Founded in 2001, Sparktank Creative is a boutique design agency that works with organizations to design unique, effective branding, website development, print and marketing solutions tailored to each client’s particular goals.
We spoke with Founder and Creative Director Juliette Schmerler about the importance of creating a great website and having professional branding.
Why is it important for business owners to have a well-designed website?
Juliette: A website is often the first point of contact for a potential client so it’s important that it presents a professional image.
When a website is well designed, uses effective imagery and strong messaging it instills a sense of confidence in the business. Equally important is user-friendly navigation. Menus, calls to actions, and the general flow of information should be carefully planned out so that visitors find what they are interested in quickly and without frustration.
Why is it important for business owners to have good branding?
Juliette: Branding is the look and feel of your business. It’s how all your marketing and communications present you to the world. Think of companies like Lululemon, Vancity, Westjet. They all have a certain “personality” that they’ve set out to present to the world. These strong brands build trust and attract customers that identify with that brand. A strong brand can also help differentiate you from your competition.
Why do business owners need to have a responsive website?
Juliette: 30% of website visitors come from mobile devices such as tablets and mobile phones and that number will continue to grow. A responsive website is a website that resizes to fit whatever device you view it on – whether it’s desktop or mobile. Simply put, responsive websites work properly on a mobile device – no frustrating scrolling and endless zooming to use your website. Less frustration leads to more visitors and fewer people abandoning your website.
Can you explain what SEO is and why it is important for business owners who want to attract new clients via the web?
Juliette: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website’s visibility on search engines. There are a number of techniques used to help boost a website’s rankings such as the use of targeted and researched keywords in the website code and content, linking, proper coding, etc… Because search engines are so widely used, getting those top spots on the search engines has become increasingly competitive so a carefully planned SEO plan is critical. If done well, a successful search engine campaign can produce an excellent return on investment.
How can business owners make sure their website is found by their ideal clients?
Juliette: The most effective way to attract the RIGHT clients is to A) define who your target audience is and B) provide content on your website that your target audience will find useful and relevant. Ask yourself what problem you can solve for your customer and show them how you will provide solutions. For example, a blog is a great place to present case studies and articles that speak to your target audience and prove your expertise in a natural, helpful way.