You want your website to look good, but you also want it to promote your business. Companies sometimes struggle to find the right balance between aligning their website with their brand identity and driving more leads through their website. That’s because a high-performing website isn’t about relentlessly pushing visitors to ‘buy now’. It’s about improving the elements that keep your visitors coming back for more.
The more you improve the way your customers interact with your website, aka customer experience, the more likely they are to come to you in the first place. No matter what industry you’re in, you can learn how to create such a high-performance website that serves your brand, business strategy and sales goals.
Here are our six proven principles to help you shape your website design strategy.
1. Flawless structure
Imagine this – when you engage in online shopping or browse a website, and the information you’re seeking is not readily available, isn’t it frustrating? A well-organized layout ensures that visitors can easily locate what they are searching for, whether it’s a product, a list of references, or a checkout option. The page is designed with well-defined sections and provides a smooth, seamless experience for customers. It’s important that each critical user objective can be accessed within three clicks; beyond that, there is a risk of losing their attention. Remember that visitors have a limited attention span, and first impressions are crucial, so presenting a clear and concise interface from the outset is essential.
Our team collaborated with Nuage, a high-end hotel located in Paris, to develop a website concept. To improve the booking process for their customers, we implemented various measures such as including a “Book Now” call-to-action (CTA) at the top right-hand side of every page as part of the header.
Additionally, on other pages, we added a pop-in feature that allowed customers to book a room through a third-party booking platform. These improvements have significantly reduced the time it takes for customers to make a reservation and eliminated the need for aimless scrolling.
One approach to improving the customer’s journey is by opting for flows, which guide users step-by-step through the conversion process, whether within a single page or across multiple pages. Within a product page, suggested or complementary items can be presented through cross-selling and up-selling techniques. Sézane‘s product pages exemplify this strategy beautifully, seamlessly integrating their signature “oversized” imagery and Parisian-inspired typography, while also suggesting additional products that may interest their customers. This clearly shows that driving conversions doesn’t necessitate sacrificing a brand’s identity. Yes – your website can really correspond to your “vision” all while converting. The key is balance.
2. Strategic copywriting
Copywriting has the power to create a lasting impact on visitors. It enables you to distinguish yourself from your competitors and leave a memorable impression on your audience. Through compelling copywriting, you can forge a deeper, emotional connection with your customers and showcase your brand’s identity through the written word.
Strong copywriting also helps you give your brand an attitude. You can talk about your values and/or your processes to move from a product-centric mindset to a more brand-centric mindset. It’s a very common struggle for start-ups. They have a tendency to focus on their product’s features as a selling point, forgetting that their brand identity is also a selling point. In fact, people are more likely to engage with companies that make them feel something – they want to aspire, feel emotions and connect with the brand’s storytelling. This applies to both B2B and B2C sales. Read our Brand Storytelling Handbook to learn more about how to build your brand through storytelling.
Here are the different types of key content that you should consider developing for your website:
- About us:
About us pages allow you to share your company values from beyond the screen, introduce key team members and build the brand’s credibility. This is a perfect opportunity to tap into storytelling and create something truly unique that will make your brand the first thing that comes to mind. We did this for FlexOffice, one of the fastest growing providers of office space in Switzerland, when we designed their website. We showcased core team members to share their expertise and reassure potential clients. We also featured site managers who deal with the day-to-day running of the various FlexOffice sites, putting names to faces.
- Content pages:
This is particularly useful when you want to communicate additional messages without overwhelming visitors with a lengthy and off-putting ‘about us’ page. We worked with Swiss Arbitration, a lawyers’ association with many key messages to share. What was previously a text-heavy website was organised thanks to a whole new look and cleverly-chosen content pages to get their messages across in a more digestible way. For example, we created a Resources page where we compiled all the learning materials needed in one place, making the website easier to navigate and helping visitors to find the content they need.
Blogging remains a powerful tool for brands and is constantly evolving. Blog content can serve multiple purposes, including keeping visitors informed of the latest news, conducting interviews with staff or influencers, and demonstrating that your brand is active and engaged. Additionally, blogging can be an effective way to optimise your website’s SEO. If you believe that blogging could benefit your brand, don’t hesitate to pursue it. However, if you go for this, you need to keep it active, nothing screams “this website is dead” more than an inactive blog.
3. High-quality brand elements
A visually appealing website with a modern aesthetic is more likely to engage visitors and encourage them to return. Furthermore, your website’s visual identity is the first thing that visitors will notice, making it critical to create a positive first impression. At Creative Supply, we have partnered with clients such as FlexOffice and Vagabond Club to develop their Brand Strategy (backlink) and create their Brand Design, ensuring that it aligns with their target audience and effectively captures their attention.
When working with Vagabond Club, a boutique hotel brand with stylishly chic townhouses, we carefully selected visual elements that would effectively convey their desired aesthetic. Our goal was to create an elegant and nostalgic look and feel that would resonate with their cosmopolitan clientele. By blending modern and nostalgic elements, we were able to establish a visually compelling identity that would pique visitors’ interest. To achieve this, we utilised a sophisticated colour palette consisting of olive green, sand, black, and warm copper.
While colour palettes and typography are certainly important components of visual identity, it’s also crucial to consider elements such as photography and videography. Consistency across all forms of media is essential to maintaining a cohesive brand image, not only online but also in print.
