The Evolution of Marketing:
Business owners always had one thing in mind – trying to reach out to as many people as possible, in the hope that a good portion of them will turn out to be prospective customers for the products or services being sold.
Over the years a lot of attention had to placed on setting up retail outlets and stores that had appealing and eye-catching shop windows and displays.
There was also the advertising aspect involved in all this, whereby the business owner used different advertising media in order to reach out to the target audience while making the brand and the respective products or services more well-known.
However over the last decade or so, business owners had to go through a significant change in their advertising and marketing efforts.
With the emergence of the internet, and the rise in internet users, it is evident that a business needs to set up an effective online presence.
Your website is essentially your online store, and considering how many people can gain access to it, you need to do your very best to make it stand out and be as engaging and as user friendly as possible.
has gone a long way over the years as various trends dictated what an online user and prospective customer will be looking for when visiting a website. However, one thing has remained the same – the website needs to empower your brand.
Why is Branding so important? –
Developing a brand name for your business is an important activity that comes under the purview of the advertising and marketing department.
The brand is basically a name that people would associate with your company and your products or services.
However that brand needs to be felt in your website, and consequently the website design has to revolve around the setting up of your brand in an effective and recognizable manner. A brand will inevitably set certain expectations, while also leaving an imprint on the customer’s mind.
A well-known and reputable brand name will instantly conjure up the images of the products they represent, and simultaneously the reputation as well. That is what a brand name does for your business; it imports the reputation and recognition.
Branding and Website Design:
But the brand name is not sufficient unless it is emphasized in every possible aspect, and brand building with web design is of utmost importance.
There are various things that will need to be taken into account when discussing this extensive subject. For instance, there is the logo, the icons, and slogans, all of which will need to be identified as being distinctly yours.
In many cases you would have a signature logo and a slogan which in time will need to be instantly recognizable to customers. The way the name is written helps too, as are the choice of colors.
These are just some of the factors that will need to be handled when setting off to build your brand in your website design.
In truth branding is a rather complex process which will need to be seen to across a wide variety of aspects, from different media and platforms, to the product packaging, and last but not least, in the business website, which is what we shall be focusing about here.
Branding will help to set your business apart from other businesses, as well as to make your website memorable and appealing.
It is not an easy process, and one should not consider website design to be a straightforward task that anyone can see to. One cannot have the frame of mind that as long as the site is designed and hosted, then that’s it.
It is not about placing your business logo on top, along with your brand name. That is not going to brand your website. Branding a site actually takes a lot more time as well as effort to do well.
Your site visitors need to see you as the authority in your niche, and they need to feel the urge to trust you and buy from you.
This kind of feeling and reassurance can be instilled in them only if you manage to brand your website properly. Let us discuss the key elements which are imperative for branding your website.
1. Your Company Logo –
This is your pictorial representation and as the popular saying states, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Therefore it follows that your logo needs to leave an imprint on the customers’ minds, so that they can easily recall it. It also needs to be designed in a way that it delivers a message.
One will need to consider key aspects, such as the target market and the best possible color scheme.
The logo will need to be included in a key area of your website. Positioning it well is important to brand your website.
The upper left area of your homepage is generally the best option. This is because most site visitors tend to look at that area first.
The size of the logo is another important consideration. The logo should not be too big, and it cannot be too small either. It thus needs to be large enough to be easily noticed and recognized, but without taking up too much of the page.
2. The Choice of Colors –
The choice of the colors used on your site is of critical importance. Color should not be only about being aesthetically pleasing, but it needs to go beyond that.
In reality colors stimulate emotions and we tend to make connections and associations subconsciously. Thus you should try to choose colors that relate to your products or services, or to your niche in one way or another.
The brand’s main color needs to be chosen wisely and then these need to be incorporated in the logo, as well as in the website design.
3. Consistency –
Website design goes a long way when there is a focus on consistency.
Just as the choice of colors is very important, so is ensuring that there is a uniform message and image being delivered on the various pages of your website.
This helps to evoke the right emotions, as well as leave an imprint on a visitor’s mind, while making the site more memorable and engaging.
