Think of your company’s website as the 24/7 portal to your brand. A website that aligns with your company’s branding, content strategy, and voice can expand the quality of your reach and increase your revenue through brand trust and awareness (which pays off in the long-term!).
Here are a few important things to consider when you develop or update your website:
Every aspect of your company’s website is important, but just like strategy is the foundation to your brand, the platform that you build your website on is the foundation. The platform – or backend of your website – is vitally important and will have a huge impact on what can be done and how it can be used. Consult with your web person about choosing the right platform for your business model. Some are specifically built for selling products, some are for blogs, some are for portals. Choosing the platform for your website is extremely important because if you make a mistake you may need to rebuild the whole website. Common platforms include WordPress and Shopify, but those may not be ideal for you depending on your industry and website needs.
Website Goals & Functionality
Your website’s functionality requirements depend on your business model and your target.
Your website can have one of these three goals: to provide information, to sell a product, or to entice visitors to contact you for your services. Choose your goal before developing the website.
Websites need to be attractive, engaging, easy to use, and responsive to all devices and browsers. When a visitor lands on your website and cannot easily find what they’re looking for, they’ll leave the website (known by the metric of ‘bounce rate’), and you just lost a potential client. While most recognize that a well-designed and striking website is important, your website should also be viewed as a tool to grow your business. Therefore, you must also consider function and strategy relative to content, engagement, number and types of pages, user interface, and much more.
Domain and Hosting
Your domain name and hosting speed are incredibly important. A domain name – or website “address” – is what a user needs to remember to access your site or will need to recognize if you pop up in their search. Hosting speed is frequently underappreciated. A user’s patience to stay on a website while it loads is fewer than 5 seconds, and their attention span isn’t much better once they are on your site. In general, people stay about 30 seconds – so that’s how much time you have to get your point across, establish brand trust, and convince them to stay. If your content doesn’t resonate with them immediately, or if it’s hard for them to purchase a product or contact you, they will leave.
Do not use pre-designed templates if you want users to remember you. Your business needs to be unique, different from competitors, and custom tailored to your exact goals and strategy. Customization is key. Even if you start from a purchased theme, make sure it’s customizable and will not be recognizable as a template.
You’ll also want to consider how to incorporate backend functionality to your website. Frequently in the form of ‘plugins’, these off-the-shelf applications facilitate everything from SEO, webstores, contact forms, maps, and more.
As you can tell, there are a lot of considerations to evaluate before selecting a hosting provider, choosing a platform, and ultimately building your website. If you make these strategic choices in the early stages of developing your website, you can save yourself the headache of a rebranding/redevelopment process and grow your audience faster.
Are you interested in learning more about brand strategy for your business? At Aventive, we help businesses just like you create effective and strategically-aligned websites to grow their brand.
Click here to keep in touch with us via email, and you’ll receive a free downloadable branding checklist!