As the season premiere of The Walking Dead draws closer (and we #MeetLucille) we at Twingenuity Graphics have come up with 6 tips to bring your ‘walking website’ back from the dead — and make your website as effective as Daryl with a crossbow.
The ‘walkers’ (zombies) in The Walking Dead come after the survivors relentlessly, sometimes only a few stragglers at a time, other times in a herd. Attracted by sound or blood, they’ll hone in on their target and move toward it with a single-minded focus.The characters are often trapped and afraid, feeling as if there is no escape from being bitten by the ‘walkers’.
Now, consider this: your customers are a horde of zombies that require feeding (hopefully you’re not on the menu!). As any Walking Dead fan knows, the best way to attract a ‘walker’ is with living flesh. But what about your website
What is the best way to have an attractive website that draws visitors to you?
Remember, there are more than 1 billion websites on the internet, why should customers visit yours? Your website needs to serve a purpose other than declaring that you exist. When visitors come to your site they expect to have an experience. When people find their way to your website it isn’t by chance. They’re looking for something they need or desire. Your website needs to be that something. Show them what they want with engaging images and content; and customers will swarm to your business faster than a zombie to human flesh. (Yes that’s gross, but you get the point.)
We’re going to break down 6 quick tips that you can use to help bring your website back from the dead.
1. Un-zombify your look
When visitors first arrive on your website, you have a few seconds to grab their attention. They don’t want to see a decomposing corpse with rotten teeth, eyes sunken into gaunt faces, and tattered clothing. If your website looks like a ‘walker’, you’re dead to the audience you’re trying to reach. Lifeless and bland; dull and boring.
According to Stanford University, 75% of people judge the credibility of a company based on the design of its website. Visitors trust and are willing to spend more with businesses with better designed websites. So think bold and clean, not undead and rotting.
Quick tips to revive your design:
- With websites less is more, so use white space to de-clutter.
- Limit yourself to 1 or 2 web safe fonts.
- Use a limited color palette, rather than the entire rainbow.
- Provide a clear navigation and use drop-downs.
- Adding new professional images is an easy way to make the site look fresh!
- Swap out heavy textures and drop shadows with a flat look – this will instantly make it look more modern.
- Update any outdated icons.
- Regularly switch out the hero image on your homepage to show you’re thriving and still in business.
2. Raise your ‘dead’ homepage
Viewers were hooked since the opening scenes of The Walking Dead showing Rick shooting a little girl ‘walker’ and to him awaking in the hospital to discover the world has been overrun by the undead. Questions like “What happened? Where did the zombies come from? How did Rick survive?” peaked the audience’s interest and kept them coming back for more.
Since our attention spans are shorter than ever, an attention grabbing hook is vital to incorporate on your website’s homepage. If the visitor finds nothing appealing or interesting, they’ll move on. Don’t be like every other wandering, mindless zombie website out there that only drones aimlessly on and on about themselves. Try to be more original, show off unique selling points and give the user an exciting experience. The home page is your storefront, if you can’t get them to delve deeper into your website, you might as well hang a sign that says “Don’t Open Dead Inside”.
3. Stupid stuff gets your site killed
When you find a safe place in a ‘walker’ filled world, you can get complacent. For instance you may not check as closely to make sure the ‘walker’ is sufficiently stabbed in the head; then bam! you get bit. Websites are the same.
Maybe you launched a website a couple years ago and thought that was enough. But you can never get complacent with your website; it’s a zombie-eat-zombie world. Are there any skeletons rattling around in your website’s back-end? Out-of-date content? Cliche or blurry images? Old designs? 404 error pages? Broken links? Issues like these are what kills your site, frustrates visitors, (and gets you cornered in a decrepit barn surrounded by ‘walkers’ wanting to eat your brains).
4. Ditch the hocus pocus
“Just tell them a story… people are children and children like stories.” — Carol
Let your website tell a story – your story. Don’t devote your content solely to your history and ignore what you can offer your customers. If your website is chocked full of industry related jargon and only drones on and on about you, then you might as well be moaning incoherently like a ‘walker’. This business-centric tone offers no value or interest to visitors.
Instead, share customer-focused content, such as testimonials and case studies to let visitors know you’re credible. Story telling will shape the how, what and why of your messaging. Frame the message so it talks about your customer’s needs and interest and how your service or product meets their needs. Remember even a great looking site won’t be successful if the content isn’t relevant.
5. Resuscitate your blog
Once upon a time you had a blog. Today, that blog has since died, with the last post dated a year or more ago. If this is you, it can look as though your business is dead and buried, which may make visitors search for the nearest exit. To have a successful blog you need to find your niche or something that sets you apart. You won’t need a crossbow like Darryl or a sword like Michonne, but your business should be armed with something that makes you unique. Writing about the same topics like every other blog is boring. What is your competitive advantage? Find your edge and use it; it’s your weapon.
6. Be Mobile
In a world now overrun by the undead, Rick and his group were forced to change in order to survive. Pizza delivery guys became ‘walker’ killing experts skilled in combat – that’s how people survived in the new world.
According to Smart Insights, more than 20% of Google searches are performed on mobile devices and that percentage doubles for local searches. If these stats tell you anything, it’s that the world and business has gone mobile. So is your website mobile ready and easy to use by customers on the move? If not, it’s time for a responsive redesign. A responsive or mobile friendly website will not only contribute to an enhanced user experience, but a better ranking with Google. If your business website doesn’t work on mobile devices your prospective customers will find one that does. Are you sending potential customers away as quickly as if they just ran into a zombie herd?
Having a website these days is ubiquitous to any company, including individuals. But putting a website live on the internet and leaving it to simply sit there is about as effective as if you hired a ‘walker’ to man your reception counter.
Modern customers are fleeing from poorly designed, hard to navigate, “Walking Dead” business websites more than ever before. If you have an outdated website your best weapon against the ‘walkers’ is a redesign. A new professional, clean look and content will get your website to be as effective as Michonne with a sword. To ensure your website doesn’t become one of the walking dead, follow these 6 tips and avoid ending up dead with a herd of ‘walkers’ chewing on your entrails.