How to differentiate your website when everyone has a website
The great thing about websites nowadays is that anyone can build one. The downside of websites nowadays is that anyone can build one.
The online world has become increasingly crowded with brands and content, to a point where marketers are fiercely competing for the attention of customers.
Customers, on the other hand, are having difficulties distinguishing one website experience from another. Everyone has a webshop, blog, or about us page and digital sameness has taken the center stage. When you go online and look at websites of travel, retailers, or food delivery, it’s not difficult to see the striking similarities.
Your website is one of the most important touchpoints of your online experience and is used to satisfy the needs of different target groups, from customers all the way to employees. You want a website that reflects your brand, distinguishes you from competitors, and as the cherry on top is easy to navigate and user-friendly. However, this is easier said than done.
One does not simply create a great website
Websites are the beating heart of the customer experience (CX) and your CX comes to life through a combination of brand, product, and content. Like a Siamese twin, one cannot exist without the other.
Any good website design begins with the brand personality. Because, if you don’t know who you are as a brand, what you stand for, and why you are in business, how can you communicate and connect with customers? Well, exactly, you can’t, at least not in a memorable and meaningful way.
Based on the needs and wants of your customers and your business objectives, you develop the scope and structure upon which the website is built. Design and technology take the concept to the next level and creativity differentiates the site from others. The content - through text, video, photography, and illustrations - makes the site more personal and helps with increasing conversions.
Don’t fall prey to these 5 common mistakes
The attention and trust of your customers must be earned, a good website helps you accomplish that. But there are some traps you need to watch out for along the way:
- Starting the design without a product strategy: building a website is a complex and challenging process as it addresses the needs and wants of several target audiences and business objectives. You must consider these carefully and translate them into a good concept with a balanced product strategy.
- The product design and brand do not match: you need to have a clear understanding of your brand identity before the design process. Otherwise, eventually, it will be prone to obsolescence, and customers will lose trust in the site and your company.
- There’s no technology roadmap: there are several ways to build a website, all with pros and cons. It is important to invest some time and resources into these considerations, so you are able to make the right strategic decisions before building your site.
- No one has created a solid business case and as a result, the impact and return on investment of the site can be unclear. For example, internal departments are not aligned on the needed time, resources, and manpower for proper implementation.
- Not working with a specialized partner: nowadays anyone can build a basic website with for example Wordpress, but building a user-friendly site that sets you apart from competitors is another story. The right partner can give you strategic advice, differentiate your website with the desired user experience (UX) and design, and make sure you are implementing the right technology. They will also set you up for success after the website launch because the maintenance and support needed to run a site is often underestimated.
Making sure that your website stands out in a “hey! take a look at me” world, goes much deeper than a sleek design and pretty visuals. Any great website always starts with what matters to customers and of course the business. It’s the heart of your CX and if it’s any good, it will find a way to the heart of your customers too.