LeAnn Wilson McGuire Writing her Right Brain column

Right Brain

Your website is your digital front door. After advertising campaigns, your website is likely to be a prospect’s first impression of you company. For most companies, the website will be an integral part of every stage of the buyer’s journey – from awareness to purchase to service. That’s why it’s one of the most important marketing tools at your disposal. That’s also why it’s vital that your website stands out from the crowd. Here are four key ways you can make that happen.

  1. Consider User Experience

While copy is key in every website, the design and structure take priority. Why? Because if your site is difficult to navigate, slow or unattractive you’ll lose your audience before they even have a chance to read your headline. Your design should be pleasing to the eye and incorporate best practices for user experience. Get into the mindset of your users. Why are they there? What are they looking for? What would make your site most useful to them? Build your website for your users and each interaction will be a delightful experience.

  1. Include Striking Visuals

One of the best ways to make it stand out is to integrate impressive photography. A pricey photoshoot will pay off in spades if it makes your brand memorable. Or, if your product is less tangible, like a digital platform or app, you should get creative with graphics or illustrations. It’s worth the expense to create custom graphics that set you apart from the crowd.

  1. Build Tools for Users

There are thousands upon thousands of websites out there that do nothing to serve the user except provide information. Here’s our product. Here’s our team. Here’s our location. If you choose to provide not only information, but also useful tools for your users, your site will stand out from the crowd.

What exactly is a user tool? The possibilities are endless. If you are in a niche B2B market where buying online is not the norm, you could add e-commerce capabilities to your site to simplify the buying process. If you’re a hotel or conference center selling meeting space, you could add a tool that allows meeting planners to filter your space by capacity or event type and select the best floor plan.

  1. Create a Wow Factor

Every website should have a wow factor. This is an unexpected twist that makes your website one-of-a-kind. Your wow factor could overlap with your useful tool (you build your own innovative tool that exists only on your site) or with your striking visuals (your custom illustrations are so out-of-the-box that users will never forget them). But the wow factor could also be something completely new. Maybe it’s a design element that’s unprecedented in your industry or a quirky video series with each episode strewn throughout the site.

Whatever it is, it should make your users feel something. They should ooh and ah at your interactive virtual tour or laugh at your outrageous copy or cry at your heartbreaking video. Your wow factor should connect with your audience on an emotional level and set your website above the rest.

Take Your Website from Good to Great

There are so many factors that go into creating a website: user experience, design, copy, SEO, content, and more. You should consider all these factors and follow industry standards to create a good website. But to make a great site, it takes a little more. When you update or recreate your website, consider investing in top-notch photography or graphics and in tools that will engage your users and keep them coming back. And, most importantly, include a wow factor – an unexpected and memorable feature – that will make your website unlike any other.