In this digital age, technology is continuously evolving and the internet is saturated with content and websites. So, how can you ensure your website stands out from the rest and what impact does a website have on a brand?
While the aesthetics of a website are important, there are also many more considerations to bear in mind when creating or redesigning your website. A website can essentially affect your entire internet presence and requires consideration and analysis if it is to benefit the company.
“As a design and marketing agency, we often see many companies that neglect their online presence, particularly if most of their current lead generation derives from word of mouth, or face to face meetings. Their digital marketing is simply not a priority.
The details of website search ranking, keywords, website structure and targeted advertising can often be overwhelming, but with the key features in place, persistence and focus the desired results can be achieved. A website should be an asset to any company and should be put to work to raise brand awareness, promote the services and enhance the company’s reputation.”
Jade Cummings, Digital Director at Why Media
A website is often the first source of information about a company. An engaging website encourages potential customers to spend more time on the site and discover more about the company, however, if the website is not designed to appeal to the target audience, user-friendly or optimised for search engines, then the business could be missing revenue opportunities.
The online presentation of a brand has a strong effect on how it is perceived by potential clients and can reflect implications on how the business operates. Some elements that have been seen to provoke mistrust in a brand are features such as:
• Busy or complex layouts
• Difficult navigation
• Pop-up advertisements and flamboyant ads
• Small print that’s hard to read
• Basic/dated web design
• Slow website intros and load times
In order to build trust in a brand and ensure that all online interactions with the website are positive, there are a few simple guidelines to be followed:
1 BESPOKE DESIGN
When first constructing a website it is important to avoid template or ‘off the shelf’ websites. These often have built-in promotional content to benefit the supplier and can make it difficult for search engines to read your content among this promotional material. A bespoke website means that you have complete control over the code and programming and can keep the focus on the intended content.
2 MOBILE FIRST
The use of websites on mobile and tablet devices is constantly increasing. In our recent year on year website analysis, we saw an increase of 400% of website use on mobile. The launch of Google’s AMP in February 2017 has also helped promote the use of web on mobile further, enabling pages to load up to 85% faster than standard mobile web pages. Designing for mobile first is now not only a preference, but is an essential.
3 SEO - CONTENT
Both search engines and customers value a website that is regularly updated with new content. It shows that the company is active and can also allow customers to get more information about the company’s knowledge or expertise in the form of news articles or blogs.
4 SEO - WEBSITE TOOLS
There are a number of web development tools that can both assist with enhancing SEO and website indexing and also highlight improvements to be made. These include a number of tools provided by Google such as Webmaster Tools, PageSpeed and Analytics.
5 TARGETED ADVERTISING AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Targeted advertising and social media integration not only enhances a company’s online presence, but it also contributes to SEO. It allows the company to interact and share relevant content to a specific audience.
By using these guidelines the website can work in conjunction with other marketing tools to build a strong brand.