Whether you’re a new business or been in the game for a while, having a website is the best way to stay connected with your audience, engage new customers and remain competitive in your market.

Creating a website that can help you do all those things can be a big process, but it’s worth doing it well. Good web design can help you communicate your brand effectively and reach your targets faster.

There are a lot of DIY template and drag-and-drop website options out there which can get decent results if you’re ready to do your research and put in the time. But if you’re looking to get the best long term results for your money, you can’t beat a custom web design.

Here’s 5 reasons why.

1. Optimised for your goals

Take a moment and think about your business goals. Whether you want to sell 10,000 products this year or take on 10 new clients, the way you design your website can help you get there – or it can hinder your progress.

Websites that are built from a limited template are easy to use but they aren’t optimised for your unique set of goals. In contrast, custom designed websites let you get right to the heart of the matter and tailor every part of your website to help you succeed.

For example, if you want to increase sales on an ecommerce website, a custom design will allow you to create eye-catching call-to-actions, streamline the checkout process and use reviews in a powerful way.

Plus, if you find something isn’t working or your goals expand in the future, a custom web design is easy to update and adjust. It won’t box you in, but help you think bigger and expand your horizons.

2. On point branding

Whether you like it or not, customers are going to make an assessment about your business based on your website. It’s your chance to make a good impression and communicate your brand message clearly.

While templates and drag-and-drop style websites may look great, it doesn’t mean they’ll be perfectly in line with your branding. In fact, you run the risk of making branding decisions based on what options you have in your template.

If you want on point, powerful branding, custom web design is the way to go. You can fine tune everything from the colour palette used across the website, to the way your blog is laid out and the impression someone has when visiting your site for the first time.

All of these small decisions can have a big impact on your audience. But don’t worry if you’re not sure what decisions you should make. A good web design agency will be able to turn your vision for your business into an engaging website experience for your audience that stays true to your brand message and values.

3. Improved user experience

User experience (UX) is a term used to describe the entire experience someone has when they use your website. If your website visitors have a pleasurable experience when engaging with your website, it benefits you in many ways, including:

  • Longer time spent on your website
  • Lower bounce rates (people leaving your website quickly)
  • Higher engagement
  • More return visitors
  • Higher conversion rates

To achieve excellent UX, you need to understand your audience, what they want and where you want to lead them. Having fast load times and mobile-friendly pages is crucial, but there are all sorts of decisions which should be optimised for your particular audience too. For example, how to organise your navigation and how to structure your page hierarchy.

Custom web design makes it possible to put UX first and to tailor your approach to your particular audience. Web designers will work closely with you to figure out what design elements are needed to create an amazing user experience.

4. Better search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the art of making your website show up higher on search engine results. Websites that have good SEO are more visible, have more visitors and are more competitive in their niche.

Web design choices like simple navigation, responsive design and readability all have an impact on SEO. Creating a website from a rigid template can limit your options and negatively impact your SEO now and into the future.

On the other hand, custom web design gives you better control over the design choices which means you can optimise them for SEO. It also means you can monitor your search engine performance, test alternative design choices and continually improve your results.

If SEO is a top priority for you, look for a web design agency that also offers marketing services like SEO. These agencies tend to have more inter-department conversations which means while they’re designing your website, they’ll also be making sure it’s optimised for SEO.

5. Adaptable and scalable

A template website might be good for your business right now. It might do the job and align with your current goals – but will it be able to grow with you as you expand and evolve?

It’s important to build a website that’s aligned with your current needs and capacity, but it’s also important to think ahead and make sure that your website will be able to scale up and evolve when you need it to.

The best way to do that is to get a custom design. Make sure your web designer is asking you about your goals for the long term as well as your current goals.

For example, you might only be selling 10 products now, but in 5 years you might want to be selling 200. You might offer one service now, but in the future you might want to expand into other services, start a newsletter or start selling related products on your site.

Is custom web design worth the investment?

It’s clear that web design can have a big impact on things like sales, user experience and visibility on search engines. If you’re tight on budget, you might consider using a simple template to get you started.

But if you want to make sure you’re getting a website that’s optimised to help you achieve your goals, it’s best to trust the experts with your web design.

It might not even be as expensive as you think. Well designed websites require less maintenance over time and are easy to adapt as you grow as a business.