Developing a high-end website can be challenging, especially with the level of competition out there.
As a website design and development agency, we know a thing or two about building high quality websites that can outperform cheaper, low quality websites in the search results.
In this guide we’ll break down 7 of the most important factors required when designing a website that is optimised for functionality, usability and visibility.
1. Do Your Research
There are three key areas you need to understand before you start developing your premium website:
Target Audience – These are the people you want to attract to your business. What changes could you implement on your website to achieve this? What are their wants and needs? Do they use social media? Include anything that will make you more visible to your audience online.
Customers – These are the people who have already purchased your product or service. Researching how you can utilize your existing customers to help attract new visitors to your website can be extremely beneficial.
For example, including a reviews section on your website gives you feedback which you could use to improve your service, as well as allowing potential customers to see the high quality of work you provide.
Competition – If you want to make your brand stand out, you’ll need to research your competitors. Think about what aspects they need to improve on their website and make sure to do this better on yours.
Similarly, what aspects of high-end web design are they showcasing on their website that you could include in yours? Gathering examples and inspiration from others gives you the best possible chance of creating a premium website better than the rest.
2. The Importance of a good URL
This is your first impression on a potential customer, if you want to establish yourself as a reliable, high-quality brand you’ll need a professional domain name.
Make sure it is simple and related to your business/brand. You want it to be memorable to your customers while also effective in driving traffic to your site.
The primary reason to keep your URL short is to improve your ranking in search engines. By keeping it short and including a keyword, the search engine has a better idea of what each page on your site is about and will be able to promote it on relevant searches.
This process is called Search Engine Optimisation, we’ll touch on this more later.
3. How To Build Your Website
Now, you’re ready to start building your website, but where do you start? Here you have 2 main options: do it yourself, or enlist the help of an “in-house” team. This could be through a personal IT Team, a freelancer or an agency, like us!
High-end websites tend to be created by specialists. This is due to the amount of time and knowledge required to build a bespoke site which is successful in attracting visitors, along with the ongoing support and maintenance required once the website is live.
Although, if you did want to have a go at designing a website yourself we’d recommend WordPress, an open source content management system used to create over 35% of websites online. Being WordPress design specialists ourselves we know this particular platform inside and out.
The main reason WordPress is such a popular choice for creating a website is that it’s both free and easy to use, even for beginners. With thousands of free templates and plugins it should have everything you need to get started designing your own website from scratch.
In terms of designing a high-end website, it offers a range of customisable features, such as an auction, blog, ecommerce store, portfolio and many more, on top of being extremely SEO friendly and massively favoured by search engines.
4. User Interface and Experience
Now think back to your research, looking at examples of high-end websites from your competitors, what did they have in common? The make or break of great web design can often come down to the user’s experience.
Making your website as easy to navigate as possible is one of the best ways to maximise the number of paying customers you receive online.
This is often why professional websites tend to be very simple and minimalistic, guiding the user seamlessly from the website’s homepage to the ‘buy now’ button.
Here are our three top tips for creating the best user experience:
- Make each section of your website easily accessible from the homepage. Don’t force them to click through a maze of buttons and links before they are able to buy your products.
- Don’t overdo it with the colours, keep them relevant to your company branding. Most professional websites tend to have one or two accent colours, with the main content of the page in black and white. Also, keep in mind what colour clashes to avoid for colour-blind users.
- Make sure buttons and navigation labels on your websites are no longer than 3 words long, easily accessible on each page and not in the way of any other features or text.
Remember, the aim is to make it as easy as possible for a user to navigate the site.
5. Responsive Web Design
Want to reach as many new clients as possible? This is where responsive design comes in.
Responsive web design is an approach where the pages of your website can adapt to a variety of screen sizes across multiple devices, so think of websites you can use on both a desktop and a mobile device.
This is not only another great way to improve your site’s usability for mobile users, but it can also increase the amount of traffic your site generates.
Making your site responsive opens up the possibility for increased sharing across social media, as most people use social media on mobile devices. This can help to grow your audience quickly as an increase in shares leads to an increase in people who view your content.
Responsive websites also mean faster loading times on your website, as there are less files to download. This means the pages will be ranked higher in search results, as search engines tend to favour websites with faster loading speeds, which brings us onto our next point.
6. Search Engine Optimisation
We’ve touched on the importance of SEO in our blog before, however it would be impossible to talk about high quality web design without mentioning it.
Getting your website onto the search results is key for any business. By utilising SEO you have a higher chance of appearing on those organic search results.
The aim is to include as much high quality, interesting and relevant content on your site to help the search engine decide whether or not to promote your website to the top of the results, based on what the user has searched.
Also consider the loading speed of your website, do you need to be using a faster server? Are there too many images and media files slowing the website down? As mentioned previously, search engines are more likely to promote websites which load faster as they tend to have lower bounce rates, meaning customers will stay on them for longer.
7. Advanced Analytics
If you’re looking for something to really give you the edge on your competition while promoting yourself as a genuine, high-end brand you need to look at the analytics.
There are a range of tools available online, such as Google Analytics, which can give you insider knowledge as to how well certain aspects of your website are performing.
You can look at what content on your website is the best performing and the worst performing in terms of traffic, conversions or even sales on an ecommerce site. With some tools such as Hotjar you can even look at screen recordings and heat maps of where users have been on your page.
All of this information can help businesses to understand their customer’s behavior, such as what pages/services they’re interested in the most, how they prefer to contact the business and even what external pages are generating the most traffic to the site.
This information allows businesses to constantly improve the quality of the content on their website by finding out what works and what doesn’t in terms of achieving your goals, whether that’s increasing sales, improving engagement on certain pages or attracting more visitors to the site.
Ultimately, analytics underpins what high-end design is all about: responding to user engagement and customer feedback in a way that drives continuous growth and improvement within a business.
Interested in having a high-end website designed and managed for your business? Get in touch with a member of our team, call us on 0115 786 0244 or enquire online today!