Can you remember a time when you were drawn into a shop by a clever window display? Or perhaps put off from entering somewhere new by a confusing store front? This power of first impressions applies to the online world as much as it does to the high street, and it doesn’t just concern ecommerce stores. Service businesses should be equally aware of the impression that their website gives to potential clients, in particular your home page which is where the majority of visitors will likely enter your site.
You wouldn’t expect customers to visit a dated shop, and you wouldn’t invite clients into an unkempt office. So if you present your potential customers with a tired, difficult to navigate website, don’t be surprised if they don’t stick around.
Anyone who is undecided about your business can be drawn in or put off by your website, gleaning all that they feel they should know from a simple glance. So does your website communicate your brand values, current offers, or popular services? If you are unsure, let’s dive into how to create the ‘shop window’ experience for your website.
Firstly, before you get carried away with any big changes, make sure your website appeals to your target market. Just as the window display of a baby clothing store is made to make new parents go ‘aww!’ so your website should draw in your target audience. Think of it as your business values meeting the values of the customers you want to attract.
For ecommerce stores, ensure that your home page reflects the current events and seasons, whether it’s a Valentine’s Day banner, or a badge supporting an awareness month. Just as you would change a physical shop window display to keep up with the seasons, make sure your website stays relevant.
While you may not have a Valentine’s Day special for your service based businesses, keep up with the changing times, and make sure the first image your visitors see isn’t a dated award nomination!
That doesn’t mean that you have to wait for a special occasion like Christmas to change things on your website. Instead you should make sure to refresh your offers, banners, products and news articles regularly.
As well as enticing new customers to explore further, repeat customers will learn that visiting your website frequently will be of value. If the home page looks the same every time they stop by, there is little chance of them becoming regular visitors.
Updating your imagery and text regularly will not only encourage visitors to come back again, it will also assist your SEO efforts as search engines prioritise fresh content.
Finally, don’t look like everyone else. Imagine your website as a store front on a packed high street – how will you make it stand out from the shops around you?
It may seem like a lot of effort, but the more work you put into your website ‘shop window’ on a regular basis, the greater rewards you will reap.
Are you feeling inspired and thinking of injecting some fresh thinking into your website? Get in touch with our team and find out how we can help. Email email@example.com or call us on 01600 891525.
While our team are all pretty used to working remotely, we know that some of you will be making the most of your lockdown days at home spring cleaning, cooking, reading or perhaps wrapping up warm in a blanket and binge-watching your favourite shows on Netflix. Another option could be wasting time on the internet.
It’s rare that any of us get the chance to just sit and surf at our leisure these days. So, we thought we’d share with you a few of our favourite websites. Each has been selected for a different reason and is wonderful in its own right.
Lush specialise in fresh handmade cosmetics. You may have seen – or rather smelt – one of their stores on the UK high street. Founded by Mark Constantine and Liz Weir in Poole, England, the company sells natural hair and beauty products which are all handmade in their factory in Poole, Dorset. Lush pride themselves on their brand values, which include being 100% vegetarian, not testing on animals, ethical sourcing of their ingredients and naked products (minimising packaging where possible) to name just a few. Here’s why we love their website.
It’s highly unlikely that you haven’t stumbled across a BuzzFeed article in some way, shape or form by now. BuzzFeed is an independent digital media company delivering news and entertainment to people around the world via its website, apps and social media channels. The organisation claim, “We strive to connect deeply with our audience, and give them news and entertainment worth sharing with their friends, family, and the people who matter in their lives.” And that’s just why we like them! The perfect website for killing time on your mid-morning coffee break or learning things that you probably don’t really need to know, BuzzFeed is packed full of news, videos, quizzes, recipes and much more. Here’s what they do well.
Not on The High Street
If you’ve ever been looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for that friend or family member who is just so tricky to buy for the chances are that you’ve visited ‘Not on The High Street’. Founded ten years ago, the brand aims to bring together “unique, stylish and never-before-seen products that are hard to find anywhere else”. They are home to more than 5000 of the UK’s best creative business and have a fantastically functional website to showcase them.
