There was a time when corporate executives used to ask a very disturbing question: Do we really need a website?
Switch to now, every corporation has a website. The sad part is that a lot of these websites are an equivalent of a business card — a company bio with a phone number. They give an idea of what the company does but if that’s all, then it’s as good as not having one.
To make sure you get the best out of your online presence — here are five things to keep in mind when designing your corporate website.
1. Visitors have a very short attention span
Visitors’ attention span is less than that of a goldfish. That means you have less than 8 seconds to catch their eye and build engagement. Your website’s navigation is the deciding factor on whether or not your visitors will stay longer.
Create a simple and a clear navigation path that helps users easily move on your website. The sooner users find the information they came for, the higher are your chances of converting.
Website design should be more functional. When 86% of visitors are looking to find information about your products or services and the first thing you show is your ‘About us’ page, they are more likely to bounce off.
Check out the example of how you can make your homepage all about your products without being too self-centered. As a corporate executive, you might feel the need to educate users about your company. If so you can make a ‘Company page’ a separate navigation tab. Remember, the aim of your website is to help people and not to promote your legacy.
2. Don’t make your corporate website look robotic
A mistake committed by many corporate websites — they look as if they were made by robots, for robots. Your website design can’t look like it’s churned out of a factory — boring and cold.
Don’t make your website a one-way experience, where your website is doing the talking and visitors are just listening. Users expect a better treatment than that. Start a conversation and engage them. You will get the insight that allows for better customer service.
Use live chat feature to directly communicate with your visitors, as soon as they reach your site — enable instant dialogue to provide a human touch.
Your website should give the impression that there are actual people involved, the idea of human presence builds trust. Here are some of the ways you can humanize your corporate website:
- Don’t use stock photos. It looks artificial. Instead, use photos of real people; your own staff, testimonials from actual clients. Being ‘real’ is what makes customers trust you.
- Be a ‘little’ funny. Humor is a great way of engaging users. But the emphasis is on ‘little’ and you can’t go overboard.
- Humanize your ‘Contact us’ page. Make sure that when customers talk to you, they will be able to speak to an actual person who will solve their problems. Show empathy because that makes customer service a personalized experience.
3. The philosophy of ‘Kaizen’
The philosophy of Kaizen was founded in Japan. It translates to ‘new change’. In management terms, it means ‘continuous improvements’. When you apply Kaizen to the way you develop your website, it will let you progress by making regular changes.
It doesn’t involve radical changes, instead, its emphasis is on making small steps. These continuous tweaks will later lead to a more substantial change.
This philosophy allows companies to make better use of their data. Often, companies try to bring in sudden innovations and fail. Kaizen teaches that once you have your data, you should use them to bring in small-scale innovations at regular intervals.
Let’s assume that you want to make improvements to your customer support for your website visitors. Collect customer feedback to assess your current performance in quantifiable terms, compare the actual performance to your desired one. Start working on one metric and over a period of time, improvements in one will reflect in others as well.
If you want to receive many valuable feedback, invite users to send you tips via email, Facebook, or visual feedback tool – all great for feedback gathering. Positive changes will begin to reflect on other aspects of your customer support as you get more proficient at managing your customer feedback.
- Improved response time to customer needs.
- Providing actionable solutions to customer problems.
- Getting genuine testimonials from customers.
4. Be a grammar nazi
When it comes to getting your grammar right, make sure that your proofreading skills are up to the mark. A grammatical error can make you look unprofessional — you don’t want visitors making fun of your P’s and Q’s.
You can take certain grammar compromises like using common lingos or jargons, it’s an effective way to engage users. But there is a very thin line between lingos and wrong grammar — be careful not to cross it.
5. Make it coherent with your branding
Don’t keep your website estranged from your overall brand marketing plan. In fact, it should be the cornerstone of your branding efforts. If you made your website ‘brand-less’ or not adapted to your branding, you don’t help customers to trust you. Differences in your brand appeal can make customers feel very doubtful of your website claims. It might raise questions on your overall corporate integrity.
Making the website coherent with your corporate identity should be an important aspect of your site design. Here are a few ways you can brand your corporate website:
- Color — Choose brand colors when designing your website, this way the color becomes a trigger for brand recognition.
- Emotion — Add elements that relate to the users’ perception.
- Value proposition — Place your USP close to your logo, so the minute they read your company name they can easily associate the value proposition.
By now you should have figured out that designing a corporate website is more nuanced than one can imagine. It’s not to be taken lightly and corporate executives should not treat it like a business card.
Look at your website as your corporate brand ambassador — a place where current and potential customers can learn about your company. Keep in mind the above points. Build trust by engaging users and remember your — company might be judged through the lens of your corporate website.
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