A Better Corporate Website?

Your corporate website exists for one reason: to engage people who count in an essential conversation about why your company matters.

It’s a place where they can get the whole story, something social media just doesn’t do. And in business to business marketing and communications, your whole story is crucial.

But websites age. They get stale and once they start feeling out of date, they stop doing what they were designed (or at least meant) to do. Audiences change and their needs shift.

It’s all about the user experience. Are you audience-centric? Or just talking to yourself?

It’s not hard to recognize the signs that your website isn’t working as planned, user frustration and internal pressures are mounting. You need a refresh! The question is, what to do about it?

Go responsive.

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You want your website to look and act great on any device—laptop, phone or tablet. Optimized for whatever size and shape of screen, automatically. That’s “responsive design.” Because more of the people you want on your site are trying to get there by smart phone or tablet—even for B2B and stakeholder communications. Businesspeople are living mobile. Your site should, too.

Today, over 17% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. And it’s growing fast. If your site isn’t responsive yet, you not only are looking bad to a sizeable percentage of the people seeking you out, you’re actively encouraging them to go away and find a better experience elsewhere.

Better ways to better content.

The better content you have on your site, the better you’ll do at getting your key messaging heard and believed. You need to be strategic about how you structure, focus and facilitate the user’s experience. It can improve everything from your Search Engine result placement to customer acquisition and retention. Once on your site, people should find what they’re looking for effortlessly. And, you want social media to be in the thick of that.

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Search: You need good on-site search. You can implement Google search for your site free, and unbranded for a nominal fee. One example of going farther, the UTC site search acts like a sophisticated browser, anticipating where the user wants to go, listing suggestions as the user types.
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Navigation: Make the content findable! Expose your navigation through drop downs and footers. Give users multiple pathways to encourage continued engagement. Minimize the number of clicks the user has to make to get to their desired content. Deeper pages follow the level of interest, more detail just when it’s wanted.

More visual, less text, and stronger, focused messaging.

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Your website needs to resonate with today’s users. They are vetting you—for buying decisions, investing decisions and employment decisions.

It’s not true that people don’t read anymore, but it is true that they like to read less and less to get to the gist of what you have to say. People skim and look for images and graphics. So while content is king, the length and density of any content block or experience has to be kept to a minimum. Ideally, a punchy, memorable, enlightening minimum.

So, what can I do?

To sum up, here’s the 1-2-3:

  1. Make the site responsive/mobile friendly.
  2. Make it easy to get to your content through optimized search and navigation.
  3. Be short, sweet and visual with your content.

And remember, the way you communicate is not limited by whatever technical platform you choose (or your IT department thrusts upon you). There are ways to make any platform or Content Management System dance to your tune—with the right design, content and technical expertise on your side.

UTC.com

The site featured throughout is UTC.com. The site was designed and developed by Ideas On Purpose in conjunction with AW Systems, our technology partner. Content was developed by AMS with UTC. It was also awarded the Best Design Website at the 2014 WebAwards.

Is your corporate website effective?

See our assessment framework.