Creating a winning website

Some of the more recent discussions I’ve had with clients have focused on brand engagement and the customer journey. As such, many of these conversations have led us to the missed opportunity a poor website can have for a business.  

As a brand’s first touchpoint for a potential customer; searchability and SEO, UI, design and the customer journey are hugely important factors for a website that attracts and retains traffic. While there are many opportunities to purchase a website design for next to nothing, these are usually a templated design.  

Like anything aiming at success though, it takes strategic thought, planning and research, user testing and clever execution to create a website that not only drives traffic, but also retains it.  

Dealing with design

After much discussion around brand, audience, customer journey and objectives and goals, it’s all about design. Mapping out the creation of a wireframe takes many different elements into consideration, from layout, design and colour palette, right through to the user interface (UI). How these reflect and represent your brand is a crucial part to making the good first impression. 

Take skin and skin and body care brand Aesop, for example. Everything about their website design reflects their brand. Clean, simple and beautiful, highly visual with consistent colour palettes that relate directly back to their product.  

It’s easy to navigate, a pleasure to use and great representation of the brand itself. Along with that, its content is also complementary, further enhancing the brand’s representation, as its recent five mythical gift kit campaign will attest.  

But even the best design, amazing colour palette, exceptional UI and ‘on brand’ site doesn’t mean your potential customers are going to find you. Aesop doesn’t appear until page three of Google when searching for skin care.  

Writing website content to target the audience is highly important, but search engine optimisation (SEO) is also a huge factor in making sure your site appears at the top of your potential customers’ search, rather than on page three.  

With the right words (searchability), you can make sure Google positions your site up top – where 95% of all website traffic comes from. Matching keywords within your copy to those most highly ‘matched’ in Google searches means a brand is one step closer to being in the majority search.  

Building brand engagement

Along with searchability, design, colour palette and UI, a website needs to focus on brand engagement – and therefore its strategic purpose. A key element to creating a superior customer journey starts with the first impression.  

Take Aesop’s purifying facial cream cleanser. It stands out beautifully as a white, crumpled tube amongst perfect brown bottles with their black and white labels. Engaging the customer in the awareness phase and therefore at the beginning of their decision-making process sets the scene for the remainder of their expedition.  

A well put together website though, is not only the beginning of the journey, but also has the power to take a customer through their entire journey, from start to finish. Just as Aesop makes that crumpled tube of cleanser so appealing in the first three seconds of visiting the website, it has the power to complete the decision-making process as it sits in the basket at checkout, completing the journey in the purchase phase.  

The power a clever, strategic and well-designed website has in creating a long-lasting relationship between customer and brand is truly noteworthy. Playing a key part within the customer journey at either just the start, throughout the process or from the start to finish, means a one-size-fits-all website may not be the answer.  

Taking into consideration brand engagement, searchability and strategic influence of the decision-making process from design, colour palette, wording and content to UI, gives a brand the best chance to drive and retain traffic to its site.  

Now I’m off to purchase some beautiful skin care for my partner’s birthday present. 

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