You’d be forgiven for thinking that the purpose of this blog is solely to brag about the fact I’ve made my base in Spain again for a couple of months. And you’d partially be right – my clients and colleagues will vouch for me casually dropping it into conversation as much as is deemed appropriate (thanks Yardstick and our flexible working policy!)
But my change in location (and the change in culture) has inspired some thinking about the differences in the way we do things. And it got me thinking about how we could benefit from some of the lessons a more Spanish way of living has to offer.
So, in a feeble attempt to keep things on-topic, let’s apply this to one of the areas I know best: websites. What exactly can your website learn from Spanish life?
1. Quality over quantity
When it comes to Spanish cuisine, it is famous for abiding by the ‘little and often’ rule. Tapas, a collection of small plates or dishes, is very much the lunch and dinner norm here, with people taking a grazing approach to mealtimes. You’ll rarely see anyone with plates piled high or too many dishes ordered at once, choosing instead to savour each bit at a time.
The same concept can – and should – apply to your website, particularly with regards to content. Huge paragraphs and walls of texts aren’t effective in an online format and are a quick way to lose your reader’s interest. Breaking things up into scannable chunks, with clear headings, allows people to properly savour the information you’re laying out without feeling overwhelmed.
You also don’t need to go into great detail about every service you offer and how you do things. A top-line view, delivered with clarity and brevity, is more than sufficient at this initial stage. Just give people a taste, and they should come back for more.
2. Communication isn’t just language
As someone who is far from fluent in Spanish, there’s only so far Duolingo can take me when it comes to communicating. But that doesn’t mean I have to default to English if I don’t fully understand the language. There are so many other things that can guide you: gestures, intonation, signage, context.
On your website, words are only one tool in your communication belt. The imagery you use can suggest who you work best with, or what you help people work towards. Animation or illustrations can help people better understand the client journey and what happens at each stage. The overall look and feel of your website can even suggest where you sit on the corporate/informal scale.
Communicating your message is about so much more than just the words you use, so make sure you’re always thinking about the wider picture.
3. People love people
In Spain, community is everything. Family and being social in general plays a huge role in people’s lives, and this desire to connect to one another on a personal level is something that permeates not just homes, but businesses too. Everyone has a story to share, and it’s this that often makes the small, local establishments more appealing (and more common) than the big chains.
Time and time again, our evidence shows that the team profiles on your website are some of the most visited pages. That’s because people love people. Just like people gravitate towards the stories of the local Spanish bars, cafes and restaurants, they will gravitate towards your story too.
Your clients want to know who they’re working with, what kind of people are in your business, what makes them tick, what their hobbies are. Make this information readily available on your website and they’ll reward you.
4. Experience is everything
Above anything else, Spanish culture is about living in the moment. I think that’s the biggest difference between here and the UK; it’s not about the constant hard grind, always thinking ten steps ahead. It’s about stepping back and appreciating things. It’s about enjoying the experience.
And that experience doesn’t involve over-analysing every little detail. It can be tempting to think that your website visitor will spend minutes poring over the deeper meaning of your imagery, that they will wonder why there are accented words here or slanted fonts there. The reality is that they most likely won’t give it a second thought – but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a purpose.
When I ask clients why they like certain websites, there often isn’t a tangible answer. They just like how it makes them feel. Like communication, so many individual parts contribute to the overall experience of your website. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to take a step back and focus on the feeling that the sum of those parts creates, rather than the intended meaning.
After all, we all find meaning in different things – so give your clients the power to determine this themselves.
Websites are our thing – let us help with yours
While we can’t bring you the Spanish sun, we can help your marketing shine. Need help turning your website into a winner?
Get in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 8965 300.