In current day, there's probably two things a potential customer will expect from your brand - a location on Google, and a website. Websites give your prospects a better idea of who you are as a company, what you do, and what types of services you offer. Some websites are integrated with e-commerce platforms, which even enable customers to buy through them directly off there site. Regardless of how you choose to approach it, a good website is mandatory in sustaining yourself as long lasting, trustworthy brand.
Creating menus and navigation bars according to common formats is welcomed, if not encourages when new users interact with your site. Navigating through your website should be somewhat predictable for your users, making your site easy to use and journey through. Make sure to include all common pages like your services, portfolio, an about us page and another for contact information. Make sure your viewers can find this information in an obvious and common place, like at the top or bottom of your homepage.
Consistency includes wielding attention to detail when designing your website. Make sure you've created brand guidelines, or a style guide to help determine your typography and color palette preferences. Your website should have a consistent visual and verbal identity, which tells the same story as your off screen brand. In terms of voice, ensuring no appealing or grammatical errors on your website will also allow for a more pleasant and professional viewer experience.
We've touched on the importance of having a mobile responsive site which adapts to multiple screens. The average online citizen is often on the go, and rarely behind a desktop screen unless viewing your site from their workplace. Trends are showing a prominent increase of website viewing from tablets and cellphones over desktop. As a result, it's crucial your site have been optimized to adapt to desktop, tablet and mobile screens, making it simpler for your viewers to access your site on any device.
Keeping your website up to date doesn't only refer to information corrections and new services, but also aspects like connection speed. As technological advances continue to rapidly improve, you may need to periodically update and add new tools to your website. For example, when mobile responsive web design first came out, it definitely wasn't a priority to most web builders. However, now in 2019, mobile responsive design is expected, and websites are seen as primitive without it. You'll also want to maintain web-page redirects, and reduce the number of 303 and 301 pages with broken links and error pages. At the same time, you'll also need to update your website to meet the expected loading speed for a homepage. Most viewers will only wait 6-10 seconds before leaving a website and finding a new one. If your site loads faster than 6 seconds? Even better.
Google prefers HTTPS domains over HTTP hosting sites, as they are generally more secure. This means that HTTPS sites are generally ranked higher in Google search engines, as they host safer connections. This is not only important for Google, but for your viewers as well. If you're asking for information from website visitors, they'll be more likely to engage with your brand over a secure connection. Aside from the strength of the connections, you'll need to ensure customers of the security of their information if they provide it to you. One of the biggest goals of building a brand website is to build trust, and this does just that.
Building a good website that follows the respective rules of web design will positively impact your brand in the long run. If done right, you'll be able to build up legitimacy through good design and by ranking higher on Google. If you've adhered to SEO best practices and have done your keyword research, your website will be more likely to come up higher on Google search results. And while no one likes to admit it, most people think websites that show up in first page web results are an authoritative voice in their industry.
If you've created a website that encourages visitors to stay long enough, and have built trust with your viewers, chances are they'll be more willing to share information with you. Ultimately, viewer engagements on websites should be mutually satisfying, rewarding something to the viewer, and something to you. For the viewer, this may be the information they were searching for, a free resource, a trial or a newsletter opt-in with content relevant to them. For you, you get rich data on website pathways, page remainders, stats on best performing pages, and if they've filled out a form, you might've gained target market insight as well.
"I don't want to stay on this good looking website" - said no one, ever.
Good design invites visitors to stay on your web-pages for longer, and the longer visitors journey through, the more likely they will be to react to a call to action. The same way shoppers are more likely to buy if they spend more time in a store, your web visitors are no different. Find something to entice them, and create a pathway to lead them through all the pages on your sight you think will be relevant to them. Ultimately, longer viewing times leads to more conversions.
Looking to transform your website into a helpful resource? Contact our team for a primary audit and quote!