Does having a web design mean you have a business website? Is your digital presence a matter of your site showing up on the internet, live?
Are you thrilled your site works—meaning it has some basic info and functionality—and maybe you can add a post or page?
I’m with you. Who can think about design when it takes ten months and three tries to figure out how to get a WordPress site up? Geez.
Oops, maybe that’s just my tale!
Getting started on a professional WordPress site changed my digital footprint from existing on the internet for ten months to becoming an actual web writing business.
WordPress for a professional self-hosted website has a lot of punch. My web presence has grown from its skeleton. At first, though, it was mostly bare bones.
Now, WordPress is in my life every single day. My site has changed nearly as often, too. It’s an intriguing tool but also a confusing puzzle with too many pieces and it keeps changing like the walls at Hogwarts, or with the seasons.
Still. I’ve learned so much. Probably just enough to be truly dangerous, rather than an expert in making my way online.
And yet, as my second anniversary of WordPress use approaches, it’s time to take a closer look at web design elements. Including visual components, content types, and every nook and corner of the WordPress admin panel.
Looking closely at your digital imprint, thinking over web design, (not just getting on the web) and making plans to level up, requires a review of your business.Integrating your business objectives, from focus to personality, is optimal to the design process.Click To Tweet
This is important because the visual impact you make and the overall web design you create reflects the feel of your brand. And, becomes part of your business identity and image, showcasing your professionalism and style.
Many of your web design decisions silently impact your business by influencing how visitors respond when interacting with your site.
What’s the first impression you’re making on people? Is it easy to understand what it’s about right away and does it take visitors to where they may want to go? Or, to where you want them to go?
Design in digital always puts UX, or user experience, at the forefront. Ask yourself how people experience your site.
My last post discussed some of the visual design elements providing your digital framework, both subtly and obviously, zeroing in on these 3 key areas:
- site navigation rules with user-friendly styling first
- best practices for key site pages, like a home page
- focus on a brand message with simple and clear communications
Experiment with your site design and what you can do with it so it makes sense for visitors and users.
You’re going for engagement and boy is that a moving bullseye!
But, do set up goals and targets, defining ways you’ll measure for them.
Measure, Evaluate, Improve
Yep. Improving, upgrading, and evolving using visuals pieces and in your web design, allows you to transform your business as it changes and grows, keeping it relevant.
But as you build and grow, you’ll want to be more pronounced in how you use a consistent brand voice. You’ll want to build in instant recognition by developing your brand style and unique positioning. Your color theme.
As an example, I’ve hidden the site’s Skills Building eBooks Library resource page today. The first of two main reasons…to make branding adjustments and updates.
The earliest editions have different eBook layouts/designs, even color themes, and if they have a logo at all, it isn’t the perfect, professional design I have now:)
Time for a Resource Library overhaul. This won’t do for my brand and won’t pass for the quality I want as I upgrade my site design and continue to build my brand.
Taking a critical look at your brand identity, design, and your image never hurts. Besides, upgrading, updating, and evolving to stay fresh and current are crucial for an online business.
Build on Your Assets
Another way to freshen your content, amplify your work, and increase reach is to re-purpose content.Look for either a high performer or a quality piece of work, itching for more notice.Click To Tweet
Re-purposing is another way to build on the value of the quality content you’ve already published and Ana Hoffman is a pro at this. Sometimes this can restart or renew a post’s positive momentum and carry it further than you can imagine.
It’s also nice if your work gets linked to, particularly on a word like “engagement,” like my AMAZE guest post, recently in this content piece by talented writer, Samantha Lile. (Okay, so maybe a little happy dance may happen in this case:)
With the SlideShare below by Julie Weishaar, Gail Gardner of GrowMap hopes to attract new site traffic and more notice for one of her top performing posts over the last year. (Okay, so maybe I am the slightly thrilled writer, I admit! lol)
Mixing your blog content and media types is another opportunity to keep things fun and interesting on your blog. It’s another way to experiment with visual design techniques while connecting in a new way, and maybe, with a new audience.
Has Anyone Else Noticed?
Does this web design/blog/content marketing thing for building your soon-to-be-famous digital footprint (look for it in Hollywood along the Walk of “Stars”) take a little more blood, sweat, and tears than you anticipated? I thought so.
I know it’s on my mind. A lot.
So, here you go, my first animation video (I’ve been promising you this one!!) along with a message about the hog that is my blog. Enjoy:)
P.S. Notice use of branding design… P.S.2 We’ll get back to more visual design stuff, next post. This one took a left turn so, why not end it here? (You know, with a design sample and a little visual design fun!?)
Pssst…I’d love to know what you think in the comments, below! Thanks.
Final Notes… I almost forgot to mention, mentioning this mention! Thrilled with a little feather in the cap this week at the honor of being quoted in this post. (Come to think of it, it’s been a pretty exciting week around here.)
Matthew Kaboomis Loomis and Maddy Osman put this together and there I am among many of my favs. Not only have I read, quoted, and shared work from many of these folks, but the post itself is filled with usable info and ideas using curation in your business.
And on a web design and visual notation, Carol Tice said this about the roundup, “… shareable and nicely laid out.” So there you go!
And for a last final note, the BizShops site is still in the workshop and apparently needs a better mechanic than me, I guess:)
But, I’m still over the moon to share it with you so look for that and a few more tricks from up my sleeve coming soon. Thanks.