Like millions of children growing up, you may remember being intrigued by the story of Alice in Wonderland. A magical, sometimes dark but always memorable tale. And as we travel through the ups and downs of our adult lives today, there’s one famous journey Alice took that’s worth reflecting on:
One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ was his response. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter which road you take.’
Today, most websites will try to avoid such navigational confusion and land you on the ubiquitous company homepage. A place of safety to begin your potentially hazardous journey through the jungle of menus, images, pop-ups and links. And there lies the problem.
It’s no wonder the majority of potential consumers only spend a few seconds on most websites. No matter how beautiful the homepage may be, most customers don’t ‘surf the web’ anymore looking at pretty homepages. They’re not like Alice wondering which road to choose. They often know exactly where they want to go – it’s just a nightmare trying to get there.
CEO of Toronto’s 2Marketing says increasing numbers of Canadian companies are considering moving away from the traditional homepage. “We’re already building sites with more dynamic entry points and landing pages, and we’re offering a much more personalised experience. Website design is just the start of the journey–forward thinking companies need a customised digital marketing strategy.”
Cheryl Platz, senior designer at Microsoft, agrees. “Increasingly, websites will be just one part of a company’s message,” she says. “As an industry, we’ll need to stop looking at websites as isolated towers of knowledge, and start looking at them as one part of a cross-device journey.”
As mobile apps and social profiles continue to evolve, the website as a brochure or shopping experience is changing. More and more sites are becoming hubs for disparate pieces of information, and the phrase ‘content is king’ will be heard ever louder. But keeping a website updated with new and relevant content is easier said than done.
2Marketing’s Alex says Toronto’s leading companies already understand the importance of a full-service digital marketing partner. “We’re at the cutting edge of online digital marketing, from website design and social media, to SEO and content. We have the tools, the people and the passion for Toronto businesses seeking customised, effective digital solutions.”
Technology is converging at an astonishing rate and there are so many roads to choose. Which one will you take?