Your business can be strategically located and have high growth potential, but if your website is second-rate, it will drive potential customers away.

In other words, to attract, win, and retain customers, your website’s design should be top-notch. If your website looks unprofessional, it makes your company and services look unprofessional, which can put a dent in your brand image and taint your reputation.

As a professional service provider, your company website should be your most valuable marketing asset. It shouldn’t just be pretty in design but also easy to find, access, navigate, and interact with. To help you stand out from the crowd, we’ll discuss the six principles of design every professional services provider must follow.

1. Simplicity

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Complexity builds confusion.”

This saying holds true, particularly when it comes to your website’s design. When it comes to professional designs, less is more. A Google study shows that users don’t like visual complexity. The more complex the design, the less your website is perceived as professional and attractive.

What does this mean for a professional services website, and what do you need to do?

First, stick to the standard layout. Humans, by nature, resist change, and introducing new, unfamiliar design elements might breed confusion.

Secondly, keep your design simple. Limit the use of colors, fonts, and GIFs, which can distract the user from the focus of the webpage. People aren’t coming to your website to evaluate how sleek and flashy the design is. They’re coming for services you offer, so anything that can distract them from that focus isn’t good for business.

2. Navigability

Navigation is a critical part of a website’s functionality. When users want to find information on your website, they use navigation. You want users to find the right pages without struggle. Make the navigation functional and seamless!

For a professional services website, the last thing you want is for potential customers to get lost in clutter when looking for your services.

To prevent this, ensure you create broad headings that include specific subheadings. Experts recommend limiting the top navigation menu to six clearly labeled tabs, with related pages organized under them.

For example, if you own a law firm, the services tab should have a dropdown with all the areas covered under each specialty. Once a user clicks on “Family Law,” they should be able to clearly see the areas covered under family law, such as divorce, child custody, alimony, etc.

You should also offer an easy way to get back to the home page, no matter where the customer lands. This can easily be achieved by including a home button on the website. Lastly, ensure the website has a search bar to make it easier for people to find what they want.

3. Responsiveness

In an age where mobile browsing exceeds desktop, it’s paramount that you have a responsive website. Google has taken the first step in enforcing mobile responsiveness by rolling out the mobile-first indexing update.

That means the search engine giant now uses content from your mobile site when ranking your pages on SERPs.

As a professional service provider, you want your site to rank first in SERPs. And since most of your customers and potential customers will view your site on smartphones, you can capitalize on this by making your website highly responsive on mobile devices.

4. Credibility

Credibility can make or break your business.

As a professional service provider, your online credibility should precede anything else. That’s because by establishing a credible online presence, you can increase customers’ trust in your website or brand, leading to higher conversions.

But how do you enhance your online credibility?

First, you’ll want to make sure your website is secure. Have SSL-certified badges highly visible and secure your site with an encrypted ‘HTTPS URL’ address.

Next, set up your profile in as many review platforms as possible. Studies show that 95% of customers read online reviews before buying a product, so you’ll want to have positive reviews on as many platforms as possible.

Last but not least, include real customer testimonials on your website. This can provide an additional score that your site is legit and credible.

5. Accessibility

The goal of web accessibility is to design a website that anyone can easily use, including people with disabilities or limitations that may impact their browsing experience.

The idea is to create a website with UX in mind. Like responsiveness, accessibility applies to every part of your website—from the site design to format, visuals, and content.

Designing a website with accessibility in mind is critical in today’s society for many reasons. For starters, 25% of adults in the US live with a disability. To cater to this population, there are specific features you could incorporate in your website.

Here are the various ways you can optimize your website for disabled users.

  • Add images with ALT text
  • Keep contrast sensitivity in mind
  • Avoid placeholder texts in forms
  • Use ARIA roles
  • Use descriptive URLs
  • Make video and multimedia accessible

Your website should also be easy to find on search engines. This can easily be achieved by improving SEO to boost organic search.

6. User Centricity

At the end of the day, accessibility and usability hinges on the preferences of the end users. After all, you’re designing the site for users. So, make it functional and usable.

User-centricity is an interactive design aspect where designers focus on the users’ needs in each phase of the design process.

A user-centered design can help answer the following questions.

  • Does the design improve the user experience?
  • Is the site’s loading speed acceptable?
  • Is the site navigable?
  • Does the site and content trigger users to take action?

So, while the principles described above are a great starting point, the key to improving the design of your professional services website is to conduct user testing, collect feedback, and implement changes based on your findings.

Wrapping Up

That’s it! The six fundamental principles of design every professional services provider should follow. By following these design rules, you’ll not only bolster engagement but also increase your site’s rankings on search engine result pages.

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