How to Design a Corporate Website
A corporate website is a necessity for every business.
Just as you ensure that your brick-and-mortar store or your office looks professional at all times to impress potential customers, your website (which has a far wider reach) should be given the same level of attention.
As it represents your brand online, you want to make sure that your web design is the best possible. This means, among other things, having a clean design that’s easy to navigate and find information visitors are looking for.
A corporate website has to promote the brand and the company as a whole instead of focusing on just a single product line or services.
What’s the Purpose of a Corporate Website Design?
Don’t confuse promotional websites with corporate websites because although they may have “promotion” as their common goal, they are different. For example, there’s a website for Sprite that promotes a particular drink.
It is a promotional website but not a corporate website. Sprite is a brand under the big Coca-Cola Company umbrella.
Now, when you check Coca-Cola Company’s corporate website, you’ll find all the brands that they own, too. But what they’re promoting is their company and its values instead of the specific brands under their umbrella.
The purposes of a corporate website include:
- Showing its audience the company’s scale – how big it is, how it’s thriving and growing.
- Building reputation – establishes the company as an authority in the industry with a commendable reputation and adherence to business ethics. In a way, it is working on brand reputation but a larger scale.
- Driving trust – it showcases company ethos, why they’re an excellent company to support and even work for.
- Determining affiliated brands – shows the audience which brands are under their company (note that the brands should not be the focus).
While available to everyone can check out corporate websites, they are mainly intended for:
- Shareholders and partners
- Mass media and press
- Potential employees
- Government authorities
Business Web Design by The Numbers
- 48% of people stated that a website’s design is the number one factor in determining the credibility of a business.
- There’s an estimated $2.6 billion worth of loss per year caused by a slow-loading website.
- 94% of negative website feedback is related to web design.
- 73% of companies invest in design to separate their brand from their competition.
- When on the company’s homepage, 64% of web visitors expect to see the company’s contact information.
What Makes an Excellent Corporate Website?
Now that you know what a corporate website is and its intended audience, you are probably wondering what makes a good corporate website. There are several elements and features a corporate website must possess.
It Has a Clean and Professional Looking User Experience
Guests of your website will make a judgment of your business in a matter of seconds after landing on your website. Therefore, you must make sure that they can immediately like what they see.
It should have a clean look with clear navigation pathways to make it easy for your visitors to find the information they want to see in a couple of clicks.
You can use a modern graphic design concept or a classic style, but make sure it looks clean and clutter-free.
It Has Well-Written Content
Your website content is just as important as its design. Your copy should be in the company voice and speak to your audience how you want them to perceive you.
It’s best to write copy in a professional but still conversational and engaging manner. Through your content, the audience should be able to determine the “personality” of your company.
If you write your copy in a too informal way, your viewers might not take you seriously. Write it too formally, though, and you’ll risk losing their interest, coming off as stiff, or even intimidating.
Here are some of the types of content pages you’ll usually find on a corporate website:
- About Us
- Brands / Affiliates
- Service Information
- Case Studies
- Informational Pages
- Upcoming Events
- Customer Testimonials
It Educates Instead of Selling
The main reason why corporate websites have such pages as “About us”, “Portfolio,” “Case studies”, and “News and events” is that the main aim of the website is to educate.
That is in contrast with promotional websites that aim to sell products or attract clients.
The reason guests are on your website is that they’re looking for information, not to purchase something. They want to learn more about your company and perhaps see if it’s one they want to invest in or work for.
Other things that could help you make your corporate website even more informative includes:
- How-to videos (A video content marketing tool)
- Blog posts
- Email marketing newsletters (that should be more informative than selling)
It Has All the Information About the Company
If your company has different offices and stores in various locations, you need to include information on all of them aside from their physical addresses.
It would be great to have pages with photos of the facilities plus their contact numbers, email addresses of different departments and even a map so people would know exactly how to get to those branches.
This is particularly useful if you’re a fulfilment services company.
It Has to Give Access to Financial Performance Reports
If your company is open to investments, you should allow people to explore possibilities with ease by providing all pertinent financial information.
Moreover, you should also ensure that the financial performance reports are available to those who need to check on their investments.
It Features Some of the Company’s Best Employees
You may be a corporation, but you don’t want people to think you’re a faceless money-making machine.
A corporate website shows who’s really behind the company – the people who started it all and the people who are continuously making a difference in the business.
This will make your company come across as more human to learn about your business and what it represents. Moreover, this will give your employees a feeling of belongingness to the company, which is always good for their morale.
It Should Have a Careers and Internship Page
Apart from having a team page to highlight existing employees, you should also have a page dedicated to attracting new talent. This is a modest growth hacking strategy.
It’s a good idea for the human resources team to determine how they want to implement some filter here to make the vetting process easier.
Then, the developers would incorporate their design ideas within that structure. For instance, they could link to an online aptitude test that a potential talent should complete and pass to proceed.
This way, only those who are qualified to be in your company can proceed with their application.
It Should Have a List of the Company’s Intellectual Properties and Trademarks
You should also have a list of all the trademarks and intellectual properties you own or are associated with your company.
This does not only include your logo design but your taglines and any other branding elements that you consider reflective of your company.
It’s a recent corporate web design trend, too, to inform interested parties about the company’s intellectual property rights. And there’s no better platform for that than your corporate website.
