Digital Strategy: A Beautiful Website Just Isn’t Enough
Remember when your mom told you it’s what’s inside that counts? She was right. The same is true for web design as part of a comprehensive digital strategy. Don’t get us wrong, we love a stylish website with just the right mix of bold images, unique typography and white space (swoon). But beautiful web design is only pixels deep, and it’s just not enough.
When it comes to a killer digital strategy, we’re team brains AND beauty. Is your website helping to impact your company’s bottom line?
Here are four simple questions to help assess whether your website is working hard enough for you.
- Is your website intuitive?
We live in an age of instant gratification and short attention spans (squirrel!). If we can’t find what we’re looking for pretty much immediately, our thumbs are onto their next conquest without pause. Don’t make people work too hard on your site; use language that is easy to understand, navigation that is free of jargon and clear on-ramps that make it easy for someone to take a next step.
- Do you have a contact form?
People are coming to your site to solve a problem. Sometimes, that problem is overwhelming and they just don’t know where to start. A contact form with both predefined options and open-ended response fields takes the pressure off trying to fit their issue into a prepackaged solution. And as a result, you get the opportunity to have an intentional, personalized follow-up conversation. Win-win. A great example is Allegiance Bank, a Raven Creative client that averages over 20 form fills a month since launching a contact form in their site redesign. It makes you wonder – where were all those customers going before?
- Are you hiding all the good stuff?
You land higher in search results if you are strategic about keyword use and topics that define your brand (search engine optimization for the win). When content is gated (i.e., hiding behind a form on your website that someone must fill out to access), the magic search engine fairy dust isn’t pulling it in. We are big fans of using gated content to provide prospects with resources as a lead generation tactic, and we do this in our own business. But it can’t all be hidden; they won’t pick the apples if they never make it to the orchard.
- Does your site connect with your business goals?
This is a big one. Just about every legitimate business has a website. To stand out, yours has to be a cut above the rest; it needs to be stylish, smart and deliver results. How does that happen? Intentionally. Research and planning should come before design, every time. An important step in developing a digital strategy that supports your end game is digging in to truly comprehend and define your audience. You can’t create a meaningful connection with someone you only “kind of” understand. And it isn’t one and done; your strategy (and thus, your website) must evolve with your business for maximum results and impact.
Again, we love shiny, pretty things, but if it doesn’t fly, that airplane of yours is essentially just a really expensive waiting room. If you need help taking your digital strategy to new heights, drop us a line. We’d love to partner with you!