Your website is the online nerve-center where you showcase your products, services, client wins, news and what sets your business apart from the competition.
Yet, words and images are hardly as engaging as a conversation, presentation or a live person discussing your company. As a small business owner, you understand this fact, and ideally, you’d like to engage each visitor with a one-on-one conversation… if only it was financially and logistically feasible. What’s more, your small business model doesn’t have a limitless budget to upgrade the website constantly or chase every new technology.
These thoughts and challenges bring us to the question, “How can you better bring your brand to life online?”
- Content- Perform an audit of your website content. From landing pages and download able brochures to portfolio pieces and corporate news, it is amazing how quickly such information becomes stale or outdated. Utilize your website metrics to determine the most heavily-trafficked pages and focus on updating them, if you don’t have the resources to tackle a full-scale content overhaul. Also, look for pages with higher than average bounce rates (commonly defined as the percentage of visitors who enter the site and quickly exit rather than viewing other pages within the same site). An abnormally high bounce rate indicates your content isn’t aligned with visitor expectations and fails to engage them. This simple audit will help your content feel fresh, on-point and more interesting for visitors – which helps create engagement with your brand.
- Personality- As you’re auditing your content for accuracy and timeliness, also consider whether it presents a clear voice that speaks to your various buying personas. A website that offers third-person, formal copy might work for an investment banking company but feel too formal for a luxury vacation website. In addition to creating a consistent tone, explore the demographics that typically visit certain parts of your website. For example, if your business sells vacation packages and the section on spa getaways is skewed female, consider writing copy that would be more engaging to woman. A consistent tone and engaging viewpoint will create a connection with visitors.
- Crisp Imagery- While compelling content is important, your website should have clean, vibrant images. Whether you sell actual products or use imagery to convey a feeling or mood, viewers expect to see original and relevant images throughout the website. Not only do images convey what your business does visually, but they also strengthen your brand identity.
- Social media- If you aren’t utilizing social media to connect with leads and customers, you’re missing an opportunity to create engagement and bring your brand to life. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are great ways to share special offers, news, events and get feedback from the people that know your business the best – your customers. While the “open mic” premise of social media might make you feel vulnerable or as if your weaknesses are exposed, view it instead as an opportunity to learn and engage with website visitors.
- Digital characters- Another way to create a more dynamic website experience is to use digital characters to guide the visitor experience. Different from an impersonal video clip or talking head, technology companies are creating interactive digital characters. The characters can be customized (age, gender, appearance, etc.) so they feel engaging to your most popular demographics. From answering frequently asked questions to helping viewers complete conversion forms, these digital characters can be utilized in a variety of ways to create a heightened level of interactivity.
Following these suggestions will help you create a more cohesive and dynamic website experience for leads and customers. Rather than simply reading another website, viewers will feel a connection through content, imagery and even technology that brings your brand to life.