Your website is often the “first impression” anyone has of you or your company. Is your website design working for you – or against you? Does it provide a great introduction about who you are and what you do? Does it tell your story? Does it capture your personality and purpose? Does it reflect your brand? If you are building or redesigning your website, you may want to consider these five steps to make sure your website design will work for you – and not against you.
Update & Test
Many websites are only nominally helpful. A good domain name and a basic site can be an appropriate starting point, but your website, to be effective, must create an experience for the viewer. You want their first experience to be positive, interesting, captivating, and motivational. Is all your information up-to-date? (You would be surprised at how many websites are out of date.) Do all your links work properly? It is frustrating for your site visitors if links do not work and access to critical information is limited or time-consuming. Are you linked to appropriate social media sites? Do you take payments? If so, is the process painless? Make sure to provide easy access to the information you want your customers or clients to see and to the actions you want them to take (like paying for your products or services). Time matters when capturing the attention (or dollars) of a customer. Make sure your site is efficient and up-to-date, and test it often to ensure all things remain in good working order.
Tell Your Story
It is possible to have a great domain name, and an updated and efficient site, yet still miss the target when trying to connect with future clients or customers. Anyone can supply basic information, but interested site visitors want more than that. They need to hear your story. Who are you? Why do you do what you do? What is your mission? Your purpose? Your market niche? Your history? Whether you are a solo entrepreneur or a Fortune 500 company, your website needs to tell your story. Your uniqueness will attract the very clients or customers you will enjoy serving. They will be drawn in by your story, creating a connection that can be built upon in all your interactions. Be proud of who you are and what you do. Your story matters!
Capture Your Personality or Corporate Culture
In addition to telling your story, you will want your website design to radiate your personality or corporate culture. As an individual or as a company, you have a personality or culture that differentiates you from others within your industry. Highlight it! Are you quirky, humorous, edgy, and innovative? Or are you traditional, measured, refined, and structured? Neither is right or wrong, they each reflect what you (or your company) can offer to your clients. Be honest about who you are and how you operate. Capturing your personality or culture will pay off in the long run as you attract clients that will appreciate your style, paving the way for long-term relationships that work. Be who you are. Like your mother used to tell you, honesty is still the best policy. That is true in life and in promoting your business.
Reflect Your Brand
Okay, so you have a great domain name, your site operates efficiently, and you have given visitors a taste of your personality. What’s next? Now you need to focus on reflecting your brand. While your personality or corporate culture help to create your overall brand – or niche in the marketplace – your visual brand is critical, as well. Color schemes, graphics, fonts, and more can all be a part of the visual branding that is essential for you to get noticed. Whether you work with a professional or design quality graphics on your own, the design of your site must reflect your brand. Make sure to keep your branding consistent, your communications clear and concise, and to correct any typographical or grammatical errors that can spoil a first impression. Protect your brand by reflecting it accurately on your website.
Plan for Growth
When building your website, plan for the growth you hope to achieve. What is your vision? What are your plans for future products or services? Will you eventually have a mobile app that will link to your site? A good website developer will ask these questions and more and will plan accordingly so your website can grow as your business grows. All the bells and whistles you want should be discussed, and then they can be planned for and added as your business expands. Planning for growth will save you valuable time and money in the future and will ensure a pleasant experience for your website visitors.
Your website is a reflection of you or your company. Following the steps listed above will help you create a site that will work for you – and not against you! Contact Xorbix today for a free SEO analysis of your website and learn how to generate more business from your website.