Navigating Your Website
4. Promote your brand
Your brand is your most valuable asset. Make a strong impression by communicating your brand through colors, fonts, images and layout. For example, leverage your company colors as much as possible in your site menu, buttons, links and page headings, Giannone said. (Decisions as seemingly insignificant as selecting the right shade of blue can impact sales.) Choose a Web-safe font to ensure it renders well for users and whatever Web browser they might be using (e.g., Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc.). Make sure the imagery on your site matches your company’s capabilities, but try not to overuse stock art as it can make your site feel less personable and trustworthy, Giannone noted. Finally, direct attention to your company logo by placing it at the top of your site in the header area.
Hendrix recommended implementing a brand style guide and providing it to the design team before they start working on the visual aspects of the site. A good guide, he explained, should include a listing of all typefaces, brand assets—such as logos, trademarks, colors, slogans and taglines—as well as type sizes and so on. “The well-formatted style should also include rules for use of the company assets—for example, containing instructions like ‘Our logo should always be oriented horizontally, with a minimum of 0.25 inches clearance from other items in print, or 50 pixels of clearance on consumer electronic devices,’” Hendrix said. “[...] The business should also be aware that it is not always possible to exactly match a brand’s colors, and that the colors will display differently across multiple devices.”
5. Tell a story
Presenting a company’s story to clients and prospects has become an increasingly popular trend. “This strategy can work very well if your company’s principal business is offering solutions or services where relationships can be extremely important,” said Hendrix. “These types of Internet visitors may be more apt to vetting vendors for longer-term business engagements, such as ongoing projects and extended sales cycles.”
Giannone expanded on this point. “You can integrate a ‘company news’ or ‘recent/upcoming events’ section that highlights things like company functions, charity work or internal employee rewards,” he mentioned. “While creating and maintaining features like these take time and effort, they go a long way in answering this very important question for your visitors and prospective clients: ‘Why should I do business with you?’”
If your main focus is e-commerce, Hendrix added, it is important to remember that customers are on your site with a simple mission: to purchase a product quickly and efficiently. “In that scenario, you should ensure that your customer’s primary available actions are clearly centered on finding products and placing an order with as few steps as possible,” he said. “Including your company’s cultural background can still play well in this type of environment, however, it should become tertiary to ensuring a smoother e-commerce process.”