When designing your company website, it can be tempting to look to your competitors for ideas, especially if they conduct seemingly successful advertising campaigns online, but there are a number of reasons as to why this is not always a good idea. You cannot simply lift a website design from one site, apply it to your own and then hope it will work; so much more is going on than.
It is true that there are some utterly awful looking websites out there and it is possible that your own site could do with updating, but you may be surprised to learn that simply creating a new site is unlikely to improve your business prospects; you need to look at the bigger picture. There is absolutely nothing wrong in appreciating everything that your competitors do right, particularly if they are thriving, but it is important to remember that these guys are also doing a whole lot behind the scenes, as well as in front of them, to ensure that their businesses are as successful as possible.
That said, a good landing page complete with clear and concise information about your company and its products and services will stand you in good stead, as well as easy navigation to the other parts of the site – there’s nothing worse than arriving on a website and being unable to find your way around! In this time of apps and modern technology, it is also worthwhile ensuring that your site is compatible with users who may use devices other than computers to access the internet; not doing so is tantamount to business suicide since so many people access the internet on-the-go via mobile devices.
When you think of successful businesses, what do you think of? How easily recognisable are they? The thing that they have in common is a strong brand identity, it makes them stand out from the crowd and thanks to clever advertising, and now social media marketing, they are associated with positive things that make customers feel engaged with the brand. The old adage of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” certainly applies here. If people feel a connection and familiarity with a product, they are more inclined to choose it over others available. You need to decide what you are about and develop branding that encompasses that identity.
Another thing to consider is your business strategy. Can you identify areas that need improvement? Do you have an idea about where you would like the business to be a year from now, five years from now? If not, then this is something that needs your time and attention! It also really helps to decide who your target audience is, if you haven’t already done so, and then plan your advertising and marketing campaigns to focus on them. You can gauge the best way to do this by listening to feedback from your intended audience and applying it where appropriate, whilst staying reasonably flexible to allow you to adapt to the ever-changing social and media climates.
You might find that only a handful of your products or services are actually desirable and you need to be willing to either completely drop those that aren’t, or return to them at a later date with a view to improving them; your sole focus when establishing a successful business should be on products and services that are desirable and will allow you to become recognisable.