Update: Why I Invested in a Custom-Designed Website as a Small Business Owner
by Bethany Good | Feb 13, 2023
Custom-designed Website Vs. Using a Template
What is a custom-designed website? A custom website is built entirely from scratch using code. You maintain control over every aspect of the website design process to ensure the finished product becomes a powerful tool you can use to grow your business. Your web developer will work with you to create a truly unique website that addresses the specific needs of your business and provides an exceptional user experience for your customers.
A templated website provides a predesigned site based on a specific template. You will have the ability to add your content and images to the website. Still, you will be very limited in terms of the adjustments you can make to the site’s design features, such as color, navigation, and other vital elements for delivering an excellent user experience.
Many different website template options are available, making it easier to create a new website. Templates provide a faster, more affordable way to build and launch your new website. This has led many businesses to ask, “Is a custom website worth it?” In almost all instances, the answer is yes.
A High-functioning Website is Crucial to Your Overall SEO and Marketing Strategy
As a business owner, you know the importance of marketing your company. But which marketing tools are the right ones to invest in? A custom-designed website is more than just a pretty thing; it’s about standing out from the crowd. In today’s crowded landscape, it’s tough to stand out from the crow. A good website can increase online conversions and generate more leads for your business. With high-quality copywriting as part of your website design, you can also increase sales and conversion rates and improve your brand messaging. With more Internet use comes more website selection, so investing in a custom website for your business is essential.
Here are some of the factors that can have a substantial impact on your user experience (and, ultimately, your conversion rate) with a good website design:
Loading times: 93% of people will leave a website if it doesn’t load fast enough.
Mobile responsiveness: 74% of people say they will return to a website if it’s mobile responsive. In other words, if your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you could lose a big chunk of potential leads or long-term customers.
Easy navigation: Visitors should easily find what they’re looking for on your website. If they don’t, they will become frustrated and leave.
Shopping cart functionality: For e-commerce websites, your shopping cart is where you make all of your sales. If it doesn’t work for the user, they’ll abandon it and shop elsewhere.
An Unbeatable First Impression
Since your website is your brand’s online home, and most people will search online for you before they visit you in person or contact you, it’s essential to make an excellent first impression. According to HubSpot, 90% of online users will leave a website if it has a bad or weak design. Once those users leave your website, the chances of them coming back are slim to none.
Stay Independent and Adaptable to Change
The most apparent benefit of custom web design is the ability to highlight what matters most to your business. Whichever features matter most to you and your customers, you can display them front and center.
And consider this: what matters most to you today may change tomorrow.
Any business owner understands that a business is constantly evolving. Whether it’s a new product, brand, or core focus, the most vital companies can pivot when the market demands it. They can adapt and change. They can customize. A great designer will listen carefully and answer all of your questions.
Showcase Your Brand
You may not think you have a brand, but you do. What exactly is it? Brand voice refers to the personality and emotion infused into a company’s communications. It encompasses everything from your words and language to the personality and images your marketing assets aim to invoke.
Modern marketing is all about branding. It always has been.
While your business offering may be better than your competition’s, the strength of your brand is what gets people in the door.
With a templated website, your ability to stand out from the pack will be handcuffed. When potential customers see a cookie-cutter website, they see a cookie-cutter business.
With a custom website design, you are far more able to showcase the true power of your brand and what makes you unique. A beautiful website design with a strong and focused brand promotes your business as more reliable, professional, and compelling.
Branding and brand voice are also a part of developing your site.
A great web designer will work with you to ensure that all the best aspects of your branding are reflected in your website. Your designer may work with great copywriters that can help you figure out how to get your messaging just right. These professionals know how to create custom content that gets results.
Custom SEO Content
Because people are visiting your site for the content, it’s imperative that your copy be concise and organized intuitively. Not only does it benefit website visitors, but relevant content also helps boost your SEO.
Most business owners don’t have the time to write content, and a few may not enjoy writing. But such a critical component of building a website shouldn’t be an afterthought, nor should it be treated as a loathsome task no one wants to do.
A high-quality copywriter will work with business owners to provide better brand messaging. Knowing this, we take on the responsibility of writing content for our clients. We start our web projects with a thorough content audit to write the copy and develop the content strategy. Not only does this allow us to create an effective design, but it also takes the pressure off the client to provide high-converting website copy.
Great content is an integral part of your website, and hiring a professional copywriter is an excellent investment.
Improve SEO and Traffic
A custom website design can positively influence the most critical search engine ranking factors. Especially a custom website studio that understands modern trends in SEO.
The most important ranking factor has always been the number of high-quality links pointing to your website. Nothing earns more links than a beautiful, compelling website design.
More recently, Google’s search ranking algorithm has placed more value on websites that provide an incredible user experience thanks to unique, engaging content. Factors like the time users spend on your site and how many pages they interact with are now considered when ranking your site in search results.
So the more you can “wow” your site visitors, the more likely you are to positively affect the signals that Google cares most about—boosting the number of visitors to your site and boosting your business.
Provide an Amazing Customer Experience
A good designer will make suggestions that highlight you and your brand. I was excited to work with Monica Wack over at Innov8tive. Brand Management was so easy to work with. She walked me through the process and carefully answered all of my questions.
Boost Your Return on Investment (ROI)
Ultimately, you’re in business to make money. Therefore, you should treat your website the same way. With every business decision, you should ask yourself if that decision contributes to your bottom line. Is your site simply an online business card, or is it powering your business?
When it comes to web design, a customized design is always going to generate better ROI.
Every previous benefit on this list has been building to this point. A custom website will:
draw more potential customers to your site
provide a better customer experience once they’re there
and ultimately convert more visitors into business.
That’s why it’s wise to view your website as an investment rather than an expense. A powerful website will pay itself off many times over by working for you to generate new business.
I collaborated with Monica Wack at Innov8tive Brand Management for my current website. I crafted the copy and content; she designed and provided excellent advice and insights on branding, SEO, digital marketing, and more. As a copywriter, I know the importance of having great content on your website. High-quality, well-written content can make your website stand above the rest. Contact us today if you’re interested in collaborating with us on a website refresh, digital marketing, social media, and more.
Update: We’ve been using this custom-designed website for over a year, and we couldn’t be happier. We can change and add new features and functionalities whenever we need to. We’ve been able to update our blog and our website copy regularly. To learn more about our latest offerings, check out our services page.
I’m passionate about writing. I believe all businesses have a passion for what they do. My job is to share your passion with the world through my writing.