Your website is much more than just a digital business card for your brand. It’s a portal that allows your audience to connect with you, learn from you, and take advantage of the value you offer through your content, products, and services. For many potential users, it’s the first impression of your business – and we all know what people say about the importance of first impressions.
With that in mind, think about your current website. Visit your site and wander through it from the perspective of a customer.
Consider the following questions:
- Do you think the average visitor to your website is having the kind of experience you intended?
- Does your website resonate with the need your brand intends to fill?
- Does it demonstrate your expertise, authority in your niche, and your trustworthiness immediately?
- Is your website polished to a level that inspires confidence in the quality of your products and/or services?
These are vital questions to ask if you want your website to fulfill its intended role as the hub of the community you intend to build. It should be user-friendly, build authority for your brand, and highlight the problem your product or service will fix.
Take a long, honest look at your website and consider making a few changes if you think it needs a boost. Try some of the following tips if you want to give your site a functional facelift that results in a clear return on the investment.
Make Your Site Audience-Focused
The average customer doesn’t want to visit your site and read about how great you are. Make sure your website is focused on your audience, not your business. You certainly want to position your brand as an expert voice in your field and authoritative source of valuable information in your niche but do this in such a way that it does not sound like bragging or overselling yourself. Tailor the wording of your webpage content to demonstrate the value you offer your customers. Talk about the problems they have and how your brand can help to solve them efficiently.
Maintain Consistency Without Falling Into Complacency
The audience you have cultivated since starting your business has likely built up an image of your brand based on past purchases, your content, and their interactions with your company online. As you think of ways to redesign your website in 2020, you may feel as though it’s time to completely overhaul your website. If you decide to do so, execute this change in such a way that it does not alienate your core audience. You want to build upon the credibility you have already established and attract more customers to your brand; you don’t want to shove your existing customer base away with a dramatic new change or by constantly reshaping website. Strike a balance between breaking into new website design territory and staying true to the brand image you have already built.
Every website will eventually need a redesign. As content publication expands and linking structures grow more complex, your older content may start hindering the rankings of the newer content you publish. Find solid middle ground by redesigning your website with an approach based on functionality and user experience before you attempt to completely overhaul your brand’s digital presence.
Say Goodbye to Stock Photography
If your company is relatively new, you likely leaned heavily on stock photography with your earliest designs just to get something visually interesting on the page. However, modern consumers are incredibly discerning and can easily spot stock photography. Since most website users will click away from a site within 15 seconds if they don’t notice something interesting enough to hold their attention in that time, remove anything that diminishes the polish of your website as soon as possible – including stock photos.
To build up your digital presence and increase your brand’s image of authority, expertise in your niche, and trustworthiness to potential customers, invest in images. Professional photography can showcase the unique aspects of your brand and give your site an air of authority.
Give Site Functionality Your Undivided Attention
It doesn’t matter how good your website looks if it performs poorly. Have your web development team perform a thorough audit of your site. Instruct them to look at page loading speeds, shopping cart abandonment rates, confusing sitemaps, and clunky page designs. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the average user can reach any page on your website or any piece of published content within just three clicks from the homepage. Streamlining user experience not only enhances visitors’ experiences but also inherently builds your credibility since you have a site that is as functional and responsive as it is visually appealing.
User experience is a cornerstone of good website design. Too many company leaders get caught up in the aesthetics of their websites without considering the architecture and programming behind them. It’s essential to focus on user experience if you’re embarrassed by your current website and want to offer your audience more memorable experiences with your brand.
Review the Voice of Your Content
Look at some of the content you have published that has attracted the least amount of engagement. Read the content and see if it sounds like it was automatically generated by a software application or if it is riddled with clichés and hyperbole. Remember, when it comes to content you need to offer visitors to your website high-quality experiences and position yourself as an authoritative voice in your niche.
Work with your content development team and urge them toward creating more relatable content with a human voice. Strive for a genuine representation of your company’s values in every piece of content you publish. Modern consumers want to do business with brands who resonate with them on personal levels, not companies that just regurgitate statistics, focus-grouped talking points, and bland messaging written in favor of search engine bots instead of actual readers.
Shift Your Web Design Focus to the Mobile Market
More people than ever before are using their mobile devices to surf the web, make purchases online, and consume content from their favorite brands. If your website seems to function well on desktop platforms but struggles to provide the same high-quality experiences on mobile platforms, you need to readjust your approach to web design and start thinking about mobile. Mobile web traffic will only continue to increase, so if you aren’t providing top-notch mobile experiences, you’re already falling behind the curve.
Know When It’s Time to Redesign
You don’t need to overhaul your website constantly. Remember, you need to establish a consistent digital presence to retain the audience you have already cultivated. However, you cannot become complacent and assume that the audience will stick around forever if you don’t put consistent effort into creating high-quality experiences for them. Give your users a reason to come back, but don’t shock them with every visit. Parachute Design is a boutique web design Toronto company hand-crafting beautiful website design and branding since 2003.
Make it a regular habit to check up on your website. Have your development team run diagnostics periodically to check for functionality issues and back-end problems that might be bogging down user experiences. With each new change, try to view your site from the perspective of the customer you’re trying to reach and determine whether you’re offering the kind of experiences you want consumers to associate with your brand.