Your business’s website is one of the most important tools in your arsenal. Once a tool to list the products and services you offer, it’s now a means to share who you are, what you know, what you stand for, what you aspire to, and how you intend to serve your market. Each of these is a must-have for earning trust, showing authenticity, and forging lasting connections with new and existing customers.
Whether you choose to overhaul your site or invest in a simple refresh, we’ll show you some steps you can take to align the voice and style of your site to the business you aspire to be.
Step 1: Define your core message.
Think about what your business does and why it does it. Then, ask yourself the following questions:
Is my answer clear and succinct?
Would my customers say the same things?
Would my definition resonate with my audience?
Does my answer help me differentiate my business from others in the market?
If you can’t provide a resounding “yes” to any of these points, you’ll need to spend time firming up your idea of who you are and what you want to convey. The following questions can help you get started:
What do I want my business to be known for?
Which benefits can my customers realize?
What do my customers have to say about the solutions I offer?
Why do my customers keep coming back to my business rather than switching to rivals?
What would cause my rivals’ customers to convert to my product or service offerings?
Step 2: Conduct an audit of your current site.
With a discerning eye, jot down notes on what you like about your site and what you’d like to keep (or make a simple refresh to) in its next evolution. Then, make notes on the parts that need to be reworked. Pay attention to long-winded paragraphs, pages that fail to drive action, and dated imagery or page styles that may not resonate with your buyers.
Step 3: Write a draft of your story.
Now, devote some time to explaining who you are and why your brand matters. This step is anything but easy, but it is critical to get it right. Here are some tips that can help:
- Keep your customers front of mind and make points that will appeal to your market.
- Focus on authenticity rather than cookie-cutter perfection.
- Be relatable by showing your vulnerabilities and sharing struggles you’ve faced.
- Inspire hope by explaining how you’ve championed a solution.
- Use words that will spark the feelings you want your customers to have about your brand.
- Empower your audience to be the heroes of their own story by taking the action you prescribe.
Step 4: Outline the content you need to create to tell your story.
Think about why your audience is visiting your site. If visitors are coming to make purchases, think about what they want to read to gain confidence in the transaction. If they are coming to learn, think about the topics they may want to dive into.
|Consider adding a page to talk about who you are, who you’ve served, the causes your business supports, the partners and suppliers you work with, your quality and sustainability standards, or any other content that helps you tell a real, earnest, and captivating story for your audience.|
You may find that you need photos, videos, or testimonials to help you tell the story. Fold those elements in your pages and develop content that works alongside them.
When writing, pay special attention to the tone you want to convey. For instance, if your audience is turning to you for expertise, you should present content that’s polished and professional. If your audience is visiting your site for entertainment, you can take a lighthearted tone without alienating your readers. Ensure that the tone you choose matches your brand’s desired image and will help you firm up your brand’s identity.
Finally, make an effort to share your message as concisely as possible. It’s seldom the case that site readers will pour over every word on your site. Get to the point quickly and effectively to help your readers make the connections you desire.
Step 5: Consider updates to your logo, tagline, typography, color story, and images.
With the content pieces in place, shift your focus to site visuals and the emotions you want to evoke in your audience.
There are countless resources that can help you with this step (including Templately), though if graphics aren’t your strong suit, we recommend working with an experienced design professional for your website. The following tips can help you design your website imagery strategy:
Consistency is important for building brand recognition. Your site doesn’t need rigid uniformity, but you should ensure that your logo, font selection, color story, and image elements have a similar look and feel and will appeal to a broad section of your target audience.
Use color thoughtfully.
Every color can elicit emotions. For instance, green often exudes peace, earthiness, or prosperity; white conveys modernness and simplicity, and blue can hint at serenity, assurance, and tranquility. Study a color theory resource, such as this one, and choose a dominant and secondary color for your site’s headings and imagery that will help you set a compelling tone and a clean and purposeful aesthetic.
Allow for white space.
Break up the visual elements on your site. By incorporating some white space, or visual emptiness, you can draw your viewers’ eyes to key elements of the page without making them feel overwhelmed by a bevy of content.
It can be tempting to overdesign each element of your site, but doing so may overstimulate—and overwhelm—your audience. Try sticking to a small selection of colors, fonts, and style choices that will convey your brand image clearly and effortlessly.
Use photos judiciously.
Be thoughtful about the photos you select to design your website. Ensure each image helps you tell the story you’re trying to convey without overpowering the message.
Step 6: Develop your engagement strategy.
The fixed content on your website is only one piece of your brand engagement strategy. You may want to include other elements, such as on-topic blog posts that will help you gain exposure (and improve your search results rankings) and present yourself as an authority voice in your field or fresh videos and photos that entertain, inform, or otherwise engage your audience.
With your design for your website in place, consider updating your social media pages to mirror the look and feel of your new site. Read our article, Strategies to Improve Your Business Social Media Profile, for more stylistic advice.
Would you like to connect with a website developer who can help you design a website for your business? Consider one of these popular options:
We also like Bookmark, an AI web design service that asks a few simple questions about your business type, location, desired features, and goals and generates a site for you in about two minutes. Check it out here:
Log into your owner’s portal for more articles and advice that will help you build your brand, find your position in your market, and take on the everyday challenges of running a business.