Is your website working to build your brand? Even whilst you sleep?
Or is it languishing, ignored and forgotten, in some lonely corner of cyberspace?
Even if your website does attract the occasional visitor, that’s not enough to remain competitive. Your website should be a turnstile of activity; a virtual teammate in fielding all the attention it has drummed up for your brand.
If you can’t say that your website is a valuable partner in the building of your brand, then it’s time to take action—to modify and fortify that website for enhanced traffic and engagement, more brand awareness and increased visibility.
Just as the American Pioneers said at the dawn of the gold rush: “There’s Gold in Them Hills!” you want your ideal customer to shout to everyone they know, “There’s Gold in That Website!”
No idea where to start? No worries. We’ve got this.
Website Development, for Competitive Brand Building
You may know by now that a website is important to compete; however, what most don’t know is that a website is absolutely essential to a brand’s survival—it is NOT optional. Furthermore, a poorly built or designed website is NOT sufficient.
When businesses started to move out of physical shops and into cyberspace, a new market dynamic was born. Suddenly, websites were the replacements for those brick-and-mortar shops and not having one became like trying to sell high-end dresses out of the trunk of your car.
Now, if you don’t have a website, your business is considered to be illegitimate. And if you don’t have a good one, your business will not be considered…period.
So what can you do to make your website the sales and marketing machine of champions? I suggest you start by making sure you have these things in order:
- Offer unparalleled value. How do you think your potential customers feel when they visit a website that tries to sell them something, starting with the very first page they see? Do you think they feel they’ve come upon something of value? Or do you think they’ll navigate away, to look for that value elsewhere? The content of your website should be the free-admission goldmine before the gated goldmine. Even those people who only visit, and never make a purchase, should feel indebted to your brand for the invaluable knowledge you have imparted to them. Remember to serve your visitors with great value, and you may never have to deliver another sales pitch—only point them in the direction of their next step.
- Guide your visitors through your website. Speaking of pointing them in the right direction, your website’s visitors should feel as if they’re being led on a journey. Because websites have largely replaced physical shops, they’re also now responsible for providing the all-important customer journey. Of course, your customers should be able to navigate your website at will; however, be sure to provide a call-to-action on every page that links them to the next step, recommend the next page to read with strategically placed links, and choreograph it all as if you’re directing them along a reward-studded path that leads to that all-important gated goldmine.
- Speak to your ideal customer. This means no jargon. It also means writing content that makes your ideal customer feel like they’re sitting in your kitchen over a cuppa…speaking to you, a person who not only understands how they feel, but who has empathy for the problem they’re enduring and who wants to help them experience a life-changing solution. I have found that it helps to imagine that you’re speaking to your younger self—the struggling person you were before you had the knowledge you have now.
- Make contact details easy to find. There’s a trend amongst website development professionals that attempts to cut down on the number of employees required to staff a business’s customer service department, as well as the number of received complaints, and it involves withholding contact information. The “wisdom” in this approach? That people with complaints will attempt to find contact details, fail to locate them and give up. The problem with this approach? Those people are likely to go to a more public platform with their complaints. Plus, the business loses a customer. Trust me here: create a page with a contact form that makes it simple to find you—and then respond promptly to messages.
- Provide high-speed navigation. Is there anything more annoying that a website that’s slow to load? Talk to your website design and website development professionals to make sure they’re using images and formats that promote the fastest loading speeds. Otherwise, your ideal customers could be navigating away from your website before they get to experience all that value you’ve created.
- Make it responsive to all devices. When you speak to your web development professional, ask for a website that will be visually appealing and easy to navigate from all computers and mobile devices. In the past, brand builders determined what specific devices their audience members were using most, and then asked developers and designers to include those device formats in responsive web design. Now, technology has advanced so that no user has to be excluded—so that your website can be reflexive to any device.
- Brand it. Your website exists to build your brand. That means every part of it should radiate your brand. Your logo and brand colours should be prominent. The language should be unique, branded and YOU. Your mission, vision and values should be evident in all aspects, and your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) should be unmistakable.
This should be enough to get your website started on the road to competitive market leadership. Always remember to create a branded experience for your website’s visitors, just as you would create a branded experience for them, were they to walk through the door of your corner store.
Are you wondering how to effectively communicate your brand’s values through your website? So that you can attract your ideal customers, who share and treasure those same values? Then click here to get the FREE Brand Values Questionnaire. It will help you to name your top corporate values and to communicate them through your website and other places.