Written by Zoe Poxon
We all know websites are a good marketing tool because they’re the face of your brand, the first impression your customer will have, and accessible 24/7.
But how do we go from good to great? We learn from the best, of course.
Earlier this year, Bowen Craggs & Co., an online research and consultancy company, published a website analysis of the world’s largest companies, ranking them on their effectiveness. Based on a list of the 200 biggest companies (based on market capitalisation) they ranked their websites on categories such as construction, message, and more.
No two websites were the same – they were all awarded on their own merits. But there were some interesting common themes amongst the winners we can learn from, such as: responsive design becoming the default (ensuring a site renders well on all screen sizes), visuals that work wonders, and navigation that isn’t over-complicated or confusing.
Bowen Craggs & Co. also make the point that the winning sites are those that continually polished their online presences. Learning from what works and what doesn’t can help you optimise your website for best performance through some ongoing TLC. For example, the report recognises BP for its ‘impressive’ consistency and ‘strong’ look and feel, and praises GSK for its ‘well-executed worldwide sites menu’ and ‘intuitive’ links to different country and contact pages.
Although ‘tweaking’ and ‘polishing’ seem like vague terms they can include anything from making on-page headlines work harder and cutting down unnecessary content on pages, to integrating with your social media channels and wowing people with engaging visual content. It all depends on your brand and the story you want to tell, but don’t forget that even the small changes make a huge difference.
You don’t have to take a shot in the dark with website changes. To help you make an informed decision, why not try A/B testing different landing pages against each other to see what works best? This will tell you whether or not your ideas will optimise user experience.
So, if you think your website could perform better, don’t ignore the warning signs. Have you noticed key messaging that’s missing from your homepage? Does your site structure seem complicated? Or maybe you could benefit from adding a news or blog page? These are just some of the signs to consider.
Having a website for the sake of having one is never a good approach. In this digital age, it will most likely be the first point of contact that your brand has with the world, so you’ll want to get it right. The digital landscape is constantly evolving and every website will need to be updated eventually, so learn from the best and don’t get left behind.