“If you think math is hard, try web design.” ―Trish Parr
Web design is the creation of a digital environment that encourages activity and involvement with your company. In essence, your website is your brand. Whether your visitors are leads or potential recruits, your website is usually the first interaction people will have with your brand. It plays a vital role throughout the sales funnel, and prospects often visit your website many times during their decision-making process. Think of it as a way to demonstrate your industry expertise and thought leadership, as well as a way to generate new leads.
Here are a few things to consider for making your website the ultimate expression of your brand:
First impressions matter
Your website should be visually appealing, interesting and professional. In this digital age, a customer often visits a company’s website before they call or visit in person.
Make sure you have a clear vision and that you articulate it to the agency tackling your website design. Being clear about who you are and what your objectives are will guide the website design and user experience—ensuring you end up with an innovative and relevant product.
Some things to consider when evaluating the appearance of your website are:
- Simple, attractive colour scheme
- Easy-to-read text
- Fun and relevant graphics and icons
- Quality photography (think stock or professionally done)
Content is key
Did you know that the average visitor stays on a site for less than 59 seconds? If you can’t engage visitors in under a minute, they may be gone for good.
Chasing those elusive web visitors involves more than messaging and information, but your content is a big contributor to the overall experience. The best method is to keep it simple. Your content should be short, well written and engaging. The best practice is to write new content that clearly articulates your story and messaging, and that fits the new look and feel of your website. This is especially important if you’re undergoing a rebrand at the same time. Organization of your content is key too, so make effective use of titles and subtitles to break up your text and organize information in a way that makes sense. Keep it professional, conversational and on-brand.
Regularly updating your content and visuals is also a good habit to get into. A website is a dynamic, moving piece, and should reflect the same growth and change your organization experiences.
Functionality and navigation
A good site operates and loads quickly and effectively. Broken links or buttons, jittery scrolling and slow loading pictures can seriously hinder a user’s experience, and may deter them from exploring the rest of your pages. Make sure you test everything out to see how it works before your site launches.
The user experience should be architected with a clear path or journey and your areas of differentiation and expertise should be evident. Most sites have a navigation bar, which allows users to jump from one page to another. The organization of your navigation is vital—pages and sections should be grouped intuitively, so a new visitor can quickly find what they’re looking for. Another way designers and developers increase functionality is by adding a footer bar to the bottom of sites. This usually has duplicate links to your different pages, giving users a way to navigate when they finish scrolling. The footer is also a great place to put a newsletter or email list sign-up field—ideally giving you the opportunity to engage with your audience on an on-going basis after they’ve left your website. This goes a long way towards establishing your brand and will keep people coming back.
You can also consider adding a blogging platform for storytelling and thought leadership in your industry. Offering insightful information on relevant topics can position you as a source of expertise and enhances your brand image.
Enlist the pros
The worldwide web is a vast, complicated place, and we’ve only scratched the surface of what a good website can do for your business. Stay apprised of developments in technology, and consider implementing it on your site to support other areas of opportunity for your business.
There are agencies out there who specialize in web development, and have talented teams of designers, developers, writers and digital specialists who can guide you in the creation and implementation of a top notch website. Connect with us today to learn about our network of creative thinkers.