Building An Enterprise Website – An All-In-One Guide For Design, Development, And Marketing

May 11, 2021
Building An Enterprise Website

Building an enterprise-level website is different than simply going out and buying a template, dragging blocks onto the page, writing text, and placing images.

Enterprise Website is a step-up version of not just having a presence on the web but also serving as your digital marketing hub: everything should flow from there – capturing leads, producing sales.

In our prolific experience as a trusted technology partner for website development, we have noticed common problems on many enterprise websites. It includes lack of consistency, say in URL structure, design; longer downtimes; lack of meaningful content and by virtue, improper indexing by search engines.

Capital is never an issue with corporations but interdependence may sometimes kill innovation.

Take for instance, what’s more aggravating than attempting to get three people on your team to agree on a content marketing idea? Let’s raise the stakes to 10? Or 20? Plus the entire sales team? And a majority of the C-suite?

The world of enterprise marketing is where scaling content programs becomes more political, corporate silos. You may require more creative discretion, administrative flexibility and cross-department communication in order to overcome such challenges.

Two major categories of thinking are involved while building enterprise websites: Technical (branding, content creation and marketing approaches, inventory management, code incorporation and more) and Governance (inputting and proofing standard across multiple sites).

Here is where we suggest innovation through technology partnerships.

Further, how can Website Revamp/Redesign Strategists, Enterprise Marketers, IT Directors, Digital Officers extract the maximum out of this blog to build an enterprise website?

We have compiled the top trends involved in designing, developing and marketing your enterprise website for your reference.

Design Trends

Designing regular websites demand stunning visuals or original layouts. Whereas for enterprises, there are functional elements of web design that are much more important to consider.

Here is where we suggest you to concentrate more on the User Experience (UX) part rather than User Interface (UI). UX is more of a concept or rather a feeling that promises seamlessness, responsiveness, and the overall premise of the website. On the other hand, UI comprises elements, tools, and digital interfaces directly associated with the design process.

And if it is not addressed sufficiently, the below statistics tell us that:

  • Up to 15% of IT projects are abandoned and at least 50% of a programmer’s time during the project is spent redoing work. If proper measurements, goals, and test processes were implemented upfront, the majority of this wasted time could be prevented.
  • You could be losing out on significant conversion rates if at least 10% of your development budget is not spent on improving usability.

Looks like 2021 will bring dark mode, mixed media, and 3d elements to the forefront with a high focus on page speed and user experience.

Here are some trending UX strategies:

Information Architecture

Mobile-first Design

Decrease Choices

Modern Design Practices

1. Information Architecture

Information architecture refers to the way your content is structured on your site.

Hierarchical

ColorWhistle.com, for instance, uses a primarily hierarchical structure, with broad categories at the top that open up more narrow options as you click through

Sequential

TurboTax, for example, uses this structure which requires users to go step-by-step through a determined path

Matrix

Ecommerce websites will prefer this structure as it allows the users to filter options (so users can sort by date or topic, for example) and click-through as needed

Topic

Wikipedia is organized by subject matter

Chronological

Organized by date and commonly used for blogs or other content-heavy sites.

Audience

Ecommerce websites like clothing retail may benefit by segmenting content by user groups. 

These structures aren’t mutually exclusive, and many enterprises use them together to successfully organize their sites. However,

“Remember that conversion rates decrease with every new page users have to click through…”

2. Mobile-first Design

If your business site doesn’t work well on mobile, 48% of users will not take your business seriously. This will definitely hurt your bottom line.

Also, there is no denying the fact that Google is a market leader in search engines. If Google is penalizing things like large interstitial ads (which can be annoying on desktop but are unbearable on mobile), unplayable videos, or poor site performance, building a well-designed website should support consistent experiences on every screen size (desktop, mobile, tablet), with the same ability to optimize for conversions, measure engagement and structure content.

3. Decrease Choices

Here’s a decade old jam study that shows how too many choices make people less likely to make a decision. It is even more than relevant today as more and more businesses are making their online presence.

