Buzzword Breakdown: Social media boosting
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- Please upload your resume
- Reference link to your online portfolio in resume or cover letter
- Innovative ideas, sharp eye for layout and awareness of design trends
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- Eagerness to learn and help where needed
- Solid knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop)
- Adobe After Effects and video editing experience is a plus
- Currently enrolled as a junior or senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree related to advertising, marketing or design
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There is a lot of emphasis on website design, trying to make each site look flashy and trendy to represent a company in a positive light. That’s highly important as websites are the ultimate branding tool for your business. They are a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week window to the world. If you have a website, you are always open for business so you better make a good first impression.
That said, when building a website it’s important to not get distracted by shiny objects.
Depending on your business, your website can be a digital storefront, an online catalog, a help center for product support, an information resource for industry news and topics, a member benefit club or an intake vehicle for attracting new customers.
More than likely, your website is several of these items rolled into one, as it should be. What’s key to remember is to resist the urge to throw everything but the kitchen sink into your website.
Below are 10 website design tips you should consider when launching a new website or redesigning an existing one to help you exceed the needs of your business and customers.
Establish goals up front
A website is the central hub and foundation of your business. All digital marketing efforts trace back to your website to force customers to take action. That’s why it should be priority number one to establish goals up front. If your goal is to boost ecommerce sales, then you’d better have an efficient, trusted shopping cart. If your goal is to generate more customer leads by way of a form completion, then you need to have a strong call-to-action in place and seamlessly funnel your visitors to the desired outcome.
Give customers what they want
Whatever your business, you’d better provide customers with the information they seek. Having excellent content and a well-written site is important. If you provide customers and prospects with the answers to their questions, they’ll remember that. Your brand will get a thumbs up in their mind, and they’ll keep coming back to see you.
Make websites easy to navigate
Before you start building your website design, you need to have a strong sitemap or content outline. Your design should be built on a strong foundation and menu structure. Make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for, and create a circular navigation flow that will help users intuitively search through your website.
Always think mobile first
We all have smartphones in our pockets, with the exception of your Dad who is hanging onto his flip phone. But he’s the exception. For the rest of us, we’re surfing the web more and more each day from our phones. And when we have a phone in our hand, we lack patience. We demand immediate results. So if you want to make a strong first impression, you’d better think mobile first with your site design. If your site is clunky to navigate on a phone, or worse, it takes too long to load pages, then your customers won’t stick around. So think mobile user experience first, and build from there.
Don’t just design for design sake
By all means, create a kick-ass site that helps your brand stand out and puts your competitors to shame. That should always be the goal, but don’t add bells and whistles just to add them. If the fancy programming effects on the site get in the way of the user experience and prevent users from finding the info they are seeking, then your design, no matter how hip and trendy it is will be a failure.
Build for scalability, expansion
The world is ever-changing, and so is your website. If you build your website with a strong informational architecture, it will be something you can always expand on. You’ll easily be able to add new sections, pages and content. Never think small, because your business will outgrow the initial needs of your website concept. Expect to expand and have a plan to do so. If that day never comes, then fine. But it more than likely will, and when it does, you’ll be prepared to add new content without blowing up your website and starting from scratch.
Never stop updating site content
Always add new content to your site. If you’re selling products, then new products will be part of that content plan. But don’t stop there. Build a content marketing schedule that publishes new content on your website that is informative and relevant for your customers. Adding new products, blogs, case studies, white papers, product reviews, product tips, etc., will keep your website fresh. It’ll also give you a mountain of information that can be pushed out organically on social media channels to promote your brand – and website. Plus, adding new content regularly to your site will help with your site SEO. Having a content plan will keep your company relevant and will make you a thought leader in your industry.
Converting customers should be a snap
This ties in with the goals you’ve already established up front. Designing a website is like building a maze that steers your visitors through the obstacles to easily find the cheese. When you have a clear objective for what you want to achieve, finding the cheese should be easy. When done right, this leads to increased conversion rates against your goal. Of course, using your digital campaigns to push prospects to the right landing page on your site removes a lot of the guesswork for users. When you have goals, it also helps streamline your digital marketing so all aspects of your campaign are fully in sync with your website.
Track website performance, campaign traffic
Every website should have the goals and events in place to track user behavior. Then setting and monitoring the right website analytics metrics creates a real-time focus group to help you know where prospects are engaging most on your website. Armed with this information, it will help you better understand customers. From here, you’ll be able to: set better goals, create more content similar to what users are engaged in, and tell what individual ads and channels are driving traffic. All this will add up to better conversion rates over time.
Refresh, refresh, refresh
I’m not talking about refreshing your browser. I’m talking about having an ongoing plan to update your website. Your company’s online presence is a living, breathing thing. So you should always be improving and refreshing it. Launching a website is not like publishing a corporate brochure and then forgetting about it. Websites need to be looked after, and you should have a project calendar in place to routinely update all aspects of your website. Updating content is a given as discussed above, but having a plan to add landing pages that specifically support a campaign effort are needed. And having a plan to update main pillars of content on your site should be the rule, and not the exception. If customers and prospects see little change in your website, it’ll feel stale and they’ll stop coming back to check you out.
If you’re looking for a new website design to better fit your business, contact SWBR and we’ll help you build a digital brand presence that will make you proud.