In many ways, designing a corporate website is like decorating a home. You expect, and, hopefully even invite visitors to come to each, and you want them to stay a while, get to know you better and continue to engage with you(r) company. Here’s how to apply lessons learned from the increasingly popular home design shows, to help you make your home(page) and the rest of your website welcoming, impactful, and a better reflection of your organization.
Coordinate your look and feel with who you are. Are you more Shabby Chic, Industrial or Mid-century Modern? Your website design is an extension of your brand – it immediately tells visitors what your value proposition is and defines your target audience. For example, if clients and prospects are ultra-high-net-worth investors, the look and feel of your website should be upscale, not retail, so visitors know they’re in the right place.
Make it easy for people to find you. When you invite someone to your house, you give them your address, so they know where to find you. It’s the same thing with your website – make sure your URL or a link to your home page is on your LinkedIn profile, stationery, email signature and other corporate literature. And work toward optimizing your site with SEO search terms that bring you to top of the list.
Create good flow. Everyone likes an open floorplan, where it’s easy to get from one room to the next. If your visitors wander into your ‘About Us’ location, create a clear passage to the next place they may want to visit (or you’d like them to go), such as ‘Contact Us.’
Avoid clutter. It’s hard to find what you need when your house is a mess.Make your website easy to navigate by presenting information in an organized fashion, with copy that’s succinct (and leaves out the unnecessary) and images that support your message. A little white space is a good thing.
Set up space for visitors to hang out. Guests to your home gather in the kitchen when you have a large island with seating. On your website, create a spot for visitors to congregate, such as on your thought leadership page. Reinforce your expertise by making it inviting, and keep it stocked with fresh treats your visitors will want to consume.
Be a good host and keep the conversation going. When you entertain company, the onus is on you to provide guests with the essentials. You don’t want your website visitors to remain stuck on your home page or cut their visits short. Center your content around their needs and draw them in with invitations to view your most recent video or latest blog post. Engaged visitors hang out longer and will look forward to coming back again soon.