Pursuing the design of a new corporate website is a big investment for any firm. We’re not just talking about cash. It takes a considerable amount of time from you and your team.
All of this is invested in the hope of making a return on your website that will positively impact your sales and marketing.
We’re talking about the time it takes you and your team and the impact you expect to have on your sales and marketing.
Since corporate web design is such a big deal, why do so many businesses rush through the process?
In the years that we’ve been around, we’ve seen many talented teams create websites that fail to hit the mark.
What gives? Why do they have a hard time getting it right?
The devil is in the details and big conceptual mistakes can happen from the very beginning of the process. Things that may seem well thought out at the time are really what cause failure later in the project.
Here we outline the top 7 mistakes businesses make in their corporate web design strategy.
1. Being All Things to All People
The boring old saying goes, “You can please some of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
It starts in every strategic meeting about the redesign of your website. “We need to focus on our target market and how they’ll be using our website.” But over time, this primary focus fades away.
It becomes replaced by this desire to ensure that website targets every person and can meet their all of their needs. can do a lot of things for a lot of people.
Eventually you end up with a scrambled user experience as you pull your helpless visitor in many directions with too many options and too many calls to action.
How to Avoid Making This Mistake – Your website has permission to do more than one thing, just make sure you execute well on the most important thing. When you have your corporate web design strategy session, begin the discussion by highlighting the single thing it must do effectively.
2. Focus Only On Looks
Your new corporate website is gorgeous! Stunning images and crisp, visually exciting video.
Slick layout and design, attractive fonts, beautiful graphical embellishments.
The problem? It’s terrible to use.
Once you get past the shockingly attractive appearance, you’re now stunned by the shockingly bad user interface and poor page load speed.
The promise of a beautiful web experience becomes a nightmare as your visitor struggles to accomplish anything. Eventually they bounce.
How to Avoid Making This Mistake – During your initial strategy, and focus on the visual elements of your page that need to truly stand out. If you sell a physical product, then it’s product images. If you sell a service, then it needs to be an infographic or graphical embellishment to highlight a concept.
3. Focus Only On Technical
Your new corporate website is super fast! Pages load almost before people click them! Nothing ever breaks and you have more features than the competition.
The problem? It’s awful to look at.
Streamlined becomes stripped down. Easy to use becomes simplistic. It might run like it was built in the next century but it looks like it was designed in the last one.
Without an attractive interface and engaging visuals, you run the risk of losing your visitors to better looking competitor websites.
How to Avoid Making This Mistake – Similar to the “pretty website” problem, you need to capture the technical parts of your website that have to work. Avoid too many technical features.
4. Ignoring Your Audience
We talked about target market in the beginning but this is different. This is all about failing to talk to your audience and engaging them in the feedback process as you’re outlining your corporate web design strategy.
Too many businesses begin building out new websites based on what they think their audience wants.
Decisions are made based on half-remembered feedback, personal biases, and analytical data.
The result? A website your audience may still not want to use despite all of the time and money you’ve just invested in updating it.
How to Avoid Making This Mistake – Customer feedback is a great way to engage your audience and find out what they want and what they need the website to do. Focus groups or one on one surveys can capture trends, allowing you to better prioritize the features and design of your new website.
5. Missing the User Experience
The website looks great, it functions well, and it includes everything the users want. The problem? It’s not very well tied together.
Processes occur across multiple pages that aren’t logically connected. Information is located in unexpected places.
The website doesn’t highlight the things that your visitors want to do most. The menu bar has too many options.
The outcome is a choppy customer experience with major gaps in the customer’s experience and ultimately frustrated visitors.
How to Avoid Making This Mistake – This isn’t easy but it’s critical. You need to map out what you expect your visitors to be doing on the website and how they will go about doing it. Here you integrate data from focus groups and session recording software (to see how people are actually using the website). During your corporate web design strategy, document the individual steps and make sure your website makes the process simpler for your visitor.
6. Forgetting the Buyer Journey
Your marketing team has created a robust buyer’s journey, mapping the ways in which people ultimately begin their engagement with your brand.
Somehow this didn’t make it to the corporate web design strategy meeting when site requirements were outlined.
As a result your audience arrives at your website after going through a maze of content, with no clear path to the final purchasing decision step.
How to Avoid Making This Mistake – As soon as you make the decision to reinvest in your corporate website, you need to dust off your buyer journey outline and make sure it is part of the fundamental strategy for the new corporate web design and content.
7. Not Integrating Measurement
Your website is a brilliant balance of looks and features. You’ve mapped out the user experience and the buyer journey.
You have a crack team of content writers ready to keep your newly minted website loaded with fresh, relevant content.
The problem? Despite all of the hard work designing and building the new website, there’s no way to tell how well it’s working. Without data, you just can’t tell what’s making the phones ring and driving new business to your door.
The outcome? You won’t know what to change or to do more of. It’s not a good place to find yourself.
How to Avoid Making This Mistake – During your corporate web design strategy sessions, outline the data points you need to track to measure the effectiveness of your website marketing. By outlining this in advance, you’ll be in the right place to integrate measurement tools such as Google Analytics and marketing analytical tools.
You know investing in a new website for your company is no small matter. Take the time to make sure it’s done right the first time.
Insist that you and your team go through the process of building out the strategy in advance.
By being intentional about your approach to building out the website, you’ll be able to avoid the 7 mistakes we outlined above and create a competitive advantage for your business.