Do you recall the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, you might as well throw that ideology out the window when it comes to websites. In fact, it takes a mere 50 milliseconds for a user to form an opinion about your site. That means you have half a second to convince the viewer to remain on your page before you have lost them. 75% of users admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on the website design alone.
While these statistics seem unfavorable, they are no reason to give up hope entirely. There are many online resources dedicated to education, guidance, and web template distribution. HubSpot is our recommendation (and favorite), but there are several other platforms out there that can help aid in your web design journey. Regardless of what platform you choose, the three key items you must consider when building brand credibility including: website usability, SEO accessible content, and appropriately placed CTAs.
A great way to understand the importance of website usability is to think of your website as a brick and mortar store. First, consider a well-rounded store with a positive customer experience. In this scenario, a customer enters a store and is promptly met with an attention grabbing display. Next, the store attendant will greet the customer and ask if they need immediate assistance. As the customer mills about the well organized store, the attendant will occasionally check to make sure their needs are being met with the goal of landing a sale in mind.
Now let’s think about a store that lacks a positive customer experience. In this scenario, a customer enters a store and sees an outdated, or empty display. There is no attendant to be found. As the customer navigates the store alone, they become frustrated by the lack of service and unorganized products so they leave. Which store would you rather shop at– seems like a no brainer, right?
Websites are just like brick and mortar stores, however their similarities are often overlooked. Having clear site navigation, eye catching photos/ videos, and a Chatbot are critical to creating a positive customer experience. Do this, and not only will users more likely stay on your site, but they are more likely to recommend your company as well. This is one way to start building brand credibility.
SEO ACCESSIBLE CONTENT
Another important factor to consider when creating brand presence is your search engine optimization (SEO) levels. Readability is a major factor in well performing online content. Put simply, readability is the practice of making your writing understandable and digestible for your intended audience. Easy to read content will get more views, and with more views, it will perform higher from an SEO standpoint. Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating content:
- Keep your content concise and interesting, with the most important information near the top of the page. As journalists, we often use the expression, “top of the fold,” and that principle applies to web content as well. People are lazy, and often don’t make it to the end of lengthy articles. Remember, less is more!
- Write in shorter paragraphs as they are easier to read and provide information without overwhelming the reader. Breaking paragraphs up into smaller sound bites tricks readers into thinking they are reading less.
- Use headings and subheadings. Descriptions increase readability for audiences and search engines as they help categorize information.
- Ensure that the audience can read your messages clearly by using the right font. Stay away from small fonts and complex font themes. Instead, keep the appearance of the text simple to help readers skim through content with ease.
Calls to action; CTAs, are simple statements meant to movitive your target audience to continue down the sales funnel. Unfortunately, it is very easy to default into using generic CTAs out of convenience. CTAs such as ‘click here’, ‘order now’, ‘buy now’, or ‘let’s go’ do very little to get your user's attention. That’s not to say you need fireworks and a celebrity appearance to make your CTAs successful, however you should think about these 4 Core Call to Action Considerations when trying to better your web presence:
- Consider if your call to action is clear. Does it create a sense of urgency and communicate value? Is it short and sweet?
- Where are you placing your CTA? Does it exist in a place that makes sense and will provoke users to take action?
- Can you easily locate your button, or better yet, is it clearly identifiable as a CTA? On the flip side, is it too large and subsequently distracting from the rest of the page's content? Will it translate appropriately for mobile users?
- Does the button “pop”, or does it blend in with the rest of the page? Consider how much white space is around the button so that the page does not appear too cramped and even try testing a variety of colors to see which provides the most clicks.
With all these systems in place, you are well on your way to building a strong web presence, which will subsequently benefit your brand's credibility. If you’re getting stuck or would benefit from some additional ideas, connect with a member of StoryTeller today.