The Etiquette of Marketing—Part 2: Website Design & Appropriate Attire

part2This is Part 2 of a three-part blog series about the benefits of marketing. Read Part 1 here

As you start each day, you don your chosen attire, and with it, make a statement to the world about yourself—your personal brand. Your website does the same for your company and brand. Whether your look is professional, casual or merely the first thing you could put together, we invite you to explore the relationship between dressing appropriately and website design best practices.

 

 

Function

You wouldn’t wear a suit to exercise in or a ball gown to a yoga class. Just like the right clothing should enhance your movement and daily activities, it’s important to design a website that will enhance the user experience. Make sure visitors to your site can navigate freely, and intuitively, to access the information they need. Concise and user-friendly navigation, content and call-to-action elements are akin to wearing properly fitting attire that doesn’t bunch or gather in the wrong places. Plan your website like you would plan your outfit. No one likes waiting around for someone to get dressed, just as no one likes waiting for a site to load. Ensure your site has fast loading elements so your visitor doesn’t lose interest and head to another party without you.

Style

cloud of words or tags related to web design on a  vintage slate blackboard with a chalk and  cup of coffee

Image courtesy of flickr.com

The design of your website should reflect the brand aesthetic of your company. If you are selling a professional product, your site should be dressed professionally. Showing up to an interview in jeans and a t-shirt will convey the wrong message to your audience and you won’t be taken seriously. You want your website visitors to perceive your company as the brand is intended. It’s always best to dress for success, which is easily done by maintaining a classic style. But it’s equally important to pay attention to and incorporate trends. Using a dated website design platform will cause users to view your company as dated. Using Flash in your site design, in an age where audiences using Apple devices can’t view Flash, is the equivalent of wearing a leisure suit—it dates your company and can be hard to look at.

Dressing for the Occasion

The content on your website is just as important as the style. Your mom can attest to the benefits of bringing a jacket and layering. Not everything needs to be on your home page. Direct visitors to information and content that doesn’t need to be front-and-center or exposed to the elements.

Your outfit should match. Colors, fonts, headers and points of emphasis should be consistent throughout your site.

And just as you an outfit is only as good as the details (straighten that tie), it is of utmost importance to pay attention to the nuances in language and searchability. In addition to company and product information, mind your keywords and SEO terms. Ensuring these details are accounted for, your site will be sure to draw positive attention from different search engines.

Accessorize

After selecting a style for your site, treat color choices, graphics and copy as you would accessories. These touches can help add personality and character to your brand but should be used as accents that enhance your site, not overwhelm it.

Heading Out the Door

Take one last look in the mirror, and roll that lint brush over your clothes right before heading out the door. Proofreading your site and checking to ensure that all hyperlinks are working properly is a key finishing touch. This simple but often overlooked step ensures that how others see you matches how you see yourself.

You Look Great

While many of us won’t be analyzed by the likes of E!, we get compliments when put together nicely. Use analytics as a way to gauge compliments for your website. If a page isn’t getting many views, consider it an outfit that needs to be updated or replaced completely. Make sure those pages that are frequently trafficked are also regularly enhanced to stay on trend.

Hire a Stylist

Those who make the best-dressed lists are there for a reason—they know the importance of getting assistance in making sure their personal brand looks good when they step out the door. Before your company undertakes its website design or revision, get the help of a good website designer. We make sure your company looks good—day after day—to everyone it meets.

Written by

Amanda brings over ten years’ experience in building sustainable and renewable energy brands. Amanda has a M.B.A. from Portland State University, a B.A. from University of Oregon and honed her green business skills with a post-graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Amanda is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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