency that can bring in a team of specialists to create a custom website tailored to suit your needs and help you stand out, even in an oversaturated market.