A great piece of art will stand the test of time – a great website will not. Online technology and design trends are constantly evolving. As we spend more time online, we’re changing the way the internet works. Faster connections let us take in more information, faster. New technology allows us to interact with that information. Today’s users don’t have the patience to read pages of information like a book. It’s all about getting across the big ideas, quickly – and allowing them to interact with and share that information.
“If you think your visitors are content to find your phone number, read some information about your company & see a few pictures – you’re selling yourself short. Your site is capable of so much more.”
Figuring out that your site needs a redesign is the easy part. But what steps should you take after that? At Vivid Image we can design and build amazing websites, but ultimately YOU are the one who knows your product/service/customer the best. We rely on you to help us get to know your business so that we can deliver the most appealing, effective site possible.
Take a look at competitor/industry sites. Who are the big, national names in your industry? Who are your local competitors? We like to take a look at their sites – good or bad – to evaluate what works and what doesn’t. Share your opinion on what you think looks good, because like I said, you know your industry the best and it’s likely that your customers will share a similar opinion. Have a list of URLs to quickly review when you meet with our team of experts.
Figure out who your core audience is. We like to know who you’re trying to appeal to. In many cases, there are several types of visitors that you’d like to attract. Let’s determine who they are and which groups they fall into. For example: Your primary audience might be potential customers. You’re trying to convince them that what you have to offer is the best. Your site should express that clearly and instantly to them. You may also have existing customers coming to your site as well. They already know you’re the best so they won’t need that initial “sell factor”. What can you offer them to build upon that existing customer relationship? You may also have a smaller groups of visitors such as potential employees. You don’t want to overlook them – you’ll want to make sure that they can easily find applications or current job openings.
Establish consistency in your brand. If you have ads and print materials circulating around that all have a similar theme, we’ll want to make sure that theme is continued in your new site. Bring them along when you’re ready to discuss your new site. If you’ve got print materials that have an out-of-date look, consider enhancing those as well. In addition to web design, print design is one of our specialties.
Set goals. If you think your visitors are content to find your phone number, read some information about your company and see a few pictures – you’re selling yourself short. Your site is capable of so much more and we have the technology to make it happen. Let your customers write product reviews. Submit photos of your products in their home. Build a blog and write about who you are and what you do. Blogs let customers get to know and interact with the people behind the business. This is a great way to build trust, reputation and strong business partnerships. Allow your visitors to share articles with friends on Facebook. Word of mouth exists ten-fold online.
Keep it simple. Remember, I said today’s internet is all about getting across the BIG ideas, quickly. You don’t need to go into a lot of detail right away. A simple headline, tagline, graphic or combination of those things will be 100 times more effective than a paragraph describing it. You’ll want that paragraph-style information, but don’t overwhelm visitors with it all right away. Get them to click on a button or promo graphic to read more. I know, it can be difficult coming up with the right thing to say, but if you help us get to know your business and audience, we can help you develop an effective call to action for any of your products or services.