Investing in high-quality visuals can greatly enhance the customer experience. For example, we collaborated with Institut International de Lancy to produce videos featuring their staff and students, which helped build a connection between the school and the parents. It also served as a testimonial as well as modernised their identity.
4. CTA (call-to-action)
CTAs play a vital role in directing visitors to take specific actions on your website. They are essentially prompts to initiate an action, whether it’s to make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or download a resource. CTAs can be placed in various locations, such as banners, at the bottom of a page, or within a blog post. It’s essential to make them visually appealing, attention-grabbing and relevant, and to provide alternative options so that visitors can choose the CTA that suits them best.
Internal links are hyperlinks within your website that allow your visitors to navigate to other relevant pages. They play a crucial role in guiding visitors and improving the overall user experience of your website. Search engines use internal links to identify the most significant pages on your website, which can boost your website’s ranking. It’s an easy way to improve your SEO strategy, and can be done within blog content, content pages, product descriptions and more. NV Gallery, a furniture brand, provides a great example of how to effectively use internal links in product descriptions. By using internal links, NV Gallery not only guides customers to other relevant category pages, but also improves their SEO rankings.
Opinions about a brand can change over time, and the impact can be seen more quickly than ever before. In today’s super-connected environment, building trust is essential for a brand. Customers are cautious about spending their money and time on just any product or service in a sea of options. They want their expectations of your brand to be met, or in other words, they want to see that your brand delivers what it promises.
A company’s online reputation can play an important role in determining trustworthiness. There are different ways of building on your e-reputation, without even having to use specific platforms. Here are our top picks:
- Logo list:
Providing information about your company’s previous clients can build trust with potential clients, especially if you offer services or a platform. This also helps to indicate the type of clients you want to work with and allows your potential customer to identify themselves as relevant or not to you, based on the profiles of clients listed. On the homepage of Zendesk, for example, they highlight their top six clients, including Mailchimp, Siemens, and Uber, which not only signals their capabilities, but also presents them as a trusted partner of those listed clients in the mind of a potential client.
Customer reviews can be one of the most effective ways to build trust and reassure visitors before they make a purchase or investment, regardless of whether it’s a B2B or B2C business, or a product or service company. Reviews must be authentic and based on a customer’s genuine experience, whether it’s positive or negative. Glossier, for example, displays its top three reviews just below the product description and CTA, making them easily accessible to visitors. This approach potentially helps visitors feel more confident in the brand and more valued as a customer. It also answers any questions a customer or potential customer may have, and gets them a step closer to you. It also reduces a potential customer service engagement, hence cost.
Companies that offer services often use testimonials to gain the trust of potential clients. Testimonials can reflect your company’s teamwork and members and speak volumes about the way your team works. By asking your clients to give a testimonial about a specific thing (such as using your service, or working with your team), you keep control of how you want to be presented, while helping the person to streamline their ideas to give feedback to you. As a result, testimonials can still reassure potential clients. AB Tasty, an A/B testing platform, displays testimonials from various clients such as French companies SNCF and Décathlon on its homepage. To create genuine credibility, AB Tasty also includes the faces and job titles of the individuals who provided the testimonials, making the company even more trustworthy.
- Press articles:
When the press speaks positively about your brand, you should take the opportunity to feature them on your website to build credibility. This is especially important for small-medium size companies and start-ups. Mailchimp, for example, shares their company news and press clippings to enhance their reputation and inform their audience about the latest product launches and new features.
Salesforce, a CRM management solution, maintains a dedicated page on its website to showcase its awards and recognitions. This page is regularly updated and helps the company to emphasise its reputation in the digital world.
- Store locators:
If you have a flagship store, a selection of retailers, a pop-up shop or multiple stores in different locations, you should show this on your website. Not only does this help customers know where to find your brand, but it also helps you use your physical presence to build credibility.
6. Logical and visual consistency
Maintaining logic and visual consistency is necessary for your online presence as well as any other forms of media you may use. It means that you should keep all your brand’s communications, visuals and touchpoints in line with your brand strategy and visual identity. So that your audience can quickly recognise your brand.
We put this into practice with our client, Dadou, a hotel situated close to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. We chose a vibrant visual identity that was not limited to online platforms but also applied to onsite merchandising and products such as tote bags, door numbers, candles, and business cards. This approach helped maintain consistency and coherence across all aspects of the brand.
The lively and vibrant approach was also extended to their social media channels. The hotel’s images are fun and colourful, reflecting our vision for Dadou, and highlighting the hotel’s relaxed yet lively atmosphere, which has brought a new energy to a quiet Parisian neighbourhood.
Brand consistency is also valuable for getting your team on the same page, which is an important cornerstone for start-ups in particular. From the brand story to the values to the tone of voice, your team should understand, receive and spread the same key messages.
Taking your website to the next level
If you are looking to create or redesign a website that better reflects your brand identity, engages your visitors, generates more leads and helps you achieve your business goals, Creative Supply can help.
Creative Supply is a full-service creative consultancy designing brands, experiences and campaigns with a strategic mind and a human touch. We design websites from the ground up, including customer experience strategy, UX/UI design, visual interface design, style guides and content creation such as copywriting, photography and video.
Book your introductory call to take the first step towards delivering a great customer experience for your website visitors.