In today’s digital world, creating a website that stands out is a must for any brand. No matter what type of business or industry you are in, there is likely some steep competition on the internet. Making your website one that wows visitors and keeps them around is pivotal to your online success.
So how do you create a website that truly captures the attention of web browsers? Thinking outside the box and adding unique features are sure to get you noticed. However, it’s important to stay true to your brand and its image and personality. So, here’s some strategies to create a site that wows browsers while still being authentic to your brand.
Make it Fast and Functional
The first impression that users get from your site will likely be how quickly it loads on their device. In fact, 53% of customers will simply leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. Plus, the loading speed is a factor in Google’s search engine algorithms and a faster site can earn you a high spot in search results.
Make your loading speed a priority to be sure users will stick around long enough to see just how awesome your web page is. Test and troubleshoot your load times regularly. Then look for ways to make it as quick as possible. Everything from compressing your files to evaluating your server type can make a big difference in load time.
The other component of making a great first impression is ensuring that your site is fully functional on all devices. Mobile browsing makes up 54.8% of web traffic. Not having a mobile-friendly site could mean that you’ll miss the boat on all of those potential visitors. Make sure your site is easy to navigate on touch screens and loads quickly on mobile devices as well.
Create an Interactive Experience
One trend taking the online world by storm is gamification. This technique creates a more engaging and interactive experience that can draw web surfers in and keep them coming back. And the best part is that it can be incorporated into every website, no matter the type of brand.
Gamification creates a competitive vibe that appeals to many consumers. Creating special badges for those that leave the most frequent reviews or tiers based on purchase history gives customers something to strive for. With this technique, they are enticed to achieve higher levels by returning to your site again and again.
You can also use gamification as a fun way to provide discounts and share promotions. Who doesn’t love spinning a virtual wheel to reveal the percentage off they’ve earned? The most important part of gamification is ensuring it’s enjoyable to the user, adds value to your site, and that the features work well across all devices.
Customization is Key
Your users want a personalized experience when they visit your site. This is true whether you are selling goods or a service. Being able to feel that your site works to meet their unique needs will make it stand out from the crowd.
Online shopping is a great tool, but many shoppers miss the trying before buying aspect of in-person shopping. If you are selling things like clothing or accessories, add a tool to your site where visitors can upload a photo and “try on” your inventory. For home goods sites, features that allow shoppers to add images of their own spaces and see how your items look in them can be a big win.
“Build Your Own” type tools are another way to provide visitors with a customized experience. If you are selling food or drinks, allow users to craft their own meals or beverages virtually. Include nutritional info as an added bonus. If you see custom products, make sure customers can customize everything from color to size with the touch of a button. They will be more confident that the one-of-a-kind item they are buying will be exactly what they are envisioning.
A whopping 65 percent of people are visual learners. So while you want to communicate plenty of information via text on your website, visuals are what will likely get you noticed. Your graphics have the potential to make or break the whole feel and vibe that your web pages create.
Make sure you use relevant, high-quality graphics that align with your brand. Product images should be clear and taken from multiple angles. Moveable, 360-degree images are even better. It’s important that customers can really get a feel for what products look like in person from your photos.
The vast majority of websites and brands can use infographics to their advantage. Create one that shows the steps of using your product in new and unique ways. Use catchy images to create an infographic full of statistics regarding your service’s industry. Infographics are great tools to add value to your website in an appealing and easy to interpret way.
Create Valuable Content
One way to make your website wow users is to provide useful information to them with no obligation. This shows that you care about your visitors getting something out of your website. It will also keep them returning in the future to see the new and exciting content that you have to offer.
Blogs have stood the test of time in content marketing and for good reason. They are customizable, fairly easy to implement, and can work for nearly every website. Post to your blog regularly and create a clear tone and personality. Drive kitchen enthusiasts to your cooking site with weekly recipes. Or, blog about the latest fashion trends on your retail site. Making the blog relevant to your brand and useful to visitors will encourage them to return again and again.
Videos are a powerful tool to take advantage of for your website. Product demos are a great way to familiarize visitors with features and usage tips. A fun video can even be used to set the mood. Seasonal shorts, holiday ads, and mini-music videos are all awesome ways to appeal to all of the senses and make your site stand out.
Making a Memorable Website
Internet users are fickle and there are plenty of choices out there to distract them from your site. Make sure it’s memorable, innovative, and speaks in a unique way for your brand to keep them sticking around. And it’ll pay off in longer browsing times, return visits, and a growing and loyal customer base that’s around for the long run.
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By Gabe Nelson