Step-By-Step Guide for Designing a Corporate Website
So, you’re now ready to create or redesign your corporate website. Here’s a step-by-step guide that can help you:
Step #1: Set Clear Goals
Before you move forward with all the other steps, you should first establish what you want to achieve with your corporate website. This provides you with a framework to guide all subsequent actions.
Instead of coming up with something abstract, you should try to create specific and measurable goals. This way, you’ll have a solid structure to guide you by.
Step #2: Find Inspiration
Look, you should never copy another website’s design, especially if it’s from the same industry as you. That said, there’s nothing wrong with finding inspiration from other corporate websites.
There are so many things to look for, like what colour palettes they are using, what fonts, and the layout.
You can do your research for this and also check out some of the ones that made it to the list later on in this article.
Another move is to ask the web design agency you consider to provide you with samples of their work that they consider to be top-tier.
Speaking of which…
Step #3: Choose the Best Web Design Agency You Can Find
At this point, you should already have a list of web design companies you are seriously considering. You want to make sure that your website will be handled by a reliable manager and a well-trained team with a proven record and outstanding portfolio.
More than that, you have to ensure that you’ll feel comfortable working with them.
You’ll have to communicate with them regularly for months, depending on how complex your website is.
You want to work with people you know would listen to your opinions yet be confident enough to provide what they think are better suggestions. After all, they are the designers.
Don’t rush your selection process. Do your homework and learn as much as you can about the “candidates.” Your website is too essential to be handed to just anyone.
Step #4: Determine Your Target Audience
As discussed earlier, a corporate website is different from a promotional one, which means it should target a different audience.
It should appeal to multiple types of guests. Remember that you are not creating a website for potential customers alone but stakeholders, investors, potential employees, and even competitors.
This is why you should carefully consider your target audiences when you design your website and create content. For instance, instead of having product pages, you could dedicate a page for complete financial reports and one that could serve as a staff resource.
Step #5: Figure Out How You Want to Organise the Pages
As your website caters to different segments of your audience, you need to make finding the information they need as seamless as possible.
This is all about navigation and how you want to organise your web pages. Try to picture your website content and how you think the clients will want to get to them. Then think of what to include in the menu categories as well as the sub-categories.
Ask yourself, “If I were the visitor, would I stay to find what I need or just look elsewhere?” This should help keep you in the right direction.
Step #6: Come Up with a Style That’s Consistent
It would help if you determined right from the earlier stages of your website creation: the style and design elements you’re going to incorporate throughout the website.
Remember that these design elements play a significant role in helping you keep the look of your entire site consistent. This also plays into your branding and making the business instantly recognisable.
These elements include your logo, font styles and sizes, page colours, and more.
Step #7: Consider Page Highlights
If you have essential parts of the page that you want your visitors to give attention to, you should consider page highlighting. This means dividing your content into separate pages so that your audience will have time to focus on the information that you want them to absorb completely.
Instead of getting all the content on one page, allow them to impact multiple pages significantly.
Step #8: Make Sure That Your Pages are Responsive
One of the essential things in web design in the past few years is a website’s responsiveness across all devices.
You can’t get away with a website that doesn’t work well on a smartphone or a tablet anymore, especially now that most people use multiple devices, often at the same time.
Step #9: Check Your Website Accessibility
You want a corporate website that a broader segment of web visitors can access.
It should be ready to provide information for anyone who seeks it, however, abled they may be. For example, if you have videos embedded in your pages, make sure there’s an option for closed captioning so that even those that are hard of hearing can consume your content.
This is one of those understated web design practices that could help you establish your reputation as a company that cares for communities that are usually underserved.
Step #10: Check the Final Design
Before launching your website, don’t forget to do a final review to see if everything is in order. Double-check all the pages and all the elements to make sure they’re all working, from the DNS to all the navigation buttons, the photos and videos, loading speeds, and more.
5 Corporate Websites to Inspire You
The Ruby Company’s corporate website has gorgeous typography and professional-looking images. The visual elements are applied so tastefully that it never looks cluttered.
All the information you need to know about the company is all in the navigation menu that’s pretty easy to use.
2. Adam Church
This corporate website of a company that offers property management services is the perfect example of a clutter-free site that knows how to use the right colour and visual elements to make more critical elements stand out.
The website has a page for all the essential updates and a thorough description of their services which you can easily find because of their simplistic dropdown navigation.
Props to this architectural firm that is one eye-catching website that is truly one of a kind.
Its homepage is one of the most interesting ones you’ll ever encounter. What’s good is that its “map” actually works as the links to the related projects are embedded.
Apart from sony.com, where you’ll see all of the company’s latest products, they also have sony.net, their corporate website.
This is where you’ll find information on the company’s history, brand values, and the people behind its success.
It even has pages dedicated to investor info, brands, and location, among others.
5 – Retal
A corporate website reflective of a company managing multiple international branches is what you’ll find when visiting Retal’s site.
A world map is seen on its page with pins to click to reveal information on that Retal branch.
From the address to the contact numbers and even a photo of the site facility, Retal ensures that every guest will get the information that they need.
Ultimately, the web design for your corporate website should focus on providing convenient access to all the information that potential partners, investors, and even competitors could be looking for.
Its primary focus is on educating and establishing credibility and trust in sales and conversions.
You can leave strategies like growth hacking to promotional websites where they matter the most.
So, do you have an idea of how you want your corporate website to look? Please share your ideas with us!