The world is moving to the web, and it’s hardly a surprise. We have already streamlined a lot of aspects of our lives to include the internet. Case in point: Evernote has taken the place of an actual notebook, Twitter has become the virtual water cooler, and both TV and radio are eclipsed by the popularity of YouTube. Every day, there is always someone trying to vie for our attention. There is always something new to try. We’ve got to admit – it’s an exciting time.
How can you be at the forefront of an already busy marketplace? The old adage, “Content is king!” still holds true, but we’d like to add a few things to the mix:
Inform, but also innovate
Tell people who you are right away. No sense beating around the bush. Just come out and say it – your brand name, your services, and who you are looking to work with/who might need your services. Presentation is key, too – try experimenting with different design elements and see what might work for you. Look at your old design if you have one. If you have to ask if it’s dated, it probably is.
These days, parallax design and horizontal scrolling websites are getting a lot of buzz. So is a flat UI, solid color blocking, and big typography. However it is important to note that these design trends can either enhance your message, or engulf it entirely. You don’t have to join the bandwagon if it doesn’t elevate your content. For example, Pinterest has spurred a lot of copycats in the past two years with its grid-like front page. This only works if your website is image-heavy. If you have only one or two or three photos to work with, then you might want to rethink your decision.
Immerse them in your story, but deliver it quickly
How did your business come to be? What’s unique about you?
This is the internet, but people are still looking to make a connection. Create a narrative that allows your users to get to know you better. Use tools like video or audio to make your content even more compelling. Find out which device they are using to view your website.
- Are they on a phone, a tablet, or a laptop?
- Is your website optimized to load quickly at different kinds of devices?
- Can they access your content right away, or do they have to wait a long time for some elements to load?
- Does directing them to different links really add to your traffic, or is it better if you employ infinite scrolling to keep them on the page?
Interact and keep in touch
Make sure to place call to action buttons that will incite your visitor to do something. Interaction is more than just the clicking of the mouse. It is more than your users being engaged and captivated by what you have to say. An immersive website makes sure that you listen to your audience in return, and strive to meet a common ground – where you can offer something in exchange for their attention. Give your audience a reason to come back again and again. Make them stay by offering something irresistible. It could be a number of things, from an email subscription to a free download. Do you have a blog? Open your posts for comments and let them respond to your thoughts.
Depending on where you sit, building a website can either be fun or overwhelming. Lots of content management systems make it seem like it’s so easy – yet a cursory glance at what’s already out there makes one worry about truly creating a brand that is recognizable and valuable. If you want your business to stand out amongst the millions of voices in the great sea of online content, there has to be more than design and code that will make users return to your website.