Is Your 24/7 Ambassador Working For You?
Your organization does good work. Your website should too. Unfortunately, it probably doesn’t. Hear from Gard’s Director of Web and Digital about why most websites are falling down on the job.
A mediocre website depletes brand strength
You’re proud of your company or organization, right? It contributes to society. It makes a difference in people’s lives. But if your website is anything short of excellent, it won’t be connecting with your audiences.
You may believe that a website upgrade is not a wise allocation of company resources. You may suspect the difference between good and bad websites is mostly down to bells and whistles. So you keep with the website you have, even if it means referring to it in apologetic terms: “It’s not particularly exciting.” “It’s cluttered, but we don’t have the staff to fix that.” “It’ll do for now.”
So your inadequate site remains the public face of your organization. And your audiences, your customers, they visit this inadequate site and have mediocre or even negative experiences. It’s like if you had an ambassador out in the world, 24/7, constantly answering queries about your organization. An ambassador who described your company in a monotone and answered questions in confusing, roundabout ways. Imagine how an ambassador like this would erode confidence in your brand over time.
Your website is your primary storytelling tool
Websites are fundamentally a storytelling tool for organizations and companies. A tool and an opportunity. A company’s online presence is often the first point of contact for its audiences, and so websites play a critical role in shaping audience experience by meeting and even enlarging their expectations and inviting them to engage further.
As part of a meaningful brand and communications campaign, an excellent website ensures your audiences understand your services, your goals, your values – whatever is of highest importance to the health and longevity of your organization or company. It’s not enough for a website to follow the latest design or technical trends. Everything depends on strategy. Without sound strategic underpinnings, a website ends up being a confusing and off-putting place for your users, no matter how good it looks. If your website doesn’t immediately meet your audiences’ needs, if it doesn’t match their mental models or assuage their unconscious concerns, they’ll have a muddled experience. This reduces the likelihood they’ll perform the actions you want on your site, and they might not even return.
Unfortunately, many people think of web design only in technical terms, and they’ll seek out a digital firm without considering their strategic planning or storytelling skills. The end result may be a website with bells and whistles, but one that fails to communicate the story and doesn’t fully connect with audiences. And thus another mediocre website is born.
A well-planned, well-designed, powerful web presence will nourish your company in multiple ways.
As the director of Gard’s web and digital department, I get to experience the value of being part of a firm with a long track record of strategic storytelling. Using Gard’s philosophy of ‘strategy first,’ we approach each new digital project as a unique set of communication challenges requiring unique solutions. We listen deeply to our clients and get to know their audiences well. Whether we build a website, develop an interactive map or craft an SEO plan, each solution is tailored to match the needs of those audiences and better connect them with our clients.
A well-planned, well-designed, powerful web presence will nourish your company in multiple ways. Your “ambassador” should connect your company or organization with your audiences, authentically and powerfully. Your organization does good work. Your website should do good work, too.