Think of your website as the front door to your business.
Your website is one of the primary marketing tools you have available to you as a business-owner. It gives prospects a taste of what to expect once they walk through the door of your business. If your website is thoughtfully crafted, it will help to build trust, credibility, and reach for your business.
You can supercharge the appeal of your website similar to the way that homeowners invest in the curb appeal of a home. Realtor.com gives homeowners the following advice to boost their curb appeal, and we believe this perfectly describes the how you can invest in your website to give it long-term value.
Before landscapers plant a single shrub, they develop a strategy and architect what the final product will look like. Once this is thoughtfully created and cost estimates for each of the pieces are developed, landscape teams involve key stakeholders (the homeowners and the real-estate agent) to secure buy off on the proposed plan.
That strategy becomes the foundational blueprint that landscapers refer to throughout the landscaping process to ensure that the project remains on track.
Likewise, a well-designed marketing framework that includes a strategic plan, conversion goals, digital strategy, and a key messaging architecture that reflects your brand are the blueprint needed before you plant your first shrub, errr, design your first pixel.
Check the light fixtures
If a visitor walks up to a house at night and either (1) the lights aren’t on, or (2) they are dim or broken, the visitor will think either you are rude or careless. There is a reason that the realtor goes into every room in a house and turns on the lights before you…so that you can see what you are buying.
What are the “light fixtures” on your website? First, it is the basic functionality of the website. You’d be shocked at how many organizations we talk to who have launched a website without a thorough QA. When customers start pointing out that this form or this page has bad links, the organization is surprised. No website should ever launch without a thorough QA from the development team, the in-house marketing team, and a select focus group of users that the organization chooses. If this isn’t in the website design and development plan, make sure to point it out to your team and get it added as a line item. It’s worth the extra expenditure to make sure that your website is functional before launch.
Second, light fixtures represent the key services and messages that you want to make sure to highlight. It’s imperative you get buy in from your key stakeholders on these items so that your website will be strategic and not an air-freight carrier for every service and message that people in your organization think should be promoted.
Tame the Foliage
Let’s face it. We’ve all been to homes that are so overgrown with foliage that it feels more like walking into a jungle than someone’s front yard and you practically have to beat down the flowers to find the front door.
Websites are no different. Have you ever visited a website that has 4 or 5 navigation menus, multiple sliders, a lack of focus on imagery, and content that seems to come from every department in the organization? (if not, see this post and scroll to the bottom to see the homepage disasters)
Like untamed foliage, websites that haven’t been tamed by an overarching marketing messaging strategy lose focus, confuse visitors, and decrease the perceived value and efficacy of an organization.
Would you like to walk into the house before, or after the landscape conversion?
Want to visit this website?
How about this one?
Phew, maybe this is a bit better?
When you plan out the “landscaping” for your website less isn’t always more, but strategic cleanup and foliage taming is key. If you don’t know where to go on your website first, chances are, neither will your visitors. Invest in both a messaging architecture and a design that makes it easy for your website visitors to both find, and walk through, your front door.
Take the time to invest in your next website design using these 3 tips and you can count on attracting more visitors to your front door!