Web Design & Dev

7 Tips to Put Storytelling at the Heart of Your Web Design

MotoCMS Editorial 8 February, 2024

Have you ever walked into a business where the employees were overworked, and the space needed to be cleaner and cleaner? Unless you base it on one cohesive story, your web design might give off a similar vibe. Your website is the first exposure most new prospects will have to your business. Or at least that’s the case for the majority of small businesses. A Bright Local survey of “local consumers” revealed that 87% of respondents used Google to evaluate a local business in 2022, up from 81% in 2021 and under 70% in years prior.

That means your website’s story is your first impression to most potential new businesses. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression. What story is your website telling? Is it easy to use, or is it outdated and incorrect? Or worse, is it “Coming soon”? Consider taking a story-first web design approach.

Web Design for Electronics Manufacturers and Businesses

1. Consistency Is Critical

Imagine you saw someone in Walmart wearing a uniform from the ’90s and acting inconsistently with the other employees. Would you hand him your credit card? Without that clear brand identity, the website might lack consistency in design, messaging, and tone, confusing visitors and diluting your brand’s impact. Worst of all, inconsistent brand applications give visitors that “scam alert” tingle.

Just as you use branded signage to guide visitors through a store, use branded design elements to guide them through your virtual space. A defined brand identity ensures consistency across all of your touchpoints, and since your website is a primary touchpoint, visitors should immediately recognize and connect with our brand.

Visiting your website should create a feeling consistent with entering one of your physical spaces.

2. Use Targeted Messaging

A well-established brand identity helps craft targeted and relevant messaging on your website. Are you noticing a trend? A strong brand identity is vital to any good website. Targeted messaging enables you to communicate your brand’s values, unique selling propositions, and personality effectively to resonate with your target audience.

What Does Targeted Messaging Look Like in Practice? 

It starts with deciding the one thing you want to happen when someone hits your homepage. Not the five things, the one thing. From there, you can tell your story and guide the experience—but more on that in the UX section.

You can also use landing pages and pillar pages to bring visitors directly to a message crafted for them. A pillar page with strong SEO can attract people searching for a specific product, service, or topic much better than a homepage. And it’s easier to keep those visitors when they land on an interest-specific page than when they land on a page with a more general message.

3. Maintain Visual Cohesion

McDonald’s can basically own the red/yellow color combination because of a century of consistent use. An established brand identity includes visual elements like logos, color palettes, typography, and imagery. These elements form the visual foundation of your website design.

Ensuring these brand elements are established before developing or updating the website ensures a cohesive and visually appealing website that aligns with your brand’s aesthetics.

4. Treat Your UX Like a Choose-your-own-adventure Book

The user experience (UX) guides visitors’ overall journey through your website. It guides the layout, navigation, and functionality of your website. If your UX is left unconsidered, visitors will do one of the following:

  • Leave
  • Get lost searching for the information they need and leave
  • Go down the wrong path and never find the product or service that would turn them into a lifelong customer (and leave).

Many web developers and UX designers find treating UX planning like a choose-your-own-adventure novel helpful. Did you read choose-your-own-adventure books (or were you cool?)?

  • If you choose yes, skip ahead one paragraph.
  • If you choose no, continue reading.

Choose-your-own-adventure novels present multiple possible storylines within one book so that each reader can have a custom-tailored reading experience based on their preferences at that moment. Maybe they save the princess, or perhaps they chase the dragon. Your brand identity will influence the overall user experience. But you can also tailor the experience based on each user’s preferences and choices. Or you can develop an experience that leads all users down a predetermined path.

By planning the path you want users to take through your site, you are able to design an experience that makes it easier and more likely to take it. With a clear brand identity, you can design a website that enhances the user experience, guiding visitors through the site to the sale intuitively.

5. Bolster Brand Recognition

When did you last visit a local restaurant’s website to investigate before ordering? How would you feel if you walked in to get your food and saw food that didn’t quite look like the pictures? Disappointed? Less likely to go back?

What if you walk in and it’s a different type of food altogether? Or what if the offline ordering process differs from what was on the website? Do you trust them?

A well-defined brand identity aids in brand recognition. When people encounter consistent branding elements on your website that align with other brand collateral they’ve seen in other places (social media, print ads, business cards, TV commercials, radio ads), they are more likely to remember and recognize your brand. Brand recognition and consistency are two-way streets. Not only should your website be influenced by other materials, but the rest of your marketing must be influenced by your web experience.

6. Build Trust Online and Offline

A strong, consistently applied brand identity creates trust and credibility. When users perceive a cohesive and professional website that aligns with the brand they recognize, they are more likely to trust the business and its offerings. This goes beyond visuals, and the details of products and services to the very story brand and web design are telling. Your company must consistently act in ways that reinforce the story your brand is telling.

In other words, the brand on the billboard, the brand in your web design, and the experience of interacting with your organization should all feel connected.

7. Understand Your Marketing and Positioning

Positioning is something people associate with hard goods more often than websites. But the visual cues, language, and story that make up your website speak to your brand’s position online, in the industry, in your vertical, and compared to your competitors.

A defined brand identity will inform your marketing strategy and brand positioning. Your web design should flow directly from that strategy and position. It also helps to use that website as a publishing house for compelling content, developing effective marketing campaigns, and positioning your brand uniquely in the market.

Do You Still Need Help Designing a Website that Tells Your Story?

Web design, coding, UX design, branding, storytelling. They’re all different. They’re all complicated. And they’re all a part of building a great website that works for your business. You don’t need to be an expert in each field to make a good website, but it can help to bring in an expert in the areas where you’re weakest.

If you need help, find an agency with as much experience building brands and crafting stories as they design and code websites. Consider contacting a story-first web design agency to help you guide web visitors, turning them from prospects into customers. Agencies like Content Workshop help companies turn their stories into brands and their brands into websites that convert.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tags: web design web design tips
Author: MotoCMS Editorial
Here are the official MotoCMS news, releases and articles. Find out the latest info about product, sales and updates.