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Things You Can Learn From 2018’s Best Business Websites

Corporate communications consultancy, Bowen Craggs & Company is noted for its annual Index of Online Excellence. Renowned as the most reliable list of large companies performing best online, the Bowen Craggs Index considers all of an organization’s online communication channels. These include websites, mobile, social media and apps. The Index has been published in Financial Times, Forbesand many other highly credible publications around the world.

 

Bowen Craggs’ reviewers offer the following observations as things you can learn from 2018’s best business websites. We encourage you to review these techniques and compare them to your own company website. In what areas are you thriving? And how can you improve?

 

Responsive Design Has Proliferated

Siemens, which previously had separate sites for desktop, mobile and even tablets, has gone to a single responsive site. This will could give the brand a competitive edge over rival businesses, whose sites may be unusable via mobile devices. Truth be told, more and more companies are now taking mobile usability very seriously, though that should not mean putting mobile ahead of desktop. Both platforms should be given equal footing—for now.

 

Responsive Sites Have Led To Visual Sameness

This has placed more of an onus upon designers to innovate to set sites apart, even while adhering to the parameters responsive design imposes. As a result, 2018 has more beautiful corporate sites than any year prior. Companies employing images particularly well include Coca-Cola and Shell. Roche uses interesting typefaces; while “looping videos” add life to the Verizon and Maersk sites.

 

The Pursuit of Beauty Can Lead to Degraded Navigation

Too many designers are hiding menus in an effort to create a “clean” look. This is particularly evident in GSK’s site, which relaunched this year without a left menu. According to the Bowen Craggs reviewers, the development team did everything it could to counter the inevitable problems and almost succeeded—but not quite.

 

Internal Search is Better, But Still Has Room To Improve

The Eni site assembles results pages dynamically—when you ask the right questions. The trick is to select one of the pre-configured queries that appear when you do a search. Meanwhile, other companies are providing solid results with a standard engine, including Siemens. The takeaway? Careful design and persistent adjustment pay off.

 

Editorial Skills are Being Applied to Corporate Information

BP’s major projects section features videos, pictures and facts, as well as an interactive map. Web-only mechanisms are deployed alongside words and pictures, but journalistic techniques are used to make them as engaging as possible.

 

Sites Are Leaner

Microsoft and Cisco have notably thin “About Us” sections, relying mainly on links to other parts of their sites. HSBC puts the great bulk of itshistory material in a PDF document. The reviewers say itis a good idea to be concise where appropriate,but brevityfor its own sake is not a good thing.

 

Social Media Continues to Mature

Established channels are being better used and new ones are increasingly exploited. In fact, this was the year corporate Instagram came to the fore. It’d be wise to follow the same trend. So be sure to dedicate resources to owning and operating your most popular social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; while simultaneously keeping an eye on new opportunities like Vero.

With strategies like these working well for the big guys, you’ll likely see value in them for your small business as well. To learn more, download the entire report. Do your homework, and hopefully you’ll find a collection of business website templates with many of these best practices already baked in. Best of luck!

Bogdan

Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.

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