One of the main ways our technologically advanced society seeks to find new services/products is through the internet. With fierce competition, it is vital that you make the best first impression possible and stand out from the rest. A unique and professionally designed website could be key to unlocking the potential of your business; showing your clients everything your company can offer them and putting you a step ahead of the competition!
Before you can even think about designing your website, it is important that you have a strong brand so that people remember and become more familiar with your business. You have to know your business inside-out, playing on the strengths and eliminating the weaknesses. Businesses with strong brands are aware of their target audience and unique selling points; they use technology to effectively communicate with their clients/potential clients through emails, advertisements, newsletters etc., and are consistent when it comes to design. Your brand’s design needs to be relevant in some way to the type of product/service you are offering. For example, if you are a company who value eco-friendly ethics, then it would be a good idea to use nature-based logos or colour schemes (i.e. greens, blues, and browns), and if you are a medical company; a more clinical design/colour scheme might be better suited to your brand.
With this in mind, here are some points to consider when creating or updating a website for your business…
- …Once a potential customer enters your website, you have to keep them hooked- Imagine walking down the high street and you come across a new store… What makes you decide to go in? The shop needs to be clutter-free with unique and clean window displays, signs, and overall visual branding – The same kind of principle applies when you are advertising your business online – You need to treat your home page as a ‘shop window’. Make sure your colour scheme is consistent throughout, the homepage isn’t cluttered with unnecessary text or images, and all the main aspects of your business are mentioned, making it easy for new potential clients to navigate through your site and find what they are looking for.
- The client has entered your domain; it’s time to inspire them with your fabulous products and services – You decide to enter the store. What do you notice first? As human beings, we look for guidance if faced with new situations. For this reason, signage is incredibly important! The key to helping your customers feel confident when browsing is to make sure you have a simple and clear, yet inspiring and original layout, with signs pointing you to your desired section – You need to make sure your website follows these rules, having clear headings and options to click on, to increase the customer’s confidence when using the site, and a unique, inspiring design scheme and layout.
- When you have impressed your potential client enough for them to look into your services or products, how do you convince them that your product is the best option for them, over the competition? – You have entered the shop and navigated to your desired section. You look through the different products. But what are the main reasons you chose to pick up a certain product and inspect it further…? The shelves need to be stacked and labelled evenly, ensuring that you can clearly see what you are looking for. But all of this is irrelevant if the actual product lacks in quality – Your website needs to highlight the main points of each product or service you are offering. Avoid complicated sentences and make sure your text is laid out with care and consistency. You need to emphasise the unique selling points of your product/service and convince your potential client that you are the best company to go with.
- Finally, you have persuaded the client that you can provide the product/service that’s perfect for them. All you have left to do is dazzle them with your excellent customer service skills! – You’ve chosen your perfect product, and you are on your way to the checkout. But how does the shop assistant make a good impression…? To deliver a high quality standard of customer service, it is important to be as helpful and friendly as possible. You need to make the shopping experience positive, personal, and memorable. Giving the customer (non-patronising!) advice about their particular products, helps them to trust you as a business and feel valued as a client, because you are showing you care and that you are passionate about your products. Offering related products or services at the checkout is an effective way to not only potentially increase your earnings, but it also shows that you have great product knowledge! – Your website needs to reflect your customer service standards. You can do this by making sure your content is both accurate and user-friendly. If you are a technology-based company, you need to make sure you don’t use too much technical jargon on your site. Make the content suited to all of your potential/existing clients and try to convey a friendly and professional tone through your text. Your passion can shine through with the appropriate use of language, design and content on your site. Having a case-studies/testimonials page on your site also helps when it comes to growing a loyal client base!
You leave the shop with a big smile on your face, satisfied with your overall experience – Your client has successfully navigated around your website, and is left with a lasting impression of your overall brand, satisfied with the outcome of their visit, and keen recommend your business to others – Mission accomplished!