The best way to go about is to highlight one or two actions, then put the rest on another page for users who continue to look for more information.

4. Modern Design Practices

Research shows that 75% of website credibility is based on only aesthetics. Also, there’s a common saying that goes around: good design is good business.

Modern design practices follow a conversion-centric design. It involves the use of icons, animations, bright colors, retro fonts (if your business vertical allows) that calls attention to certain elements on the page.

Reading content on your web pages also requires you to follow either a Z-shape or an F-shape pattern.

Modern Design Practices

Image Source: UXplanet

Modern Design Practices 2

Image Source: UXplanet

We are also witnessing some retail websites switching to better UX by moving the account creation process to the end – essentially after the purchase. This facilitates the process without sacrificing the business goal of keeping customers engaged.

You may also find this blog post interesting >> Web design mistakes you must avoid in 2021

Development Trends

Over recent years, Web development, especially frontend web development, has gained quite some complexity.

We have more libraries than ever, more ways of writing (frontend) code, etc. There are more patterns evolving and more alternatives for existing technologies like (React vs Angular vs Vue, REST vs GraphQL, SQL vs NoSQL).
This can be overwhelming! But it can lead to complicated solutions.

Honestly, in this battle of choices, we kind of forgot about the actual goal of web development: building great websites (with great user experiences) for the end-user. Thus, keeping things simple,

  • Move code to the server-side if it makes more sense there.
  • Avoid highly complex client-side solutions if some server-side code allows you to get rid of a problem entirely. The recent announcement of React Server-Side Components fits into that picture.
  • Optimize performance, optimize images on the website, build responsive web pages, and so on.

With a User-centric framework in mind, let’s dig further into the trends in enterprise web development that already begin some time ago.

The Rise of Progressive and Hybrid Web Apps

Ensuring Cybersecurity is a Critical Challenge

Focus on Mobile Page Optimization

Content-as-a-Service Model

The Rise of Low-Code Platforms

Unknown Opportunities & Challenges with 5G Network

Immersive Experiences Gain Popularity

Automation is Here to Stay

1. Rise of Progressive & Hybrid Web Apps

Single Page App is one of the trends of recent years that works inside a browser and does not require page reloading during use. Some frequently used examples are Gmail, Facebook.
A Progressive Web App is almost always a Single Page App.

We consider a Progressive Web Application (PWA) more of a mindset than a technique. PWAs enable websites to load quickly and still work offline. They make things easier for developers than building native applications for every device (Android/iOS).

Twitter, Forbes, and AliExpress are among the many leading companies to have already adopted PWA solutions for their multiple benefits. And, after Pinterest introduced PWA, its core engagement rose by 60% and the time users spent on-site, by 40%.

Building native mobile applications is a much longer process than building a traditional website, especially when you need to include personalization elements.

“If you’re considering a revamp to your desktop web application, you will need to optimize for mobile devices as well. Rather than build two applications, develop your website as a PWA for a better customer experience on mobile.”

2. Cybersecurity Remains to be a Critical Challenge

The global cost of data breaches reached $3.86 billion in 2020. The exuberant digital shift made by businesses during the ongoing pandemic has unintendedly staged a novel cyberattack. Only 45% of companies with full security integration can fix critical vulnerabilities within a day.

Now is also a good time to invest in scaling up your organization’s IT armor against unforeseen cyberattacks. Integrating security solutions like:

  • hashing protocols,
  • machine-learning algorithms for fraud detection,
  • blockchain-based
  • Solutions can mitigate the key security risks.

We would encourage you to read our analysis of the latest WordPress security threats.

>> Further, here is another blog post on best practices to ensure website security.

3. Improving the Functionality on Mobile Devices

Enterprise app development companies often saw the smartphones essentially as additional screens in order to access operational data. At present, there is an emerging trend towards the complete utilization of smartphone characteristics for businesses.

