So, you had a brilliant business idea! You want to start selling to all your ideal clients out there, who are impatiently waiting online to find just what they need.
But, unless you’re a genius who just came up with the most unique product or service, that doesn’t exist because no one has thought of it yet, you’ll find there are thousands of other businesses selling similar or exactly the same as what you just came up with.
Or, let’s say you have a fairly established business but your website just isn’t delivering the customers and sales you’re expecting at this stage of your venture.
In both cases, you need a website that doesn’t look the same as everyone else’s. A website that helps you stand out from your competitors – being an online shop, or a business selling services to other businesses.
Cohesive visual branding
Quality brand design is the solid foundation of every outstanding website. Ideally, this should be done by a professional branding designer before you even start thinking about setting up your own website.
Here are the main components of your visual brand assets:
• Your main logo and variations
• Colour scheme and complementary palette
• Fonts & typography
• Imagery – photography and other visuals
High quality imagery
Matching your brand’s aesthetic, the photos and imagery you use should be of professional quality. Stock photos have their places, but using too many and you run the risk of looking the same as everyone else – the complete opposite of what you want to achieve.
It’s definitely worth hiring a professional photographer to take a few headshots of you, and/or the products you’re selling.
Clear and eye-catching copy
Words on your website are almost more important than all the imagery. In fact, they can mean the difference between converting or driving away your customers.
If you’re not very good at writing, this is one of those tasks you can easily outsource to a professional copywriter. Don’t forget to ask them for proof of their previous works, to see the quality of their writing.
Image to text ratio
Keep it simple – less is really more. No large walls of texts for your visitors to read through. Instead break things up with clever imagery and white space.
Bear this little tip in mind: text is well understood by search engines, images are not. If you use images for important links on your page, they might not be recognised as well as text is.
Make it fun
If you look at most websites, you’ll notice that they’re pretty static. Which is why it’s easier to stand out with just a few cleverly placed interactive elements or animations.
Video content on your website can drastically increase your conversion rates. Video attracts users to stay on websites longer and engage with them more.
In fact, including video in a landing page can increase conversion by as much as 80%!
Here are a few video content ideas for your website:
• a video about your product or services
• video tutorials embedded in blog posts
• video explaining your brand story
Regularly updating your website really helps with your Google ranking and gives you extra opportunities to fine-tune your Search Engine Optimisation.
Don’t forget to help your site visitors find these updates, with a news scroll, or blog preview, or even a popup (just don’t go too crazy with this last one).
Aim for at least one update per month on average.
Make it searchable
We are all too busy and have short attention spans, especially when it comes to the internet and the daily information overload we have to deal with. So, we expect to find everything now.
If you’ve got a lot of content, no one is going to hunt around for too long looking for something on your website. Help them find it.
Have a blog section
Long-form content – such as blogs and articles – will earn you Google brownie points, especially if you include some link-building (referencing other trusted websites, who might reciprocate and include your site link in their own content).
Blog posts also provide a perfect outlet for demonstrating your expertise within your industry. You know stuff your site visitors don’t – so share it.
It has to be mobile friendly
More than 70% of all visits to the internet are via mobile. Enough said.
When it comes to having an outstanding above the crowd website, your ultimate aim is to have an overall great design – stating the obvious.
Yes, with the myriad of DIY website building tools available these days you can create your own, but 9.9 times out of 10 it won’t look as good or feel as functional as if it was created by a professional website designer. There. We said it.
Nathan/Bill/Zsike : January 2021