Your website is your online storefront - it’s the shop window for your company and it needs to do a lot in very little time. It’s the first touchpoint for most of your customers and it needs to convey your brand and your value within just a few seconds of being on your site.
A good average time-on-page statistic is around 52 seconds - that means you need to make every second count to convey your value and make sure people stay beyond the average 3-15 seconds they give a site before bouncing.
Most businesses dive into developing their website without pausing to really think about what it needs to do for their customer. While getting something up quickly as a placeholder is fine, your long-term website needs to be well thought out and provide the right value for your potential customers through your branding. Here are 4 things you need to consider when developing your website:
Your website isn’t for you, it’s for your ideal customer. Sure, you may think they are one-and-the-same, especially if you started your business to solve a pain point you had, but you need to be able to detach yourself and know what your target audience wants to see from your website. You need to be specific here - go beyond demographics and create ideal customer personas (you can do this based on real customers you have and love working with) and use those personas to guide the creation of your brand and website.
Once you know who your website is for, it’s time to think about how you want to position your brand and your website in their mind. You don’t want to be just another choice among many - you want to be the only choice, or at least, their preferred choice. You need to be clear about why it is your ideal customer comes to you and not another company. What’s your USP? What do they like most about you? Why do they choose you over your competitors? These are all questions to answer before you start developing your website.
Besides your visual branding, the tone of voice you use in your copy is what you are depending on to capture the attention of your ideal visitors and communicate with them the way they want to be spoken to. When done right, it will help your potential clients identify with you and feel at home with your brand.
You need to know before you write the copy for your website (or before you hand the reins over to a copywriter) what words and phrases your brand uses, and what you don’t. Even if you’re a small business, it will be well worth your time creating a Tone of Voice document so you can give it to anyone creating written content for your business.
The final thing you need to consider is your brand personality. This encompasses a lot of what we’ve touched on above, but takes it deeper and makes your brand a more defined entity. Your brand personality is the traits your brand has that helps to create and deepen the emotional connection with your ideal customers.
When you think about brand personality, you may think of brands that have a bold brand personality and think that it’s not necessary for your professional B2B brand but don’t overlook its importance. Your customers still make an emotional connection with you; your brand personality is just more likely to be trustworthy, safe, serious, competent, and sincere, instead of bold, creative, funny, spontaneous, and sarcastic. Think about what your ideal customers want from you - it’s not the product or service you offer, and it’s not really the results they get with you, it’s how they feel emotionally while working with you and after.
When you consider all of these points before you start developing your website, you can pull back and focus on the big picture, not just the technical aspects of what your website should do and have. Start with your brand and let your website follow. If you’re not sure where to start or want the support of experts, we’re here to help. We help businesses like yours develop a strong brand identity and develop a website that makes sure your ideal target customers stick around to learn more.
If you are a small business, don’t forget about our monthly competition to win some support with your branding. Sign up now to be in with the chance to win a branding package or a set of social media templates!