The importance of a well-planned website for a corporate brand

A well thought out website can really create a lasting impression!

How many of us have really bothered to browse through the pages of a website, as a stakeholder, a current or potential customer, or a researcher. Most of us scan the pages and never look at details, as the design is not user friendly, or there’s an information overload which you don’t have the time to spend on. If you’re the one designing or in charge of your brand website, here are a few things to consider:

Setting expectations

Define your audience and what success means. You need to know what it is and who you are designing for. Be clear about the user expectations and goals. Is it to get as many ad impressions as possible or to provide the best reading experience? How are those goals going to be measured? Good designs are not necessarily the flashiest ones, but those that improve performance over time. Talk to your stakeholders before starting your design. Most importantly the CEO as he will have his own views. Pay attention to their concerns and goals beyond the written SOW (statement of work) to get the best design output which is functionally easy to navigate and stands out as a good design.

Get the content right

Invariably when you start working on a website, you’re never ready with the content. This at times disturbs the flow of the design. So, it is important to source and collect all your content at once place and edit it according to the pages available.

While the design or User Interface will give a nice look’n’feel with the relevant images, the content has to be relevant and up to date for users. The content has to be factually right to disseminate the correct information relevant to the audience. Keep in mind that the website is like your corporate brochure with more details. The vision and the goals of the company or the brand should be sharp, focused and clearly communicated to your audience. This helps in enhancing the perception of the organisation and set the right tone for customers and prospective employees. Especially potential employees who go deep and browse the site as they look at a long-term career.

Keep design simple and easy to navigate

The design begins right from the corporate brand colours of the company. You must pay attention to the brand guidelines and mandatories outlined in the brand manual, to maintain consistency. Use your images and visuals carefully, ensure that high-resolution images are used to get the right reproduction. At the same time the size of the images should not be too heavy as this might hamper the website opening and pages loading. You should also upload interesting, short and crisp videos which will get you more views. Visitors today have very limited time, so your key messages need to be captured in one go. Finally, look around for innovative technology that can make your website even more appealing and engaging to your audiences. Your design should also take care of the mobile version so that it is easily compatible on the mobile. A large population has already moved to mobile so the presentation of the design over the mobile should be light, pleasing and user friendly.

Clear links to key pages and a site map is a great navigation aid and is crucial for visitors to get to the information they are looking for. Ensure that the navigation is clearly laid out. Use drop downs in the navigation menu if necessary, so that the visitor can see the content under every heading from virtually any page.

SEO friendly

The website has to be SEO friendly. One has to be familiar with the role of SEO so that it is more accessible by search engines. It is important that you code your website correctly, with relevant links and keywords for people to search and find your website.

Since your website creates the first impression for a customer, the end objective is giving them what they are eagerly looking for and also a reason to return. Original and fresh content will greatly help you in your SEO optimisation. Never allow your content to become stale. Keep refreshing it with new and interesting communication. This will help in taking your search to higher rankings.

Finally, you need to have a secured environment so that your information is not hijacked or hacked. So, go for a reliable website hosting service provider, who will ensure your website is safe and secure. Whether you’re awake or asleep.

Ganapathy Viswanathan
An independent consultant in Branding and Communication, Ganapathy Viswanathan comes with over three decades of experience in Brand Communication, Public Relations & Digital Marketing. He has worked in diverse disciplines with several multinational advertising agencies like Ogilvy, Lowe and Mudra Group.

On the Public Relations front, he was the General Manager, Western region of 20:20 MSL, where he spearheaded the western region operations. In his last role he was the Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing Communication at Eureka Mobile Advertising - a mobile engagement company in India head quartered in UK.

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