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How To Design A Corporate Website

How To Design A Corporate Website

Creating an effective corporate website is crucial for businesses today. With more and more customers turning to the internet to research products and services, your website acts as the face of your company in the digital world. Investing the time and resources into getting your corporate website right can pay significant dividends through increased visibility, credibility, and revenue.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps and considerations to design a corporate website that helps you achieve your business goals.

Determining Goals and Objectives

Law Firm Website Design Example

The first step is outlining what you want your new or redesigned corporate website to accomplish. As the old saying goes, “If you don't know where you're going, any path will get you there.”

What Business Goals Do You Want The Website To Achieve?

Determine the specific actions and metrics defining your website's success. This clarity of purpose will drive all other decisions in the design process.

Conduct User Research

Before jumping into the design work, do your research to understand your website visitors. Gather insights into:

  • Demographic – Who are they? Age, gender, location, income level etc.
  • Needs and pain points – Why do they visit? What problems need solving?
  • Behaviour – What do they do on the site? How do they navigate?

You can tailor the website experience to their preferences with these user insights.

Identify Your Buyer Personas

Buyer personas are detailed profiles of your ideal customers. They go beyond basic demographics to uncover motivations, challenges, values, and behaviours. Common questions to ask:

  • What are their goals and frustrations related to your offering?
  • How do they currently solve problems?
  • What content and messaging do they respond to?
  • What social networks and publications do they engage with?

With this context, you can tailor content accordingly later on.

Map Out Their Journey

Next, map out your audience's typical journey before doing business with you. For example:

  • How do they initially find you?
  • What path do they follow that eventually leads to a purchase?
  • What doubts or hurdles come up along the way?

Understanding their journey allows you to create targeted content for each stage.

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Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Define the key metrics that indicate how well your website is achieving the stated goals, for example:

  • Bounce rate below 50%
  • 60 second page load time
  • 10% monthly growth of organic traffic
  • 5,000 new email list signups per quarter

Track website analytics regularly to monitor progress on these KPIs. They guide decisions to improve underperforming pages.

Optimising Site Structure and Navigation

Website Design Navigation Example

With goals clarified, now focus on site architecture and navigation to ensure users can easily find what they want.

Plan a User-Centric Information Architecture

The site structure should reflect the needs of customers and how they intuitively expect to find content. Group related information into clear sections and categories.

Conduct card sorting exercises with target users to determine optimal naming and organisation of site sections. Listen to the language they use to describe what they’re looking for.

Website Navigation – Consistency and Clarity

The navigation menu acts as the roadmap guiding visitors to desired destinations. Some tips for user-friendly navigation:

  • Keep primary navigation consistent on every page
  • Descriptive menu labels – avoid ambiguous terms
  • Submenu links to drill down to specific content quickly
  • Include search functionality to find information quickly

Logical Page Hierarchy

Organise individual pages in a logical hierarchy based on their relationship and importance. Frequently accessed pages like “About” and “Contact” deserve a top-level place in the structure. Deeper pages live within a hierarchy of site sections – this depth indicates their relative importance.

Visual Cues – Breadcrumbs and Footers

Breadcrumbs showing page hierarchy and “Back to top” links in page footers provide visual cues to the user’s location and facilitate easy navigation between sections.

Optimising Site Performance

Google Pagespeed Insights Test Speed

Site speed and responsiveness are now crucial ranking factors for SEO. More importantly, users expect a fast experience – 53% will abandon a mobile site that takes over 3 seconds to load.

Core Web Vitals – Achieve Excellent Page Experience Scores

Google proposed core web vitals to evaluate site performance and user experience. Focus optimisations to achieve “excellent” scores in these areas:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – measures loading speed. Target under 2.5 seconds.
  • First Input Delay (FID) – measures responsiveness. Target under 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – measures visual stability. Target under 0.1.

Compress Images

Images often account for most of a web page’s file size and loading time. Compress JPEG, PNG, and GIF files to reduce kilobytes without degrading quality.

Set appropriate widths and heights on images so the browser can allocate space without reflowing content.

Minify CSS, JavaScript and HTML

Minification removes unnecessary characters like whitespace to reduce file size for faster loading. Ensure your site generators minify front-end code for production.

Asynchronous Loading

Load JavaScript asynchronously so it doesn’t block other page content from displaying immediately. Likewise, compile CSS into a single file delivered using preload directives.

Caching and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)

Caching stores assets locally, so repeat page visits don’t require fresh downloads. CDNs store cached copies on distributed servers for even faster delivery. Implement caching headers and leverage CDNs.

Achieving An Intuitive AND Visually-Appealing Design

Death To Stock Photos Designer Resource

With site architecture established, now focus on aesthetics and intuitive interaction design. This cornerstone design work builds the bridge between your offerings and meeting user goals seamlessly.

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Mobile-First AND Responsive Web Design

Over 60% of web traffic now stems from mobile devices. Adopt mobile-first and fully responsive principles so site content dynamically adapts layout across all devices and screen sizes.

Layout – Guide The Eye Strategically

Arrange visual elements strategically by importance using principles like:

  • Visual hierarchy – draw attention to the critical path.
  • Grouping – relate disparate elements.
  • White space – isolate core sections

Typography – Clarity and Personality

  • Legible font sizes facilitate scanning and reading.
  • Limited font pairings promote cohesion
  • Considering colour, size and weight, visual contrast directs attention
  • Tone aligns with brand personality – formal or casual

Colour Psychology and Branding Design

Colour profoundly impacts user perceptions and behaviour. Consider implications when incorporating UI design into the website.

