Taking it to the next level: Remixing your digital presence

Stefano Maruzzi discusses the importance of your website sticking out from the pack.

Feel like your business has a strong web presence? Now is the time to break away from the millions of other businesses promoting themselves on the internet. You want your business to stick out online, to be the one black sheep in the market. It’s time to take it to the next level.

Consumers in today’s world have very short attention spans. If they don’t find what they need on your website within a matter of seconds due to poor user experience, your potential customer will leave your website, and they aren’t likely to return. A great user experience both keeps visitors on your site and encourages them to engage with your content and brand again and again.

It’s important to look at how you can make things feel fresh and disruptive. I think these three website design tips for do-it-yourselfers are a great place to start:

  1. Less is more. A clean and uncluttered site is like an online oasis for visitors, and will keep them coming back.
  2. Keep the text easy to read. Avoid script-style fonts and backgrounds that are too bright.
  3. Consider visual hierarchy. Visitors tend to read from top to bottom and from left to right, so you’ll want to follow that guideline when you place elements on your web pages.

It’s also important to consider the story you want to tell, whether it’s the story behind your business or your product. Rather than long copy to explain the story of your brand, think about using design elements such as engaging images, videos, animation and/or audio to tell the story you think will put your business above the rest.

Sometimes it’s a challenge for small business owners to invest further to have their website be viewable in a user-friendly mobile format, particularly as we should see a further proliferation in websites with mobile-first designs, where the desktop experience mirrors that of a phone or tablet.

Ensuring your website is designed for an excellent viewing experience is essential, so the responsive design and mobile-friendly design are trends that are here to stay. Google’s recent emphasis on the importance of mobile-friendly website design for higher search rankings drives home this point.

It’s curious that a remarkable number of websites still aren’t mobile-optimised – Forrester suggests only 38 per cent of enterprise sites are – so purely from the perspective of its impact on user experience, this should provoke a positive shift with more web designers and business owners improving their websites.

Responsive design is the ultimate in user-friendly design because it helps to ensure your website automatically resizes to fit the monitor on which the site visitor is viewing it. Not only does this ensure your website is optimised, its automation saves you precious time; a much sought-after currency for small business owners.

As I mentioned, a website shouldn’t just consist of words. Taking it to the next level means bringing in content that will inspire visitors to explore further. For example, posting monthly vlogs (video blogs) on topics tied to your business is a great way of reaching people, and utilising social media channels to share them is the ideal approach in involving a wider community. Get people talking about relevant issues, and they’ll associate them with your business.

Getting your digital presence to stand out from the crowd does’t have to be a mammoth task. The key is to think outside the box, look for a way to keep everything connected, and keep the end product simple.

Further reading on websites

Stefano Maruzzi

Stefano Maruzzi is vice president of EMEA at GoDaddy.

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