Magic Seaweed has a very specific following. With surf reports, surf forecasts, web cams and surfing photos for spots around the globe, it’s the go-to place on the internet for the surfing community. While it’s a niche website tailored to a very specific interest, here’s why we think it works so well.
The British Fashion Council
The British Fashion Council (BFC) is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to further the interests of the British fashion industry and its designer businesses by harnessing and sharing collective knowledge, experience and resources of the sector. It focuses on business, reputation, education, digital and investment so it’s website needs to strike the right balance between visual content and information, as it serves as a resource for industry professionals as well as representing what’s currently happening creatively.
Are you feeling inspired and thinking of setting up your own website? Perhaps you need to inject some fresh thinking into an existing one? Get in touch with our team and find out how we can help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01600 891525.
The prospect of a new website can seem both exciting and incredibly daunting at the same time. Every company will have different requirements and limitations according to the size of their organisation, resources available, budget, professional know-how and much more.
At LimeGreen, we understand that sometimes it’s useful to have a helping hand and a few pointers to help you make the first step in the right direction. That’s why we’ve put together these seven steps to take the worry out of your new website!
This might seem like a stupid question but it really is the first thing to consider. Is the new website a design-led decision in line with a company rebrand or are your requirements more practical? Often businesses can outgrow their original website but before dreaming up a new one, it’s important to ensure that this time it can grow with your business. This could save money in the future.
In order for any website to work, you’ll need a domain and hosting. Think of your website domain as the address for your website. This is what people will type into their web browser to reach it, e.g. www.limegreenmarketing.co.uk.
Hosting is where on the internet your website physically is or, the plot of land where it lives if you will! It’s important that you choose the right domain and hosting to suit your requirements. For more information, take a look at our article ‘What is Hosting?’.
An all singing, all dancing website sounds like it could be pretty impressive. If you have a concept that you want to use that reflects your brands ethos digitally then go for it! Online branding should always be consistent with offline branding. However, your design should never compromise your product or service or your ability to communicate clearly what it does.
Think about who uses your website and why? Are they looking for information? Are they looking to purchase a product or service? Is your website user-friendly? There is no point in having a website where people can’t find what they’re looking for.
Be sure to think long and hard about menus and site navigation. Equally a straightforward search feature and cataloguing or tag system for organising products could make life much easier for you and your customers. Remember, if someone can’t use your website, they’re more likely to go to a competitor.
So, you’ve got your new website up and running with a domain, hosting and functional, on-brand design. That’s it right? Wrong! It’s important to make sure that your website is Search Engine Optimised. Doing this makes it easier for popular search engines to read your site and determine its content and where it should appear in individual search results. There are lots of handy plugins that you or your web developer can use to help with the process. We work with WordPress sites a lot and recommend Yoast (read more here).
In addition to SEO optimisation tools, updating your websites content regularly can help improve its rankings with popular search engines. Including a blog and regularly posting new articles is one way to do this. Including social media streams from Twitter and Facebook on your website can also help.
Equally it’s important not to neglect your analytics. These will tell you who is viewing your website, how long they are spending on your website and where this traffic is coming from. Valuable information that shouldn’t be wasted!
There’s a lot more to your website than meets the eye. You’ll need a functional program taking care of the backend – a Content Management System – CMS. This is what organises your content and makes sure everything is where it should be. Your website visitor can’t see it but, trust us, they’d soon know about it if it wasn’t doing its job!
Call to Actions – CTAs – also play an integral part in your website. These are prompts on pages strategically placed to encourage the website visitor to complete an action, e.g. call us, book online, get in touch, buy now. These are designed to entice the website user to behave in a way that will benefit your business. Don’t forget to consider them in your design.
It’s a great feeling once you’ve got your brand spanking new website up and running but what happens going forward? It’s likely that you’ll need to make changes to pages over time or update products, company information and events, and it’s important that you can do this quickly and easily so that your clients or customers have the most up to date and relevant information. While some larger organisations may have the luxury of a dedicated in-house web team to do this, smaller organisations may need to outsource this work. So, it’s worth factoring this into your budget.
If you’d like to speak to one of our team about your own website, you can get in touch by emailing email@example.com. Alternatively, pick up the phone and call us on 01600 891525 – we’d love to hear from you!