Your website is your first chance at a first impression. Maybe a potential client or customer first sees you on social media, which leads them to visit your site (congrats, you got a lead out of your social efforts!), but that’s the interaction that really matters. How your website looks, the content it holds and your overall image presented through your site and layout are immediately absorbed by your potential customer.
This can be a blessing or a curse depending on how much effort you put into your website.
Take a look at 99Designs. When you enter their site, you immediately feel welcome for a few reasons. Don’t focus on that for now – look instead at their actual business purpose. The make their money giving clients quality logos and brand images, and you can take a lot from this. Think about a logo that you identify with – it’s sleek, self-explanatory and symbolizes the entire business in one graphic image.
Because logos and business designs work in tandem with your website, your site has to follow this same principal. It has to be easy to navigate, simple to follow and showcase a personality – and your business’ personality matters a lot.
Go and look at your business site and use this as a checklist. Start simple – these three areas of your website are probably not as optimized or excellent as they could be.
Branding & Visual Presentation
This might seem silly to include – it’s 2016 and there are still businesses out there with ugly websites? Please.
In reality, ugly layouts aren’t so much the problem anymore. While certain bad graphic design decisions may contribute to how attractive a layout is, the main problems are as follows:
- Clutter – Your site should flow from one area to the next with enough room to let your design breathe. When you overcrowd your site with too many menus, points of attention and pictures, it becomes muddled and potential customers will navigate away.
- Bad brand representation – Your logo should be placed on your site, but it should also be incorporated in ways that aren’t simply slapping it onto every blank space. Look at Starbucks’ site right now. They have their basic logo placed on the top bar of their site, a different logo for their rewards program lower and there’s even an image that combines the two. That’s attractive and varied brand representation.
- Non-responsive interface – This is self-explanatory. Build a responsive website – no buts.
- Color schemes that aren’t in sync – There’s some common sense color theory concepts everyone knows. Red and green complement each other, pastels complement each other, etc. But this basic understanding doesn’t make for a dynamic design. Use a site like Colour Lovers to get some great and dynamic pallets to use for your site and logo design.
- Every web page looks the same – your website should follow a theme, but try to make web pages dynamic. No one wants to read wall after wall of site copy. Break things up, switch up your images, etc. Keep things fresh.
Also, keep 99Designs in mind if you’re looking to build a better logo for your business – you might be in the market for one after this list.
So we’ve already discussed why blogging is important for your business. Truthfully, most of the content on this blog has tried to hammer that home in a lot of ways. If you still aren’t listening, why?
If you want more proof that blogging helps your website – and ultimately your business – take a look at these links that offer a lot of evidence to support this fact.
- Us again – how you can start attracting more and more business with your blogging content.
- Sprout Content has some great examples here of why businesses should start blogging today.
- Want some info from an industry influencer? HubSpot is here to back us up.
- Some more blogging benefits from The Sales Lion.
Here are some stats from a Quick Sprout post from marketing heavyweight Neil Patel:
- 61% of consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post that they read.
- 60% of consumers feel positive about a company after reading its blog.
- 70% of consumers learn about a company through its blog versus ads.
Now do you believe us?
Many websites include a contact information form on their website. These rose in popularity when website design and development became more and more high tech. Customers no longer wanted to waste time copying email addresses over to their mail client, and contact forms proved to be an easier and one-stop way for customers to get in touch with businesses.
Let’s get this straight first – it’s not a bad thing to have a contact information page with a direct-email form.
What you want to do in addition to include this form is to push your social media as a form of contact. Your website’s contact form is very simple and cut-and-dry. There’s not a lot of engagement there outside of filling out a form and leaving the site. You don’t want that. You want customers to continue to engage with you as much as possible.
Social media is an excellent vehicle for asking questions of businesses, and thousands of people do it every day. When you direct customers to ask you questions on Twitter, for instance, you have a chance of them following you, retweeting some content you have posted and further clicking on user-generated content you’re sharing on your feed.
Compare this now: a site form gives you one chance at engagement, while social media gives you engagement, lead generation and free exposure.