In an age of digital communities, your website should be more than "just another website." It should be as distinctive as your business and offer a visually engaging and intuitive experience for your visitors.
Your website is your digital stage. You don't have to be a superstar to engage with your customers, but with the right strategy in place you can make that impression.
1. The 10 second impression
Your website should tell any visitor what your business is about instantly. The moment someone lands on any page, blog post or even a 404 error page, your website should make them want to find out more – not click away.
2. Who are you?
How does your brand make visitors feel? Your web design strategy should ensure visitors feel what's aligned with your business personality. Achieve that cohesion by using complementary colours, typography, images and site layout.
3. Where's the "any" key?
If a visitor can't find what they're looking for, they will look elsewhere. The evolution of web design has implemented standards of usability that people have become accustomed to – such as the location of the navigation menu. While you don't have to be rigid in your approach (in fact, a creative approach is often the best one), your website should be easy to use and explore.
4. No two websites are created equal
You're not in business to be like someone else, so your website should reflect your unique approach. A poorly designed or "identikit" website could actually do more harm than good. Consumers have always been visually engaged and in a digital era of instant web-access your design strategy is an ongoing investment in your business.
5. Integrate and assimilate
Your website may look good but if you haven't integrated social media into your design strategy, you may lose potential future admirers. Your design should be consistent across all social media platforms and instantly recognizable as YOU. Incorporating cross-playform functionality into your design is an essential part of your strategy. Using a Facebook "like", "recent tweets" or "recently pinned" button on your website makes it easy for visitors to interact with you. A unifying design approach across multiple playforms reinforces your brand message.
Jules Robson runs Pixo Media, a digital media agency dedicated to making the web a nicer place. She combines her geeky and artistic nature with a sassy business approach and is often doing all three at the same time. Her focus is on solopreneurs and small businesses, helping them establish their brand identity with authenticity by providing a comprehensive design, development and consultation service.