When you Google “why it’s important to have,” the suggested search copy lists: 1) “friends” and 2) “a website.” Google tells us what we already know: it’s important to have friends and it’s important to have a website. Furthermore, organizations make friends by inviting them to visit online.
While some organizations and many small businesses still manage to do business without one, research informs us that a website is, in fact, a critical component of professional success. Websites allow visitors to get to know you and can serve as an open house.
Once the website is built, the work is not finished. It will never be finished. Technology is constantly changing and growing. Many companies fail to strategically plan the website copy, functionality and voice. Many more lack the vision or discipline to routinely refresh one of the organization’s most important branding, recruiting and sales tools.
Ongoing media coverage, strong brand reputation and a desirable product or service offering are great and necessary. However, if the brand is not simply and consistently represented on the website, companies can lose credibility with the audiences they want to reach and miss the opportunity to make connections with their visitors.
Here are three simple guidelines to consider when developing a strategic and “friendly” website:
A well designed website will catch the user’s attention with aesthetically pleasing pages. However, it’s important to think beyond the design to the type of information they are looking for from the business. If they enter the website, you want to be sure to offer them the content they seek.
2. Simplicity is key.
Content strategy is a step in web development that is often overlooked. Developing simple copy that catches the user’s attention is a complex art. If a webpage is busy or long-winded, the user will move on. As Woodrow Wilson said, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” Practice writing concisely or risk losing consumer interest.
3. The consumer is the hero.
When building their brand online, many companies quickly forget that their consumer is the hero. Don’t just focus on the goals you want to achieve, but think through what the consumer needs or wants to achieve.
With the rise of mobile device use, organizations are in the average consumer’s pocket – just one Internet search away. Companies can easily make friends via the online medium. It’s easy: simply look your best, be yourself, get to the point and be encouraging.
By, Charity Jernigan