06/23 | Impact
The importance of maintaining a strong online presence
If you don’t evolve your brand, innovate your product or service offerings and fail to keep up with changing consumer needs and expectations, don’t expect to be around in five years’ time.
Even bricks and mortar brands require a strong online presence to support their brand and commerce. But without continual maintenance, brand refreshes and keeping things up-to-date, success can quickly become a catastrophic failure.
You’ve probably noticed that we recently refreshed and updated our own website.
In this fast-evolving landscape, it’s more important than ever that we keep up with consumer trends and demands. Digital technologies help inform and enable purchases like never before. Within seconds, consumers can check prices and get a strong sense of quality and trust in your brand based on your creative strategy, tone of voice, recommendations and reviews.
And just like in the physical world, first impressions matter. Digital technology is constantly allowing us to do more for our client’s online presence. So it made sense to freshen up our own site too.
We believe in practising what we preach, so as we develop more value for our clients through their online investment, we need to walk the walk and talk the talk for ourselves!
Design and user experience
Swiping and scrolling are synonymous with social media. But it’s also a reflection of how little time you have to capture attention online, whether you’re selling B2B or B2C.
The fastest way to lose a customer is to create a negative impression with an outdated website and poor user experience.
And if your competitors have a well-designed website with great UX that represents credibility, professionalism and trust, you’re facing an almost impossible task just to get people to come back at all.
Once you’re done with this blog, open up your own website alongside some of your main competitors. Whose page is grabbing attention and keeping customers online? Are there any sites that seem old-fashioned or difficult to navigate in comparison? If you feel yours is getting overshadowed, it could be time for an online brand refresh.
Like it or not, website design is now even more important in shaping the way potential customers perceive your business and brand.
Content and user journey
Great design is about more than just how good something looks.
As Steve Jobs once said: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
A good website also makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for as smoothly as possible.
From the home page, visitors should be able to get straight to key information about your product and service. They should also be able to easily navigate to information about your company and people, as well as know how to contact you.
Content needs to be relevant, easy to read and understand and targeted at the right audience. You should also consider an informative blog that serves to answer your prospect’s biggest questions and challenges, guiding them through a suitable user journey that’s aligned to their needs. Customer or peer reviews and recommendations are also critical, irrespective of the industry you work in.
It’s not just the human visitors you need to design for. Web crawlers that index your site and drive your search result positions also need to be carefully considered. Make sure to include headings and subheadings, using keywords that people would use to look for your content. Use a responsive design so that your website looks great and is easy to use on mobile screens where the users’ fingers navigate their journey, as well as on desktops.
Building your online brand
Of course, a strong online brand doesn’t begin and end with your website. It is also built on social media, e-commerce, email marketing and more. By continuously reviewing, analysing and adapting your online strategy, you should mitigate the risk of your brand being seen as old-fashioned and inadvertently contributing to reduced competitiveness, customer confusion and dissatisfaction.
Any great business understands the importance of digital branding. The digital world also brings with it more transparency, so it’s easier now than ever before to be able to thoroughly analyse your competitors from searching online and sampling apps to subscribing to emails or newsletters.
A detailed, and regularly updated, competitor analysis combined with frequent reviews of your identity, values and key messages will help ensure your brand remains relevant to your customers and target audience. Your strategy then influences the development of the right digital mix to support your brand positioning and help ensure that in today’s increasingly competitive digital world, you can thrive not just survive.
If you think it might be time to refresh your online presence, we’re pumped and ready to go. Just drop us a line and let’s talk strategy.