What does your website say about you?

As the old adage goes, you only get one first impression.

  • 9th May

Back in the day, the average website was little more than text and links on a blank page. There was an egalitarian charm to this approach, but obviously since then the internet has changed drastically, and the gulf between the cutting-edge and the ‘left behind’ is widening ever further.

The average visitor will spend just 55 seconds looking at a page, and (if we’re being generous) 5 minutes on a site overall. You need to be able to communicate everything important about your business in this incredibly tight time window. If you can’t effectively communicate that to your visitors, your site just isn’t doing its job.

As a sector, IT and technology is busy, fast-paced and highly competitive. To keep up, your website needs to stick in its visitors’ minds. One of the key drivers of this is stellar content – a regular flow of interesting material will keep users engaged and returning. But content can only take you so far… The secrets of the universe could be written on a blank HTML page and nobody would even bother to check.

Shelling out for a fancy website design and then moving on is by no means our recommended fix. It’s prime real estate for your business! Snazzy bells and whistles aren’t a replacement for high-performing functionality, desirable aesthetics and on-the-nose content. You need to combine all three to result in a site that clearly and concisely demonstrates your business’ value.

Start with the content

Rewriting your content requires knowledge on two fronts:

  1. Knowing what you do as a business: the products and services you have on offer, for example. Sounds simple, right? But you’d be surprised how many businesses find this challenging to articulate.
  2. The second one is truly understanding what your customers and prospects want from you. Nothing demonstrates your strengths better than knowing what your target audience wants at the moment they enter your site.

This essential, core messaging is your value proposition, and its influence should resonate across everything; from your website content, to campaign-specific marketing, or even off-the-cuff social media posts. Having a strong, clear value proposition is at the heart of successful marketing.

We often find businesses struggling to even start defining that message. A value proposition workshop can help you to trim the fat and find your core identity, and position your business to better show what you do. So, we’re back where we started. Your website.

Making your website work for you: in action

One of our more recent website projects is a shining example of shaking up a client’s site to make sure it does what the business needs it to do.

We’d written the website content for our client, a UK-based security services provider, a couple of years ago, and it was time for a refresh. They had a perfectly functional website, that had been built elsewhere pretty recently. But here’s where it fell down:

  • Where their business had developed, it no longer effectively communicated what they could offer to their customers today.
  • Behind the scenes, the functionality wasn’t there to allow them to grow and expand their content to accommodate new offerings. It was built for the now, not for the future.

Our client wanted a site that would allow them to grow, and that took their customers on a user-friendly journey to better understanding their cybersecurity offering. Specifically, they wanted customers to follow a path that ended with them understanding which security operations centre (SOC) would be a best-fit for their business, gain usable evidence that their chosen SOC was a true business need, and trust that our client were the best people to deliver the solution.

No odd SOCs left lying around

We designed a new future-forward site that hosts two bespoke, user-friendly tools:

The first tool allows customers to input their specific security needs and be served an output listing all suitable SOCs for them. But knowing which SOC was needed is only half the problem. The client knew that a top headache for their customers was justifying the cost of a SOC to their colleagues, so wanted a tool that could ease that burden. As such, the second tool was created as a data-driven calculator that takes user-inputted data and calculates the potential financial damage that a cyberattack could cause to their business.

These tools created a solid core around which we could build the rest of the new site, guiding customers to what would be most important to them as quickly as possible and making sure they stuck around to learn more about the client’s offerings.

A brand refresh

Our client also wanted to stand out from the crowd. As anyone in IT knows, security solutions come with a very particular visual language: keys, padlocks, anonymous hackers in masks, you know the drill.

Rather than following this conventional (read: boring and predictable) approach, we developed consistent image theming, using defensive structures from the real world, both natural and manufactured. We also expanded their existing brand identity, making use of their established colour scheme while developing a secondary palette that added new dimensions to their brand.

Understanding where you are today

Hopefully this project gives you a taster for what goes into the makings of a good website, or at least the importance of getting its content right.

If you want another pair of eyes on your site, to know more about the projects we’ve handled, or need some help distilling your value proposition, get in touch.

Danny Bodger recently joined Asgard Marketing as Marketing Assistant. We're loving having them on board!

Danny Bodger, Marketing Assistant, Asgard Marketing

Get in touch and see how we can help your business be a success