WEBSITE DESIGN 101, PART 1: FOLLOW THE BCD

BCD – BRANDING, COPY, AND DESIGN

Successful websites require both appealing design and compelling copy, but they don't operate independently. United under a cohesive brand, they should complement each other and work together to achieve specific goals of your website.Come under my branding umbrella, ella, ella

As your company’s virtual home base and the hub for all the action generated by your other marketing efforts, your website is the heartbeat of your biz. As such, it should be the ultimate expression of your brand, using strategically selected words and imagery designed to evoke specific emotional responses and influence its perception.

Copy and design live under the larger umbrella of your brand and its verbal and visual identity. When dynamic design (visual branding) and killer copy (verbal branding) are strategically combined, you have a cohesive brand identity that helps consumers recognize patterns and form connections with your brand.

A METHOD TO THE MADNESS: BRANDING, COPY, DESIGN
(IN THAT ORDER)

BCD – It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

1. BEGIN WITH BRANDING

Our branding services at MOMO Digital Design have evolved and expanded significantly over the six years we’ve been in business. We realized the importance of employing a branding-first approach as clients continually approached us to develop websites, brochures, and other marketing materials – without a solid brand in place.

For many of these clients, we developed elements of their brand in conjunction with creating websites out of necessity to ensure high-quality outcomes. However, as a result of these experiences, we made a couple critical discoveries:

 Branding was necessary in order for us to effectively provide our other creative marketing services and achieve favorable results for clients.

 A solid creative process significantly improves web design project outcomes and the efficiency of delivery.

If you want to maximize your marketing ROI and avoid the madness inherent in poorly planned website projects, just remember BCD – Branding, Copy, and Design. Once you’ve established your brand, it’s time to master your message.

2. CONQUER COPY

Copy and design play equal roles in a website visitor’s decision to engage. The best site architecture and most beautiful web design may initially attract prospects, but they will quickly move on if your website copy fails to address their questions.

If you want to effectively engage across all marketing channels, you need to create a clear verbal brand identity that is both recognizable and capable of holding customers’ interest in the long term. The verbal components of your brand’s identity (in this case, your website copy), adds personality to communications, which in turn helps consumers differentiate your brand from competitors. (We’ll be covering the finer points in our next installment in this three-part series – stay tuned!)

ALL THE WORDS

Your website copy helps consumers form connections with your products/services through LANGUAGE – communicating your brand identity through tone of voice and storytelling that goes beyond your logo or other visual brand assets.

Put yourself in your ideal client’s place and try to view your site through their eyes. By anticipating and answering their questions, you can positively shape their experience and encourage them to engage further.

Consider questions like the ones below:

Is it easy to find the information you’re looking for?

Can your buyer recognize him or herself in the copy?

Do you address their pain points and/or desires in the description of your products and services?

Is the copy useful and relevant? Do you make it clear why the product or service is useful?

Do you address matters like cost, discounts, guarantees, etc.?

Do you include client testimonials/reviews?

Is the sales process simple?

Does each page have a clear CTA (call-to-action)?

3. DOMINATE DESIGN

A brand’s visual style is formulated based on the positioning and tone of voice established by the verbal identity. Your brand is expressed through visual elements, such colors, symbols, photos, typography, and other aesthetic components.

You may know you want your site’s design to be modern and attractive, with lots of clear space and appealing photos, but redesigning a website (the right way) involves much more than improving the visual appeal. Strategic design not only captures attention, but plays a critical role in the visitor’s journey using thoughtfully planned site architecture and purposeful design elements to showcase your products and services and drive visitors to the most important pages on your site.

While by no means an exhaustive list, the following is intended to serve as the big picture fundamentals to keep in mind when planning your website design project.

THE FAB 4

  1. Visual elements should capture attention and support/reinforce your brand (that’s why branding needs to be established first). Your website and all of your marketing materials, storefront, apparel, etc. should have the same look and feel.
  2. Design should be built around copy. Design supports the copy and bolsters its impact with strategic use of colors, typography, graphics, placement, and clear space. Designing first and trying to write content to fit into the design is ineffective.
  3. Organize information in a way that’s meaningful, clear, and intuitive for users. Remember that if navigating your site and finding critical information is too difficult, visitors will quickly abandon it and move on to one of your competitors.
  4. Use design to guide the user’s eye and attention. Though your site’s pages may organize many pieces of information, be sure the top visual focus of each page leads to reaching your main goal for that page.

CONCLUSION

Successful websites require both design and copy, but they don’t operate independently. United under a cohesive brand, they should complement each other and work together to achieve specific goals on your website.

Your marketing team can assist you in navigating the planning and execution of a visually appealing and easy-to-navigate site with engaging copy that speaks to your target audience and conveys the spirit of your brand.

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Don’t miss the next installment of our three-part website series, where we’ll cover WEBSITE COPYWRITING ESSENTIALS and share tips for improving conversions.

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