In today’s digital world, your website should be seen as a vital marketing tool. When considering a product or brand, websites are often the first and last point of call when making a decision. Brand searches will usually start with a Google search before clicking through to a website to get a general “feel” for the company. From there, the consumer may follow the brand on social platforms, subscribe to a newsletter, then finally return to the website to ‘convert’ by placing an order, calling you or filling out a form.
If your website is old, outdated or difficult to navigate it may be doing more harm than good, as potential customers leave your site in search of a better online experience. To keep customers on your website and interested in your company, make sure your site has the following five elements.
The content on your website (i.e. text and high-resolution images) should be relevant to your brand and what sets you apart from your competition. The content you choose to display or share, such as blog posts, previous projects or case studies, will not only keep a visitor engaged on your site, but will play an important role in search engine optimization (SEO). Use this to your advantage to help you rank higher in Google searches. Having quality content will also reduce your ‘bounce rate’ – the people who come to your website and leave before visiting other areas of your site. Visitors will be enticed to read more about your company and click around to multiple pages on your site.
A dysfunctional website will result in a swift exit. Your website needs to be intuitive, easy to navigate, accessible and mobile-friendly. When viewing a website on a mobile device, you’ll notice if it conveniently collapses for simple scrolling. If your website is mobile responsive it will follow suit, making it easier to navigate with a finger or stylus. Alternatively, if you have experienced a website that displayed poorly on your mobile phone, we’ll bet you didn’t stick around to find out more.
When mapping out your website, anticipate what the consumer will want and arrange your content accordingly, both in your menu navigation and on each web page. If you are selling a product or service on your website, your e-commerce solution will need to be as easy as possible to shop and have a ‘secure’ checkout.
If you’re like us, you appreciate a good-looking website. But remember, your website should be a digital representation of your brand. The design (i.e. colours, layout and fonts) should reflect who you are as a business. An aesthetically pleasing website will look more credible, increase your brand awareness and help you connect with your audience.
This doesn’t mean that you need to be over the top with features and design elements. Simple layouts with a lot of white space can really bring your online presence to the next level.
Websites are built with a purpose – to generate leads, increase your sales and grow your business. Your website therefore needs to be engaging enough to encourage your desired response. E.g. to make a purchase or request a quote. You want consumers to engage with your site and stick around.
Make it easy for visitors to follow your brand by including social links and newsletter subscriptions that are easy to find. Having a strong list of subscribers and regular monthly or bi-weekly e-newsletters can help increase sales and interactions with your brand.
Having a website that is user-friendly and visually appealing is one thing, but it will all be in vain if no one can find it. To increase your online presence, share your blogs and website content on at least one social media channel (e.g. Facebook or Instagram) and via email marketing. By sharing your website content through these platforms, you’re amplifying your message and increasing your reach and website traffic, which can positively influence your SEO and search ranking.
Paid ads on search engines or social media platforms and linking back to your website are additional ways to increase visibility and amplify your brand’s message. Again, incorporating SEO best practices on your website will also prove invaluable in achieving this goal.
As you can see, when it comes to web design, it’s so much more than looks – functionality and accessibility are equally, if not more, important. If your website is in dire need of an update, we’re here to help. Our team of digital marketing experts will work with you to improve these five elements of web design. Contact Sims Advertising today to get started.