By Ryan Boog
Your company is one of a kind—and your website should be, too. First impressions are crucial and if your website is outdated, stale or hard to navigate, customers will click elsewhere.
Custom website design can take your business to a new level. Now, we must acknowledge that template- or theme-based websites have come a long way and there are tons of options now. They’re economical and generally pretty easy to set up. For some, this is definitely the way to go, but for others, custom web design is necessary.
Personalized design really resonates with your audience and helps solidify your brand.
Your logo, your photo placement, layout, calls to action, navigation, the toolbar options, colors, flash features, live chatting, backend project management—all are your choice in custom web design making it easy to guide your company image.
As for user experience, this should be the primary focus when developing a custom site. You want easy navigation, you want the proper information on all the pages and you want calls to action that will get people to act. At Happy Dog, our custom web design approach starts making sure websites are mobile-friendly, or responsive. That means that no matter how a user comes to your website, they will be able to navigate without headaches.
So, to sum it all up, your audience will get a user experience designed just for them, while your company earns good marks for creating a great first impression and a memorable brand. If all goes as planned, this will mean ROI with more traffic and more contacts.
At Happy Dog, we have companies come to us not only for new looks but for new functionality, too. Whether its a nonprofit that needs to securely collect online donations or an energy company that needs a project management portal for customer updates, custom web design allows designers and developers to create all these features.
The differentiator is that custom design and development forms the website around you, not you trying to bend your design and marketing goals around some template.
Quality, custom websites can also help with your marketing efforts online. Custom designed websites are more SEO-friendly because the experts are able to include keyword considerations, ensure browser compatibility, page speed, quality coding and more to make it as search engine friendly as possible.
We think this one pretty much speaks for itself. If you invest a little time, thought, cash and trust in a developer, you’ll definitely be able to compete with or crush your competition.
How you ask? It’s simple. If your competition is missing their marketing goals, target audience or even turning off their current audience with their web presence. Just make your website better than theirs—your audience (and potentially theirs) will thank you.
Your company doesn’t need an insane marketing budget to make a custom website happen this year. We have worked on a number of different projects and we’ve created incredibly cool sites with lots of added features for less than $10,000 and all the way up to $50,000. Recently, it seems that a lot of our projects have fallen in the $15,000 to $30,000 range.
If your company brings in over $1,000,000 top line revenue, there should be enough money set aside for a custom web design. According to Chron, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if you're doing less than $5 million a year. Example: For $1,000,000 gross revenue, having a $75,000 (just over 6K per month) annual budget for marketing easily lets you factor in a great web project, plus some digital marketing or additional advertising.
And, if I may use a Chipotle analogy right now, it’s like making the decision to pay a little extra to add guacamole—you’ll never be sorry.