I’m sure you landed on someone’s website and felt that something was just…wrong; or maybe you were suddenly turned off without even knowing why.
Most likely, you quickly clicked back to find a competitor’s website, where you felt more comfortable and secure.
Your visitors might feel the same way if you don’t pay attention to how you come across to your target audience.
This is why it is crucial to identify your brand style before redesigning your website.
In my final tea time tip: Marketing for Busy Entrepreneurs, I shared some critical factors to ensure your website redesign is a success so that people feel comfortable, excited, and engaged when they land on your site. You can see it here.
In this article, I’ll share 5 questions you need to answer to determine your company’s brand identity and create the most effective website possible.
1. What first impression do you want to give?
You have about five seconds to make a first impression. Key findings from a Google study showed that sites with low visual complexity and high prototypicity (how representative a design looks for a certain category of websites) were perceived as very attractive.
To summarize: keep it simple and clean.
One of our clients wanted us to create a website for his vintage collectible card business. They are live “rips” of old, unopened sports cards (working with this type of business was a first for us)!
The challenge was to make their website, which features a wide variety of sports cards from several decades, easy to navigate.
One of our solutions was to break down cards by year in the right navigation bar and highlight featured packs on the home page.
My advice to you: think hard about how you organize your home page. If visitors land on a cluttered and confusing page, their first impression will be overwhelming and they will be directed to one of your competitors.
2. How are you using colors, images and fonts?
You should follow your brand’s guideline when it comes to choosing design elements for your website.
If you don’t have a brand guide, it’s time to create one to identify your style and guide team members.
Of course, smaller businesses won’t have as big of a brand guide as corporations, but you need something to represent the visual elements of your website, or you’ll end up with a hodgepodge of elements that will confuse your visitors and sabotage their awareness of your website. brand.
We want our brand to emanate and the style and design elements that we use in all of our marketing materials.
3. Are your images of high quality and do they offer purpose and meaning?
Every image you choose for your website tells a story. If you choose poorly lit photos or tacky stock footage, you’re giving people the wrong impression. They may see your business as cheap, lazy, and unprofessional.
Take the time to make images part of your brand identity. Define what you want your images to reflect and what should and should not appear on your website. Here are some examples I’ve seen in company trademark guidelines:
*Use neutral, subdued lighting images that show young professionals in a creative setting
* Avoid stock photos where people are looking directly at the camera
* Keep product-focused shots to a minimum; each photo must have at least one person in it
Choose the right photos to showcase your unique personality and style, whether you’re hiring a photographer or using stock photos.
There are so many different reasons why a small business owner might decide to rename a website: poor conversions and/or sales, confusing navigation, or an outdated design, to name a few.
However, it is essential to have solid reasoning, logic, and statistics behind rebranding your business. This guide will help you first understand whether or not you need to reinvent your business, and if you do, how to rebrand your website in the most effective way possible.
Read a complete 2019 guide to the website redesign process
4. Does your copy tell a compelling story?
The most important thing to remember when writing about your product or service is that it’s about THEM, not you. It’s your chance to show and tell customers about the benefits of using your product or service.
You can do this with:
* A captivating headline. Which article are you more likely to read: one that has the title “Write Better Blogs” or one that says “10 Surefire Ways to Write Blogs That Make Money?”
* Concise, yet informative and compelling copy. People get overwhelmed if they land on a website that has a novel on the home page.
Identify the style of the brand and then tell your story succinctly and with purpose: what are the benefits that your service offers? How can you help your target audience solve their problem?
Break copy into digestible paragraphs instead of long blocks of text.
* Avoid industry jargon. Write in the language of your customers. Avoid acronyms they won’t understand or overly technical language that only an expert would understand.
Also, stay away from overly-promising or fluffy claims (Guaranteed to change your life! Lose 10 pounds overnight). Remember, you only have a few seconds to make a first impression.
* Choose your CTAs wisely. Your CTA (call to action) is what your content is leading your customers towards. It is the action you want them to take. By using something like “Click here”, you are not showing your visitors what they will get.
Use “Reserve Your Spot Now” or “Start Your Journey Today” or whatever will resonate with your target audience.
5. How easy is it for people to connect with you?
Your contact page should be clearly visible in the top navigation bar, and if you have a physical location, you should embed a map on it along with directions to make it as easy as possible for people to find you.
Take a look at our contact navigation. We feature it on the top menu bar of every page of our site, plus we offer another option just above, which allows our customers to call us for fast and professional service.
Your social media icons should also be front and center so people can connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest…whatever is relevant to you.
The more followers you gain, the more opportunities you have to engage your audience and generate leads and sales. Here are some tips on selling on social media.
The better you understand the importance of brand messaging, the more effective your website and business redesign will be. Ask yourself these important questions and seek the help of a professional website design company to launch the most compelling, engaging and successful website possible. You and your customers will be glad you did.