Website branding can be a tricky thing. Customers want stable content but the design should be current. While checking out the websites of your competitors is a great idea, copying them is not. You should distinguish your company as an industry leader- not a follower. While HireIME.com is going to undergoing some changes during this month, I wanted to share the top things to consider when rebranding and redesign your website from a marketing perspective.
1. Know your target audience and content requirements before selecting a design. If you are a technical company with a lot of content then consider white papers to prove your point, and share your data, without clogging up the real estate of your site.
2. Discuss ownership, budget, timeline, and scope of work with your design team. Make sure you understand the amount of technical hours required to translate a spec design into a live action design. Also, ask if you will have access to the back-end of the website and if additional charges will be implemented.
3. Figure out if your spec out is original. If your designer is using a WordPress website or anything else that is template-based, this means someone else has your website design- even if you change the colors or font. This is not OK for showing how innovative and original your company is. Make sure the design spec is 100% original by having this stated in writing.
4. Make sure you provide all edits to the return spec or soft-launch to the design team before coding. The actual coding of an original website is tedious. Changing the size of font on one sentence can be a billable hour so ensure you get as many edits in to the designer post launch date.
5. Too many clickable options. From a consumer perspective, this is a major mistake. Too many tabs, too many links- too much. Clients want simple directions and clear service options. Don't make people dig to find information. Why? Because they won't, they will move on.
6. No call to action on the front page. I could never understand why one would have a website without a call to action on the front page. Have your clients contact you ASAP, or at least make it easy for them to do so after they finish exploring the website. They could always revisit the main page, but they will not if there is no call to action. So, put a contact form or incentive-based offer right smack in the front of your website.
7. Interactive options. Live chat apps, online scheduling, online uploads for RFP requests- these are all pretty standard elements of today's websites. The same goes for video tutorials or company biographies. If you are missing these elements, you are already behind your competition no matter how clean or nice your website is.
I hope this information helps you create or redesign your website.
Twyla N. Garrett