Websites aren’t set in stone and that’s a good thing – just imagine how heavy it would make laptops! The fact that websites are adaptable means that they can change quickly to the changing needs of consumers. That’s a great thing, but that fluidity sometimes has a negative effect.
One of the things that really marks out a professional looking website is consistency. That doesn’t just include the technical issues of making sure that everything works the way you want it to – it extends to the way the websites looks and even the way the copy is written. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you have locked down your website.
Lock down your look
Let’s start with a colour palette or colour scheme. A colour palette shouldn’t limit the number of colours you use, but it should inform your design choices so there is consistency. If you are a fun and edgy fashion site, then you might want to use blacks and neons. If you are a garden centre, you might want to use natural colours and tones. You should choose a palette that
You should choose a palette that matches your business. Choose four colours, say, and let those colours be featured on every part of your website. A colour palette is an easy way to create a sense of your business and ensure consistency in the look of your site across pages.
Lock down your feel
A good place to start with the feel of your website is to look at a font. Firstly, you want something that is accessible and easy to read. Beyond that, you might want a font that has clear and defined edges, or you might want something softer. You might even want to have a clear but cursive style on your website.
Whatever you choose, make sure that it is indicative of your particular business. The choice there can also inform other aspects of your web design. A clear and sharp font may match with clear and sharp edges to photos, rather than a curved edge, bespoke frame or even diagonal stripes.
Once you have settled on a design language for your site – make sure that design language is consistent across all parts of your website.
Lock down your tone
If you are already happy with your look and your feel, then it should be easy to work out what your tone is. Just by looking you can tell if your website is warm, professional, edgy or friendly – amongst other adjectives). Think of a tone of voice to match that, and apply that tone of voice to your website copy.
If you are a friendly website, then you should be friendly – talk to people directly and use more conversational language. If you’re going for a high-end professional tone, that should be reflected in your vocabulary. If you go for friendly, it doesn’t mean you’re not professional – but that should be reflected in what you say, not the way you say it.
If you go for friendly, it doesn’t mean you’re not professional – but that should be reflected in what you say, not the way you say it. Once you have a tone, stick to that tone across your website copy – from landing pages to product descriptions.
Lock down your brand
Knowing your brand is probably step one, but by looking at your look, feel and tone first may help you reevaluate your brand. You instinctually know what you would like your website to look like and how you would like it to feel and from there it’s easy to work out the tone you want. How does that sit with the brand you already have?
If you’re in a position to, it might be time to think about some subtle rebranding to meet the new look of your website. Does your logo match the design and tone that you have put in place everywhere else across the site? Has this process helped you look at your business in a fresh light – a light that may be more appealing to customers?
If you want to make those changes (or little evolutions), then make them. Just make sure that they are applied everywhere across the site.
Lock it down everywhere
Once you have locked down the look, feel and tone of your redefined brand on your website, you should be able to apply it elsewhere. Make sure that those elements make their way to your emails, Facebook and Twitter. You can never be sure what the first point of contact with a customer will be, so try to make sure they have a consistent journey wherever they come from. Not only will you seem more professional, you will be more likely to convert an interested audience member to a returning customer.
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