Navigating Your Website
6. Establish credibility
A sleek design means little if you don’t have the content to support it. “Having valuable content that is easily ‘crawlable’ or ‘searchable’ by search engine can make or break your website,” Giannone explained. “You can have the best looking website in the world, but it doesn’t take long for a visitor to identify the value—or lack thereof—that your website provides them.”
His advice? Start a blog within your website. Not only are you offering clients and prospects useful information at no cost, you are building industry credibility and increasing the user’s level of trust for your company, Giannone said. Do be sure to update your blog on a regular basis.
7. Get connected
If your website is the “home base” of your digital footprint, then social media channels (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.) should be treated as an extension of your digital branding efforts, Giannone said. Sharing links to articles, resources and content that live on your site via social media is an effective way to establish yourself as an authority within your industry. “Having something meaningful to say and share on social media stems from having something meaningful and insightful living on your website,” Giannone remarked.
8. Design for mobile
Having a mobile-friendly website isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. According to Ovum, an independent analyst and consultancy firm, 13 percent of the world’s population (i.e., one billion people) will connect to the Web exclusively through mobile devices by the end of 2015. Hendrix recommended a responsive Web design, which allows your site to automatically adapt to the size of the user’s screen and eliminates the dreaded pinch and zoom. “A mobile-first design begins by showing how the size will appear on a mobile device—primarily a smartphone—and adding to this design incrementally as the size of the display is increased,” he said. “[...] Think of it like this: You want to eat a meal outdoors. If you’re going tailgating, you pack a larger cooler and a grill. If you’re catering an outdoor event, you set up tables, a buffet line and provide an entire catering van full of food.
“The same thing applies when moving from smartphones to tablets to laptops and desktop-sized displays,” he continued. “You progressively display more content in a more detailed manner as the space permits. It is important to consider this strategy when writing your content, and designing your site.”