For instance, mobile apps easily interact with all of the integrated services such as GPS-navigation, social networks, notifications, collect data from the different sensors of the smartphone, along with battery life optimization and much more. Furthermore, Banking mobile applications can easily integrate digital wearables for quicker, digital payment options.

While optimization for mobile devices is nothing new, what has changed over these years is the need to ensure data confidentiality and transparency on what type of data is being collected, sent as well as processed.

4. Content-as-a-Service Model

Being able to create content in one location empowers specialist teams to use it for a variety of different channels and outputs. It means a Content Management System (CMS) is to be deployed that stores, manages and delivers content without a front-end delivery layer (headless CMS).

Developers are now free to use APIs to deliver things like products, blog posts or customer reviews to any screen or device, while front-end developers can get to work on how to present that content using any framework they desire. This system empowers enterprises to adopt and offer a content-as-a-service model – a trend that is really taking off.

5. Rise of Low-Code Platforms

How often have you noticed in your organization that when there is a change, and where the scope is more than just simple content changes, it involves a whole team of people to get the job done.

By adopting a low-code approach to enterprise site building this overhead is significantly reduced, creating significant savings in resource, time and money. The core function of low code development platforms is to enable anyone with an idea and little to no coding experience to write their own software.

No-code tools lower the barrier to entry with visual programming interfaces and drag and drop tools for those who have never written a line of code. For instance, Amazon Honeycode can help streamline the process of creating apps for simple tasks or event management and Parabola is an automation platform designated to automate processes via an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface.

6. Venturing into the Unknown Territory of 5G Network

The new 5G network technology market is expected to reach $667.90 billion by 2026.

5G network technology can be best described as a technical enabler for IoT and future emerging tech products as it is 100 times faster than the existing 4G technology. 5G, by comparison, is anticipated to offer lower latency, greater bandwidth availability, and better data security.

This could allow developers to create more powerful apps for better content management through augmented reality, virtual reality, and 4K video streaming. Software developers interested in creating designs and features that enhance business performance will find this technology especially useful.

7. Immersive Experiences Gain Popularity

One of the many things that the ongoing pandemic ushered in is the increasing preference among consumers to shop with augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR).

Enterprises can make use of applications combining the AR, which brings the digital experience to the physical world, and VR, which can create a lifelike immersive experience. It involves a broad range of applications, including:

  • Online shopping: Adoption of try-before-you-buy features powered by immersive tech can be a valuable addition to Ecommerce websites.
  • Training and e-Learning Websites: AR and VR technologies create realistic scenarios in a digital environment, which facilitates a real-time training and learning process.
  • Companies can better highlight the important functioning of their SaaS products with immersive tech.
Immersive Experiences Gain Popularity

Source: Statista

8. Automation is Here to Stay

Natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), Voice-assisted search have gone from theoretical concepts to full use cases in recent years.

Popular use cases include-

“YouTube uses NLP to create subtitles from the audio of a video automatically, or how Google Analytics uses ML to understand better how a website user behaves, or Alexa using VR and ML so we can have a full conversation with a machine.”

Any enterprise owns a huge volume of data. The applicability of automation through predictive analysis is to assist enterprises to understand the data much faster easily. Automation through machine learning can churn out data to identify the potential issues way before time and easily raise red flags.

Newer innovations like voice-assistants may have an audience in enterprises across different verticals. Different voice assistants for enterprises can certainly increase the employees’ productivity by easily performing tasks such as scheduling meetings, tracking to-dos, providing reminders, sending out emails, making phone calls, etc. It can easily be used for offshore customers where there is a particular language gap. Also, the chatbots can easily translate the languages in real-time and close the communication gap.

Future Marketing Needs

Multi-channel marketing, brand awareness and brand diversity are a few of the heavy hitters that make up an effective Enterprise Marketing strategy.

