Imagine this: You hear of a new candidate running for office, or a new digital firm that piques your interest — what’s the first thing you do? Google them and find their website.
It’s something that comes naturally to us today. Your company or candidate’s website is one of the most important features you can have. This is how you elevate your brand, tell the audience about yourself, share with them tools to interact with you, and so much more. Everyone needs a website that’s enticing, something that draws your audience in and gives them everything they need in one fell swoop. But where do you even start?
From refreshes to building websites from scratch, our expert team of web designers know exactly how to help! We asked them what you should focus on to make a successful website. Read below to learn what top three things you should always have in mind as build out your website:
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE: WHO THEY ARE, WHAT THEY WANT, AND WHAT YOU CAN GET OUT OF THEM
The majority of the time, people arrive at your site because they want to know more about you. “About” sections are key to describe who you are and why people should care about you. For candidates, “issue” sections are key to telling voters what your priorities are and where you stand on the issues; for companies, “services” tabs can tell your audience exactly what you can offer them.
But websites aren’t just a one-way street: It’s all about acquisition! Being able to follow up or push your audience towards another interaction is extremely important. Websites should have a way for users to “sign-up” for more information, so they can be added to email or texting lists. Sign-up forms can allow you to get a users’ email, mobile phone number, first and last name, and even address information. Websites should also have donation buttons or social media icons that can direct users to other platforms.
BE THOUGHTFUL IN YOUR DESIGN: CREATE A SITE THAT’S BEAUTIFUL AND FUNCTIONAL
When it comes to building your site, design doesn’t just mean pretty colors and flashy text. We all want a catchy website – but does your catchy website matter if your audience can’t find what they are looking for or even view it on their mobile phone? As you finalize your design, it’s important to keep functionality at the forefront of your mind. In the digital world, we call this responsive design. You should always keep in mind where your site will be viewed and how to best arrange your content to work on any browser and any device. Chrome makes it easy to test your website on a number of potential devices. While in your Google Chrome browser, right click on the screen and select the “Inspect” option. From there, go to your top bar and, using the dropdown menu, select different device views and watch your site’s size change.
With the “Inspect” option on Google Chrome, you can view your browser in a number of dimensions. This example shows the size of our COMPETE website if it were viewed on an iPhone 6/7/8 Plus screen.
Though having a responsive site is key, you shouldn’t totally throw out all the fancy colors and pictures. Design also includes brand recognition. Your site is a useful tool to highlight your company or candidate’s colors, logos, and even personal appearance through images and photos.
Sometimes for campaigns, you have to work with the colors you are given. Sometimes, you’re lucky enough to start your color choices from scratch. Either way, you can still work with what you have to create a beautiful design using Color Theory. Every color has complimentary colors. As you choose your palette, you should use colors that create harmony and also meet critical accessibility checks. Our team at COMPETE uses this interactive chart often!
A final way to enhance your design is to include graphics or personal photos (especially for campaigns!). Photos help viewers to receive a visual of who you are. When selecting photos, you want pictures that are current and, if possible, professionally done! Updating your photos from time to time is such an easy way to give your site a refresh without much effort. For the campaign world, photos are also a great way to bring continuity to your brand across all platforms. Having pictures of your candidate in the same attire, but in different poses, and using them all on your website, on your social media profiles, and even in your ads will help viewers draw connections between all the elements of your campaign.
SEO, SEO, SEO: MAKE SURE GOOGLE ACTUALLY SHOWS YOUR SITE
Search Engine Optimization includes a number of things that work together. If you are interested in optimizing your website for search engines, contact COMPETE_ and we will be happy to walk you through the process
COMPETE CONTINUES TO BUILD OUT TEAM WITH NEW EXPANDED ROLES
After finishing up an extremely successful busy season, COMPETE was ready to grow! We’re excited to announce the new expanded roles of Kimberly Humke, Adam Perry, and Andrew Curtis.
Kimberly Humke will manage our Creative Team as the new Creative Coordinator. She’s ready to continue to bring you all your ad concepting needs and looks forward to spending more time with our clients.
Andrew Curtis will join us full-time as a graphic designer. Andrew has loved using his creative side to create awesome ads and compelling email graphics for our clients. He’s thrilled to get to design even more for you as we enter the campaign on-year.
Adam Perry will deploy his many talents on our expanding creative team. Adam is a pro at all things graphic design, website design, logo design, and SEO! We’re excited to expand our website-building capabilities with Adam’s help and know our clients will love to work with him, too!