At Nerx, We’ve worked with websites and digital strategies for businesses of various sizes, so we understand how much effort goes into each project. Though each project has its own set of quirks and challenges, designing and developing an enterprise website is a particularly time-consuming process that necessitates an upfront investment in planning and strategy.
Existing enterprise websites can have thousands of pages of content or even hundreds of separate microsites, making revamping the design and information architecture of such sites a difficult prospect.Building an enterprise site from the ground up is particularly difficult since it requires the foresight to plan for a variety of scenarios and use cases that is yet to occur.
Working with our enterprise clients over the years has given us deep insight into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to designing digital experiences at this level. Below we share a few of the strategies we know make a difference.
Be relentlessly user-focused
When approaching a redesign, or even a brand new site build, it’s common that companies fall into the trap of prioritizing the story they want to tell over conveying the information their users need to hear. Though your website should serve as the online face of your business, it must do far more than looking attractive. Remember that when you boil it down, the website exists for one purpose: to serve your users. Every decision made about the website should be predicated on whether or not the end result will benefit users.
Understand user personas
You must first understand your user audience in order to be consistently user-focused. At the enterprise level, this audience is likely to be diverse, with individuals coming from all over the county or the world, in a number of different industries and functions, and with a variety of goals in mind when they arrive at the site. While you probably can’t find a way to speak effectively to all of them, with a little work you can identify and isolate the most important segments of your audience so that you can design the site to address their needs.
If your business site doesn’t work well on mobile, 48% of users will not take your business seriously. This will definitely hurt your bottom line.
Also, there is no denying the fact that Google is a market leader in search engines. If Google is penalizing things like large interstitial ads (which can be annoying on desktop but are unbearable on mobile), unplayable videos, or poor site performance, building a well-designed website should support consistent experiences on every screen size (desktop, mobile, tablet), with the same ability to optimize for conversions, measure engagement and structure content.
Clear Content Strategy
This list item doesn’t strictly speak to enterprise website design. But we’re throwing it in any way because it can have a huge impact on your site’s success (and it can be a major shaper of the customer experience).
Essentially, enterprise content strategy is all about generating a firm vision of what you want your content to do and then making sure that each piece of content on your site supports that vision. Your strategy should apply across the board—not just to blog posts and e-books, but also to articles, white papers, case studies, and explainer videos.
Giving some deep thought to your content strategy—and then weeding out any content that doesn’t fit that strategy—is an effective way to streamline and simplify your site for better usability. Do you need thousands of blog posts, when only a handful of them are getting page views and boosting your SEO? Is that long and wandering ‘About Us’ page really essential? Do your long product videos add value, or do they compromise the user experience? Is any of your content adding needless complexity to the structure of your site?
Your big goal should be to publish valuable thought-leadership content (like white papers, blog posts, and ebooks) that attract users to your site and keeps them there. Not only does this boost your search ranking and provide actual value to users—but it’ll also increase the likelihood that site visitors become customers.