Your brand always sends a message. When it’s clear and carried through all of your communications, verbal and visual, it works cohesively to contribute to your business’ success. When your message is off-brand or inauthentic, it tells your audience that they don’t know who you are, or worse yet, that you don’t know who you are.
Take an honest look at your website. Is your message coming through clearly? Does it communicate your brand’s vibe and values, or is it sending the wrong message to your audience? Mistargeted content, long load times, broken links and a bevvy of other factors can spell disaster for relating to your audience and converting visitors to customers. Let’s take a look at diagnosing your opportunities for success and talk about how to change your site for the better.
Identify the problem
Your brand messaging appears everywhere you deliver content, including email messaging, social media posts, advertisements, and your website itself. Putting first things first, start with a clear brand message that’s based on your mission and target audience research. Look at your website. Does it convey that message on the home page and the entire site? Do the images and content compel you to continue on through the site? Is the site organized logically, making it easy to find desired content? Does the site function perfectly? Do pages load quickly and are all links intact? If not, you have work to do.
Reviewing competitors’ websites provides another way to assess your site. Find the sites of successful competitors. Does their brand message come shining through? Is the message consistently presented throughout the site on the home page, mission statement, about us, services page, and every other page as well? Remember, you’re looking not only at copy but how the site is designed and presented as well. Consider your user experience (UX) and how that relates to your attitude toward the brand as you use the site.
If you find competitor sites you like, identify what about them makes the site on-message and appealing. Identify elements in their sites that are missing from your site and that, when customized to your brand message, could have the same positive effect on site visitors. If you can’t find successful competitors’ sites, use sites from companies in similar industries, or review supplier or customer sites. Take what you learn to improve your site or to plan for a website redesign in the future.
Bringing your message to your site
To improve your website design, you first need to know what’s not working and what will work for you. Begin with your review of competitors’ sites, then consider your ideal customers. Who is your target audience? The key to success is research to gain understanding of what attracts customers to your site, keeps them on the site, keeps them clicking through pages, and compels them to make a purchase or to contact you for business.
Do you know the demographics and psychographics of your audience? Do you know what they like and dislike in terms of website features? What content is most valuable to them? What helps them to solve whichever problem they have that caused them to look at your site? Your website should address these questions through curating and creating content and smooth website design and function.
In addition to audience research, find out how well your site is working through checking your analytics. Google Analytics and other programs will show you which pages create engagement, which have high bounce rates and more. In addition, figure out if you’re using the right keywords, short- and long-tail. Customer preferences and keywords can change over time, so complete these actions regularly and make the necessary changes. Finding the right software for this task can be time consuming and creating actionable tasks from the data can be a challenge, so you may want to consult with a specialist for search engine optimization and website design changes.
Curating and creating content
Does your content provide value? Is that value consistent with your brand message? Your research should answer these questions. The results could mean a total site redesign to match your new vision, or a partial redesign to accommodate better landing pages and embedded photo or video. In any case, consider refreshing your content with site visitors at the forefront of your mind and always ask how you can consistently communicate your message.
Improving content may mean adding content or recreating what’s there. Added content might include features such as a blog or a live chat feature in order to provide information and immediate service to the customer. Creating content might mean rewriting information you already have to make it more consistent with your message or adding a new medium for your content, such as video. Curate a message that your audience responds to and that clearly communicates who you are in a genuine way. Copywriting content must include the appropriate short- and long-tail keywords to get the right audience to your site in the first place.
The same goes for images. They should be eye-catching and appealing and always high quality, but optimized for loading quickly on your site. Just as keywords help search engines to find your site and list it, alt text does the same for images, so don’t forget to include it. Overall, your images and content should flow together to tell the customers your brand message, loud and clear.
Checking site design and functionality
Does your overall site design help or hinder your message? If the site doesn’t lead a potential customer to continue viewing and moving toward purchase or your desired action, make changes. In addition, your site should never stop the user because of a functionality issue. Your site is not just for showing your products and services, it should be designed to be user-centric and create an enjoyable experience for your visitors.
Hiring a professional web designer becomes a smart move when you don’t have the expertise or time in your organisation to redesign and optimize your site. Depending on your business needs, you may require a team with dedicated ecommerce web design experience. Regularly check for broken links, broken or outdated plugins, missing or bad content, and other items that contribute to the experience you are looking to give.
Often, a company sets up their website and just updates product information as time passes. It’s important to not be complacent about what you’re offering to your audience. Fortunately, I can help! From evaluating your vibe and vision to fine-tuning micro-interactions on your e-shop, Seedling Digital has you covered when it comes to redesigning your website. We’ll handle the nitty-gritty so you can concentrate on what matters most: your clients and your services. Contact us and find out how we can help you start sending the right message.