1. Enterprise SEO

In addition to your usual Search Engine Optimization, a dynamic SEO/Enterprise SEO involves creating a single template for multiple web pages. It would further optimize all content at once for search engine crawlers to easily identify and rank your website higher on the SERP.

Watch the video below to make more sense out of implementing Dynamic SEO on your Entreprise Website.

The principles of dynamic SEO can be extended to Local SEO since your enterprise business may involve customers from varied regions. In our opinion, Moz Local is a great tool to get started with local SEO.

Have you read our blog on Google Featured Snippets? It is considered to be one of the growing SEO strategies currently.

2. Innovate Around Ad-Blockers

It is high time that companies innovate their Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns to better target their audience. Latest survey also reveals that 27% of internet users expect to use ad blockers in 2021.

The best strategy in such a scenario would be to readjust your advertising budget to suit other, more meaningful campaigns, like subtle influencer marketing or sponsored content. Younger audiences are noted to respond well to such advertising.

3. Social Media Will Become A Channel For Purchase And Not Just Discovery

“Social media platforms like Facebook are making it easier for consumers to go from discovery to purchase without ever having to leave the platform, creating a simple and seamless path to purchase.”

With social commerce continuing to grow into 2021, retail brands will have to adapt to these platforms with new rules, similar to what many did with Amazon.

Further, to project themselves as a responsible brand, companies must reduce social media channels to only the most relevant ones. This must be seen in context with the recent ban around Chinese apps by major world economies.
However, managing multiple channels, multiple audiences, multiple regulation requires the support of marketing automation software systems. We have identified Hubspot, Marketo, and Pardot to be the market leaders in providing enterprise software solutions.

4. Data-Sharing & Concerns On Data-Privacy

You may have heard enough on data sharing and increasing skeptics around data privacy. In fact, your enterprise must be collecting some form of user data for marketing and personal commerce experience.

“Today, it is not just about brands meeting consumers where they are (via targeted marketing); it’s about brands telling them what they want, when they want it.”

In doing so, if brands and retailers are going to continue collecting first-party shopper data, they will need to begin actioning it in meaningful ways, predicting what their shoppers want to see next, and understanding where shoppers are in their buying cycles to predict when they’ll want to buy.

And in doing so, Enterprise Marketers should care about new GDPR rules commissioned by the European Union. No later than the end of this decade will the rules on data privacy get stringent in other prominent parts of the world.

You might have missed reading>> Digital Marketing For SaaS Companies

How Significant Is Your Technology Partnership With A Suitable Digital Agency?

Enterprise web development involves resources, but are not restricted to,

  • UI and UX strategies,
  • database building,
  • content management system,
  • website maintenance,
  • customisation,
  • brand assessment, and
  • analytics configuration.

It is important to cautiously choose a web development agency or a technology partner who can handle the diverse problems and requirements of an enterprise website.

If you are somebody who’s evaluating different vendors, technology partners to help you with building/rebuilding an enterprise website, you might want to not just look at them as only a development shop, or a design shop but having cross channel expertise to effectively implement website projects.

This is because SEO, social media, paid media, content management and marketing, all of these are so integrated with the website that if your technology partner lacks cross-channel expertise in development and maintenance, you may end up having a half-baked website.

Just as important as it is for enterprise websites to revolve around content management, there is also the need for branding. This is especially true for global companies managing local delivery partners.

It’s key that these capabilities are in place when looking at enterprise website builders/technology partners.

Further, we invite you to go through our work deliverables, portfolio, client testimonials and more. You may schedule a business call with the company founder, Sankar and share your requirements for further engagement.

Looking forward to a meaningful partnership!

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About the Author - Sankarnarayan. R

The founder and mastermind behind ColorWhistle is Sankarnarayan, a professional with over fourteen years of experience and a passion for website design services and digital marketing services. At ColorWhistle, our team has a wide range of skills and expertise and we always put our clients’ satisfaction first. This is what sets us apart from the competition – an eye for detail and the best website development services from the start to the completion of your project.

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