If there’s any chance you did not appreciate the value of having a website, you probably do now. The COVID-19 stay home orders that forced customers indoors and businesses to close should have changed your mind. Government orders to enforce social distancing put a halt to most small businesses in big cities like Houston, Texas and across the country. Small business owners now have to find creative ways to connect with their customers. Did you know 97% of consumers use online searches to find local businesses to support? Yet, the experts at B2B business firm Clutch.co say less than two-thirds of small businesses have websites.
It’s past time to establish the importance of websites in small business longevity. But first, we must understand that simply having a website is not enough. That is, if it’s not working to convert visitors into paid customers it’s not effective. Website customization is one of the best ways to make sure your website is working for you.
What is a custom website?
A Google search for website design can produce an overwhelming number of results. Even if you narrow your search by typing, for example, “The best custom websites in Houston,” you’ll still get an astounding results list. Many small business owners aren’t sure where to start. As a result, they choose an ineffective website design company based on low prices alone. Most likely, if the prices are very cheap, you won’t be getting a website that really works for your business. That’s because it’s not designed with your business in mind.
So, what are customized websites? A custom website is a website created by a web design company specifically for your business. There won’t be another like yours because a customized website is as unique as your business and designed just for you. By choosing a custom website, your business’s website can be as simple as complex as you need it to be. Web designers can create colors, fonts, images, layout, sounds, words, decorative elements and anything else you imagine from scratch to give you complete website customization.
Dawood Kokawala, Founder and President of MSDS Entrepreneurs – a custom website design company in Spring, TX prides himself on using technology to make his clients’ dreams come true. “If you want it, and you think it’s impossible, I am telling you, it’s possible,” he says about custom website features. A custom website can be anything you want it to be. But, you’ve got to choose a solid web design company that knows how to make a website look great and work even better. A powerful website gives your business the visibility and credibility it needs to get new customers. An outstanding website works around the clock to drive traffic to your business and convert website visitors into paid customers.
How is a custom website made?
Let’s highlight the process our local website design company in Houston uses to create custom websites.
Step 1: Discovery meeting with clients
The custom website design process kicks off with an in-depth discovery meeting. This gives your design team an opportunity to get an initial understanding of your goals, objectives, challenges, and business process. Following this meeting, your design and marketing teams dive deeper into research to ensure they deliver customized strategies that will work for your business.
Step 2: Market analysis
In this phase, your team performs thorough market research. This is critical because it’s not good enough to give you a beautiful website if it doesn’t get the job done for you. So that your website is effective, your team needs to understand as much as they can about your target audience. They will uncover who’s likely to visit your website, what drives them to it, what types of things will make them stay on your page, and what motivates them to perform the actions you desire them to.
Step 3: Competitor analysis
Developing a winning strategy for your website includes taking a long, hard look at your competitors. These competitors may or may not be the businesses that you compete with on a local level. What your team looks for in competitive analysis for a website is who’s competing for the same online traffic as you. 81% of all shoppers perform an online search before buying (97% of local shoppers do this). When they land on a competitor’s page, skilled marketers find out how and why. Then, set a strategy to drive those customers to your customized website instead.
Step 4: Keyword research
This is really important and a good web design company will include this service in your custom website design. Keyword research involves sitting in your target customer’s seat to determine which words they are using to find your business and/or products. A skilled website marketing team will take that a step farther and determine how likely you are to rank on a search engine results page for certain keywords. A customized website plan should incorporate a strategy to compete for the right keywords and use them appropriately on and off your website’s pages.
Step 5: Content writing
So, what does a custom website team do with all the research they conduct? They use it to create visual and written content for your customized website. Content writing is a multi-step process that begins with in-depth market, competitor and keyword research. A professional writer crafts original content for your website that’s designed to accomplish the goals you outlined in the discovery meeting. So your customers feel like they’re talking to you, a premium content writer will use your brand’s voice and tone. Doing so helps customers feel more connected to your brand, which will create loyalty among your customer base.
Step 6: Website wireframe
Wireframe is a significant step in the custom web design process. The web designers and developers use it to help their team and clients see how each web page will be arranged. It’s like a pencil drawing that shows how the visual and functional aspects of your website will work together. Designers also use this tool to find any small issues and resolve them before they become big problems down the line. Keep in mind, a customized website that works effectively must give your users a great experience that they enjoy.
Step 7: Mockups
When you receive mockups, you are near the end of the custom website design process! In this exciting phase, your web design team will deliver a scale model of your website to you. Mockups help the custom website design team and client see a website in living color. This is a useful tool for determining if all the visual elements fit together properly and if the user will have an easy experience navigating the web pages.
After receiving mockups, there are only a few steps left before your customized website is ready to launch.
What is a custom website going to do for my business?
Whether in business or in your personal life, there should be some sort of return on investment for everything you do. A customized website is an investment into your business. Therefore, it should provide you with quantifiable returns too. There are many ways a small business can benefit from having a custom website built. Customizing a website, using the process highlighted above, strategically drives targeted traffic to your business. Two of the biggest benefits of a custom website are 1. visibility and 2. accessibility. Your business’s visibility is no longer limited to passersby in your community. Customers can access your business and products any time from anywhere.
Like many news outlets across America, KPRC – the local CBS news affiliate in Houston is encouraging viewers to support small businesses. Because many of those businesses are closed because of COVID-19, one of their key suggestions is to “Shop online, if [the business] has a website.” They are going a step further by featuring Houston-area business websites on their website. You can imagine how much of a benefit it is for local businesses to be accessible online.
There are a few other crucial benefits a business will only get with a customized website. But, to understand those benefits, we have to look at your other option: templated websites.
Custom Websites Vs Templated Websites
Templated websites are pre-designed, cookie-cutter website layouts with limited capability. They allow users to import media (like pictures), fill in informational sections, and sometimes drag and drop applicable tools where you think they fit best. Website templates are usually a cheaper option but they lack uniqueness. By choosing a templated website for your business, you can almost certainly guarantee there’s another business with a website like yours.
What is a custom website going to do that a templated website can’t?
A custom website is going to give you flexibility you won’t ever get from a template. But, what kind of flexibility can a customized website provide? With a custom website, there are no limits.
A custom website gives you the flexibility to:
1. Showcase your business as a unique brand
2. Control the speed and load times of your web pages
3. Ensure that your website is hosted on a more secure platform
4. Give your website visitors useful tools designed just for your business
5. Expand your business without needing a brand new website
If you are looking for custom web design near Houston, The Woodlands, Spring, Katy, Dallas or anywhere in the world, the experts at MSDS Entrepreneurs have the skills and tools to build the website of your dreams. A custom website will help you reach more customers by leaving the hard work to be done by experienced marketing and website design professionals.
Stand out from your competitors with a customized website design and strategic plan to reach more customers online than you ever thought possible.
At MSDS Entrepreneurs our objective is to take your business, big or small, to the next level. Our team is our strength and we have carefully built a committed team, comprised of experts who recognize the power of collaboration. Together, we will accomplish our goal of delivering the most effective solutions for your business.