Optimizing your brand’s online presence is one of the most effective ways of reaching new customers. The idea that your brand’s perceived credibility is contingent on an expertly crafted website isn’t new. Most digital marketers will tell you that your company website acts as the backbone of your business and online efforts.
Research shows that there is a 50-70% increase in consumers’ usage of search engines and social media platforms during the pandemic and consumers are spending more time on mobile and desktop devices. Considering that nearly every piece of content and digital interaction aims at driving potential consumers back to your website, it is crucial to ensure that once there, it serves as the ultimate ally – for your business, brand, and customers, now more than ever!
A High Level Look at Design
From colors to content organization, navigation, and mobile optimization - design can be the driving force behind customer action, evoking feelings of professionalism and trust in seconds. Your website’s design doesn’t just impact user experience, it is your users’ experience. So, how do we guarantee it’s a great one?
Consistency, clarity, functionality, personality.
Consistency: Branded colors, font, layout - consistency across the website and online materials is key for a cohesive, professional appeal.
Clarity: Images, graphics, fonts, content - clarity reigns supreme! If your copy is dense, hard to read, or even harder to find, your visitors can’t connect (or convert).
Functionality: Email sign-ups, schedule free consultations, learn more - if visitors struggle to find calls to action or next steps due to poor layout or design, you can lose interest and business.
Personality: Team, mission statement, values, experience, education - your company personality can connect you to consumers before they take their next steps, speaking to the unique experience they can expect.
When taking a closer look at your website’s consistency, clarity, functionality, and personality, consider the solutions and services you offer, the mission or persona you stand by, and the people you proudly provide to. Does your company website reflect that? Is your site easily navigated, eye-catching, and evoking feelings of trust and professionalism? If not, it’s time to update the design.
Create a Color Story to Best Tell Your Story
Consider some of the most reputable brands and businesses. More often than not, their colors and coordination come to mind - used throughout all efforts, lending themselves to a greater sense of brand credibility. Your business can capitalize on that, by leveraging a branded color story of your own.
A color story is defined as a palette of colors a brand or business may utilize to tie its efforts together. Color is one of the most powerful visual aids, giving your company website a cohesive, branded look, and feel. The decision to use black, navy, red, or orange may feel simple but in actuality, your company’s color story can convey emotion, communicate brand identity, and connect you with consumers.
Take into consideration that while colors not only communicate, they also play a pivotal role in readability. As a rule of thumb, layering dark text over a dark background or light text over a light background should be avoided. Similarly, if your heart is set on using metallic or neon colors, use them as accents so they aren't distracting viewers from your real goal of connecting with your content.
Once you’ve settled on a color story you like, leveraging easy-to-use color generators like Coolors or Colormind will help you best determine the visible appeal of your story. These applications allow you to play around with qualities like saturation and brightness to determine if you have the perfect color combinations.
Consider that while colors communicate, they also play a pivotal role in readability. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid layering dark text over a dark background or light text over a light background.
Similarly, if your heart is set on using metallic or neon colors, opt for using them as accents to avoid distracting viewers from the real goal: connecting with your content.
In short, your brand’s color story can greatly impact perception, first impressions, readability, and overall experience. There are endless tools at your disposal to streamline this decision, but if you’re struggling with this next step, consider bringing in a professional. BrandRep’s creative and dynamic web design team can ensure your website is designed optimally - color story and beyond.
Tell Us, Show Us: Content’s Crucial Role
Aesthetics and design may have the greatest impact on first impressions, but your website’s content keeps them online, interacting, and ultimately, taking action. High-quality content is crucial to the success of your website, but we aren’t just talking blogs and white papers. Let’s take a closer look at two key content pieces you’ll want to optimize for ultimate web success.
If you’ve wondered if your company’s why or mission statement belongs on your site, consider this: 77% of consumers buy from brands who share the same values as they do. Mission statements give visitors a better understanding of the organization’s values, approach, and end goal - establishing a connection that may not otherwise develop.
For example, if you own a car wash that’s committed to using eco-friendly cleaning products, let your readers know. There’s a chance that some of them share the same passion as you.
This section of your website is also an ideal place to set your business a step above the competition and showcase to readers what they can expect in working with you. Use this valuable page space to give your readers a quick, but a poignant summary of your brand, business, and mission.
When creating or optimizing your service pages, we suggest focusing on two aspects: clarity and functionality. Ultimately, your visitors should be able to easily navigate your service pages - gleaning a better understanding of offerings, specialties, and considerations with minimal effort.
Each service page title should have accompanying content that provides just enough detail to satisfy curious consumers and search engines. Help Google and users better understand what your business is best with by optimizing service pages.
To make your brand stand out, highlight the services that differentiate you from your competitors. For example, if you own a pizza parlor that offers customers cauliflower crusts, make this information readily available on your website.
Another way to best leverage your service pages is to emphasize specific strengths. Think about your business' certifications, advanced level of industry experience, and beyond. These details can inspire trust and speak to your company’s unique expertise.
Showing and telling go hand in hand, so pay close attention to your website’s images and photo gallery. Images take up valuable retail space on your site, so before you select, take a closer look at these key considerations:
Optimize your images for web use to avoid a delay in loading images
Choose a quality image that matches your text for improved on-site SEO
Stay away from ‘filler’ images, selecting only relevant images that convey meaning and hold purpose
Images - like color - can be powerful if used effectively. Depending on your industry, images may play a greater role and this is something you’ll want to determine before selecting. Images should showcase what visitors can expect when working with you, such as before and after pictures, impressive past work, and even team photos. These all have a hand in building credibility and inspiring action.
Organize for Easy Navigation
The ultimate goal of any website is customer conversion, and an easy, streamlined navigation can be one of your greatest assets to assure just that. Acting as one of the most influential aspects of a website’s usability, navigation, and content organization directly impacts how productive your user’s time spent on-site may be.
If you’re looking to sharpen up your user experience and design, consider this rule of thumb: navigation structure should allow a visitor to land on any page on your site, and find what they’re seeking within 3 clicks.
With the goal of keeping visitors on-site for a greater length of time, your website’s navigation and content structure can work for or against you. To ensure an easy, enjoyable user experience, take a look at these best practices for navigation.
Limit the number of items in your menu
Add a clear search bar
Label your menu
Link the logo back to the homepage
Indicate what page the user is on
You can make your website even more user-friendly by sticking to consistent patterns for arranging content. Cropping all the photos in your gallery to the same dimensions is a good example. An even better one is setting a cap on the amount of text you include in each service section or page. Again, consistency is key!
Structuring the navigation of your professional website goes beyond best practices and avoiding an overly cluttered drop-down menu. If you don’t know where to begin, let us help.
BrandRep uses trusted templates as a foundation for website structure, organizing your digital content in a streamlined, clear fashion that’s familiar and appealing to all users. By working within a structure your visitors are familiar and comfortable with, you can capitalize on that established sense of trust and usability. Templates help drive all of your focus towards developing value-rich content and further optimizing web design.
Ultimately, optimizing your website design may boil down to consistency, clarity, functionality, and personality. Your website can be one of the most powerful tools in your digital efforts - working towards creating connections, establishing brand credibility, and ultimately, edging visitors along in their buying journey. Let this powerful tool work overtime for you, with a website redesign.
Need assistance? Our team specializes in website development and design for small businesses like yours. Reach out to us on our website or call us at 1+ (800) 405-7119 for more information today.