  • Use brand primary and secondary colours consistently across all visuals
  • Accent-neutral backgrounds to establish the desired tone
  • Isolate-emphasised elements with brighter shades to capture attention

Photography – Authentic and Relevant

Reinforce brand identity and ethos by featuring real people aligned to products or services in meaningful contexts. Images should look natural – not staged.

Iconography – Intuitive Recognition

Icons encode meaning that’s intuitively recognised cross-culturally. However, styling choices like thin vs bold lines influence more subtle tone perceptions. Incorporate thoughtfully.

Optimising Value Proposition and Messaging

What Is A Brand Value Proposition

With solid information architecture and interaction design complete, now focus efforts on crafting persuasive value proposition messaging and copy.

Clarify Offerings – Don’t Make Them Guess!

Many home pages risk being too vague through glossy images and empty taglines. Immediately communicate core products and services and target customer segments prominently.

Concise Value Proposition Messaging

Craft a concise yet compelling headline, subheading and brief body copy highlighting your core value. Emphasise differentiation and communicate benefits.

Supporting Content Sections

Reinforce overall messaging with supporting content sections, for example:

  • Services overview – details on offerings
  • Case studies – success stories and testimonials
  • Ebooks and blog – thought leadership content

Craft Compelling Content

Google Helpful Content Update

Copy has immense power to educate, excite and convert visitors. But it must strike the right tone for each audience. To prepare:

  • Do Keyword Research: Identify terms users search when looking for your products or services. Optimising pages for those phrases drives discovery. Use Google Keyword Planner or paid tools like SEMrush.
  • Study Competitors: Review what content resonates with rival websites and take inspiration from that. How can you provide something better and different? Look beyond text for videos, calculators, quizzes, etc.
  • Develop Relevant Topics: For each key page and persona, brainstorm topics that would provide value. What content would move them further down the sales funnel?

To create copy that converts:

Headlines That Hook

Compelling headlines entice visitors to keep reading. Use their language, appeal to emotions, communicate benefits, and highlight what’s inside.

Scannable Layout

Break up blocks of text with photos, quotes, short paragraphs and lists. Include ample white space for the eye to rest. This enhances skim value.

Layered Content

Some info appeals to beginner visitors, other parts to more advanced. Design a progressive disclosure with “show more” links so each gets what they need.

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Buttons and links prompt visitors to sign up, subscribe, download, buy, contact, etc. Make sure these stand out visually and use actionable language.

Optimising Conversions and Leads

Now that solid foundations have been laid in information architecture, design and messaging – the final crucial step is optimising the site to convert visitors into leads and customers.

Prominent Calls-To-Action (CTAs)

Calls-to-action directly prompt the desired user behaviour, usually through clickable button elements labelled with clear directions. Guide visitors effortlessly towards conversions through clever CTA placement.

Reduce Friction in User Flows

Look for friction points that create obstacles or leaks in crucial user journeys. Simplify multi-page forms. Pre-populate known contact details to eliminate tedious typing where possible. Overall, grease the wheels to make desired actions easy.

Landing Pages Target Specific Audiences

Create tailored landing pages featuring relevant messaging and offerings for top traffic referral sources. Welcome visitors from Facebook or Google Ads differently than those from LinkedIn or elsewhere with custom lead capture forms.

Launching and Iterating Based on Traffic and Conversions

How To Set Up Google Analytics

You’ve optimised all components influencing visitor perceptions and behaviours on the corporate website. With goals clarified from the start, you can now analyse performance and continuously refine it to accomplish intended objectives.

Website Analytics – Monitor Traffic and Engagement

Install Google Analytics to unlock a wealth of data about who visits your site and how they navigate and interact with content. Continually track metrics around:

  • Traffic volume – growth trends over time
  • Top landing/exit pages – what content resonates or fails?
  • Bounce rates – where do visitors leave quickly?
  • Conversion rates – how many become leads/customers?

User Testing – Observe Real Visitor Struggles

Watch actual users interact with your site to reveal usability struggles invisible in analytics. See confusing menus, interactions or content first-hand. Address these friction points through site enhancements.

A/B Testing – Experiment to Optimise

Try out page variations like different headlines, images or supporting copy using A/B testing tools, which automatically divert a portion of traffic to each version. Adopt the best-performing version based on conversion rates or other goals.

Ongoing Revisions – Continuous Improvement

Treat your website as a perpetual work-in-progress. Continually add and update content to attract both new and returning visitors. Discover and remedy UX shortfalls over time as a fundamental part of site ownership. Your digital presence is never “finished”.

Final Thoughts

Designing an effective corporate website is a complex, multi-faceted endeavour requiring careful strategic decisions at every step outlined above. But meticulous upfront planning, continual optimisation based on complex data, and always keeping the end user at the centre of thinking will realise huge dividends over time through elevated visibility, credibility and revenue growth.

What aspects of corporate website design planning presented here resonated most with your current needs and situation? Comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some standard website designs for corporations?

Minimalist – clean, lots of white space
Bold colours with large photos
Video backgrounds behind content
Animation and parallax scrolling effects

What should you avoid when designing a corporate website?

Cluttered pages overloaded with content
Overuse of stock photos that look generic
Outdated designs that aren’t mobile-responsive
Lack of focus regarding goals and target audience

How much does a custom corporate website cost?

Primary brochure site – $2,000 to $15,000
Custom design and development – $15,000 to $50,000+
Enterprise sites or ecommerce – Over $100,000+

Who is involved in designing a corporate website?

Company executives – provide vision and goals
Marketing – manage project scoping and team
Website manager – plans sitemap and content
Visual designers – create layouts and graphics
Developers – implement front and back-end code
Copywriters – produce site content

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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