4. User friendliness –
This is undeniably very important.
If you want your brand to instill confidence in people, then you need to ensure that once a person lands on your site he or she feels okay with the way it is designed.
He/she needs to feel welcomed by the layout and colors, so that he/she gets the urge to browse through it and read and check out different parts, rather than be prone to leave within a couple of minutes.
Important information and certain icons will need to be placed in easy-to-find places, and not in some inconsequential part of the page such as at the bottom of the website.
The logo can remain in the background, or appear as a favicon.
But that brand name, logo, slogan, should be there unobtrusively hounding the surfer on your website so that they register in the mind unwittingly.
5. Site content –
Content always rules.
Who did not know that?
There are ways to bring in visitors, but if the content is shabbily written, or badly presented, the visitor is never going to bother to read through it, let alone return to your site in the future.
The basic rule for website content is to give as much information as possible, without being too detailed or boring.
You cannot inundate the visitor with information that is not necessary at this stage.
Even the name of the brand should be used subtly.
We call our self ShgSeo
Organizing the content on your site is also very important.
Even if the content is written interestingly, it can fail if it is not properly organized or laid out.
Organizing the content means the visitor should be able to trace the required information easily. Certain keywords should be emphasized often, sometimes on every page.
But the user should also be able to glean information about various products that the company sells, without having to sift through data that does not interest him.
The visitor obviously was interested in some information to come here, and so it helps to not have him rummaging through unnecessary data on different pages.
There are analytical tools that indicate the level of user friendliness and effectiveness of the website. These tools can be used to improve upon the website design.
The way the content is written is also of utmost importance. The language that you use needs to reinforce the brand’s character.
First of all you will need to take into account your target audience.
So, if your brand is selling casual or trendy items, then your audience is mainly made up of young people, then an informal tone may work well for the site content.
If the products or services are going to appeal to older people, then you would need to choose your words wisely as certain modern jargon may not strike them well.
If you are selling something more serious or formal, then the tone that you utilize for your site content will need to reflect that.
Thus the tone of voice you use needs to reflect your brand’s character and strike well with your target audience.
6. Visual aids –
Needless to say a website needs to have a good mixture of written information and pictorial aids.
Thus, adding images, artwork and videos creatively is important.
They help to increase its appeal as well as establish the brand more effectively, provided that one also takes into account the uploading time, as they cannot slow down the site too much.
An interesting page has a subconscious appeal, and that is in the hands of the website designer.
7. Target market –
Different products have different markets.
The site design and the content therefore must be written keeping the targeted market in mind, such as what they would look for and be impressed with.
This obviously means the website developer has to do some homework, and so does the content writer.
First impressions have to be good as otherwise the brand’s image will take a beating. The brand must appeal to the emotions of the prospective customers, and have some character.
8. FAQs, emails, URLs, About us section, etc. –
These are all important parts of a website. Including the brand name in these areas is important.
9. Social media –
Marketing your business through different social media platforms is of the essence in this day and age.
Thus your social media presence on different platforms needs to be coupled up with your business website so as to build up more brand recognition.
This will help to multiply visitors and create brand awareness.
Twitter and Facebook can actually bring together like minded people, and increase the possibility of some of them becoming customers.
Social media buttons on the website are important, and likewise, there should be a link to the website placed on any posts put up on social media platforms.
10. SEO –
Branding your site’s domain name in search engines is extremely important in a branding campaign.
Your website will usually rank well
if there is an important keyword
included, and this will also help in preventing competitors to optimize for your domain name and siphon traffic that should be directed to you.
The traditional process of creating a brand and generating recognition and awareness has changed considerably with the use of the internet.
Traditionally, billboards, TV and newspaper commercials did the job.
But with online marketing, the website is the focal point to create your business brand.
Needless to say the competition is much bigger online, and thus it takes more effort and work to make sure that your brand is doing better than the competing brands.
There are many websites whether or not directly related to the products or services that you sell, which are direct competitors to your website.
Each of these websites wants surfers to be visiting their website, and so do you.
Using some of the time tested methods can help to ensure that your brand is well recognized and well accepted through a nicely designed and maintained website.