You have probably heard the expression “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” That rings true not only for meeting someone for the first time, but also for your company’s brand.
In fact, it matters much more for a business to impress its potential customers and clients right away than it does for an individual. Google Research found in a study that for users to fully engage and interact with your business online, their experience with your website needs to resonate within one second.
What does that mean for your brand and company website? In order to convert, it needs to be visually appealing and quickly provide solutions to your consumer’s problem. Your website design is a crucial marketing asset you should invest in. If you build your website with your brand’s story at heart and a concise, creative content strategy that stands out from competitors, you can greatly impact your customers and create a pool of potential customers.
In a previous post on storytelling, I covered five commonalities between web design and storytelling. In this post, we are going to explore several factors to consider when implementing your brand story into your website design.
Similar to how the best stories begin with an exceptional introduction, so should your website.
With the digital world cutting our attention spans short, it is now more important than ever to consider your website’s content and design. Your homepage is likely the first point of contact for any new visitor. It is important to make it clear what you do. The goal is to communicate to the prospect or visitor that they are in the right place, especially if they landed on your website via traditional search methods.
The information presented on your homepage needs to be relevant, brief, and to the point. It should also engage and inform users so that they cannot miss the final act.
For instance, you can make things visible by placing an impactful headline. Then, provide support by adding in relevant graphics or images. Sometimes, a simple mixture of background video, creative writing, and imagery is all you need to get things going.
Your homepage should highlight your brand. Good navigation, visually appealing pages, effective call-to-actions, white space, unique keyword-rich text, high-quality images, font, colors—every element has its own importance. All these factors come together to tell your brand’s unique story.
A brief, but clear introduction is extremely engaging. This should be kept up further by brief overviews for each product or service.
Ensure that your color, typography, and iconography are consistent with your overall brand guidelines.
Provide navigational elements such as hyperlinked buttons that take the user to new pages or even external sources of information. This way, you can offer detailed information without overcrowding the homepage.
Be sure to highlight what makes your company different. In today’s competitive online environment, adding your company’s key differentiators can make all the difference. Make a list of all the differentiating factors, narrow down the list to the most significant ones, and discuss each of them. Keep it direct and to the point and consider adding supporting graphics, statistics, videos, or testimonials.
There is no denying that each brand has its own story to narrate. After all, that’s the goal – to stand out and get noticed because your business is different. However, being different doesn’t mean you cannot apply a standard set of rules to your website design strategy. I have listed five universal tips to keep in mind when communicating your brand’s story.
Crafting a website is a lot like writing a novel. No one wants to read a story that is drawn out or difficult to read. When it comes to the design of your website, the same is true. You want your web copy to grab your visitors’ attention, keep them interested, and persuade them to take action. How do you achieve that without sounding boring, generic, or pushy?
You need to use storytelling elements such as emotional words and phrases that appeal to visitors’ feelings, personal pronouns and names, descriptive language and sensory details, contrast, tension, and urgency to create interest, and positive words and phrases that show the value of your solution. For example, instead of saying, “Our software saves you time and boosts productivity,” you can say, “We make every user feel empowered and part of something bigger than their own individual tasks, and as a result, boost collective productivity and transparency.”
It is important to know your audience, their needs, expectations, and preferences so that you tailor your content to them. However you should avoid beginning with too much detail, using clever names, company-specific names without an explanation, and unfamiliar technical terms. Instead, use short and concise phrases, implement different heading levels and bulleted lists to break up long text blocks, and use plain and objective language to make your website text clear and concise.
A good web design project always starts with a sitemap. This organizational tool allows you to structure your site and provides you with an overview of your navigation and subpages. Breaking up detailed content into subpages, rather than on one page, narrows the topic scope and makes the big picture of your brand story easier to follow.
If you want to provide more information on your services, the history of your company, or some other subject, consider including a section for extra information on your site. This can be in the form of a “News” or “Resources” section. These additional sections can prove to be very useful if you want to add extra content. Also, keeping them updated will help with your search engine optimization.
In addition to the benefiting from SEO, updated information communicates to your site’s visitors that your company is staying current and involved in your industry.
As stated earlier, there is so much competition today within the business landscape, yet your story is your own. Therefore, it is necessary to highlight what is uniquely good about your brand. Make sure your website highlights your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, to communicate to your target audience why your product or service is superior to your competitors.
A strong USP answers these three questions:
Your brand story should build trust by showing your authenticity, credibility, and expertise. Testimonials are another form of storytelling that use the voice of your satisfied customers to endorse your value and credibility.
Make sure to add elements that position your company as authentic and trustworthy. You may build a relationship of trust with visitors to your website by including company success statistics, videos, partner testimonials, vendor testimonials, customer testimonials, or case studies.
End your story with a call-to-action that invites your visitors to take the next step. That next step might be for your prospects to reach out and request a demo or they may have additional questions about your business. Having a contact form throughout your website is important to turn your hard work into leads.
Where you place your forms, how they are designed, and the language in your call-to-action shape your visitor experience. After all, no prospect should have to do a web search on how to contact your company. Ensuring your contact form is easy to find and fill out can help you retain customers and improve your customer service.
Apart from offering contact forms, explore providing downloadable resources or a chat feature. These are additional good practices for turning prospects into leads.
There are many factors to be considered when crafting a brand story. Given the high visibility potential and the global nature of the internet, crafting your brand’s story is worth the effort.
If you are ready to reinvent your website and ensure that your visitors’ first impression isn’t the last, let’s talk.