Your business should have a brand or if you prefer to call it a style, so that people will recognize that branding and react accordingly.
I tend to believe that most people will not see the first impression as “branding” but in truth it is a vital component to your business online.
You see that elusive term “first Impression” is so vital to how people perceive you and your business after that first 5 seconds of arriving at you website actually can either make or just as easily break the sale you were trying to get from that visitor.
Once someone arrives at your website they believe they are just looking for an immediate result to whatever they searched for – and while this is true – you need to know that almost instantly they have sized up your website subconsciously and have almost made a buying decision.
From that point onwards, if your navigation is perfect, your written content actually answers their search question, your style, your pricing and all the other factors that go towards someone making a decision to buy something from you, you might be in a position to build a relationship with that client and get a sale down the line.
That branding – or first impression – is what will turn your visitors that buy from 2% to 40%. OK or whatever number, but it works this way.
You go to great lengths to attract people to your website, you write engaging content, you pay for ads, you do fantastic SEO and SEM on your site. You work with dozens of long tailed keywords all designed to bring in floods of traffic to your website – Right?
Now they arrive and something feels wrong… your conversions suffer.
But if they arrive and feel, ahhh, this is what I was looking for , your conversions will easily be as high as 20 or 30 times better.
So – Your question is going to be – what do I need to do to show my branding (easily)?
I agree that branding can be very tricky and does not mean you need to have a mascot designed and have this cartoon character running all over your brochures or website.
Color on your website
The first thing you need to do is to keep to a constant color theme. You logo, your banners, your theme background. Almost everything you do should have a constant three color combination that keeps that feel throughout all your business and web properties.
You could actually research what the current popular colors are if you are just starting your business.
If not get the color chart that tells what people feel when they see a certain color. (I used to know then all, like red means energy, green means calm, or whatever)
You then match a color to your niche business.
Young and vibrant, or serious and businesslike.
As with the color, you need to keep all your images and banners, headers to a similar style. If they are all going to be very graphic – then keep them all that way.
If they are all going to be natural to look like you took them yourself, no problem, but keep them all that way.
You need to be aware that the internet is making people view things differently all the time.
There are things called ad blindness – where people are aware they are ads and therefore subconsciously avoid looking at them.
But look at the images I have added here on this page. They really jump out at you. They are more or less content appropriate, they are cheerful and you did not think they were advertising at all. But they have contributed to keeping you interested in the content I am writing out right now.
I NEED you to read more of my stuff, as the more you read, the more you get to know and trust myself and my services.
That is how I get my business, letting people get to know and trust me.
By the way – the higher the quality of the images on your website the more professional your business will be seen, and therefore the more orders you will get.
Do it right!
Your Text or Fonts
I tend to struggle with this one myself, being creative I am always looking to over spice something and need to keep myself in check all the time.
But the thing here is to keep to only one or two different fonts through out your site.
I think I have two here on this site.
It can be a little tricky in finding out how to do great copy on your pages and posts.
I find that people tend to skip and speed read, so therefore you need your titles and headlines to keep their interest going as far into your content as possible.
But try not to repeat yourself or to get really boring with details they probably do not care about at all.
The style of your content.
This will probably be unnoticed by everyone unless you jarringly change it.
I cannot help adding humor to my posts and pages, but it is consistent and therefore is ok.
What you must not do is have very different styles of articles on your site.
If you have a businesslike information approach, I suggest that you stick to that feel throughout your site.
There are a few exceptions here, if you make different authors clear, they can stand on their own and have their own styles.
There are a few other branding things that you could do to your website, or even go hectic and pay for a professional, but I would say that if you stick to these few items you will more than likely not have any problems.
Go forth and brand your business 🙂
Some related links you might want to check out
My Sister Website design Company. (really just more of the same 🙂 but perhaps you will see something you like there
My website Packages – these change all the time, and sometimes I am too busy for the smaller ones, but go see anyway.
More about actual online marketing. This is a completely separate thing to web design, but if you want floods of leads then you do need to know and understand it.
A Free report showing you how to make money online. Or rather all the popular ways.
Finding a few hundred web design companies in The Greater Johannesburg Area is easy.
Almost any variation of Google searches will get you a ton of guys.
BUT – getting the right person who you are willing to trust with the entire look and feel of your business online is something you need to consider VERY carefully.
So, What advice do I give you , so that you will be in safe hands no matter who you choose for your website designer.
Start by looking at their own website.
If it looks old fashioned or out of style, they are either so busy they have no time to fix their site, or they are showing you a website that was setup longer than a year ago.
It will therefore mean that they are not up to date with current website styles and trends.
Go to the top 5 international brands you can think of and look at their websites.Apple, Coca Cola, Samsung, Ford etc.
Look deeper than their “splurb” that tells you what they are capable of.
For example, anyone can copy and paste a list of things that look like they are a hot-shot designer. Listing stuff like drupal, html, php, flash animation – bla bla bla.
Most of these guys know you do not understand all that rubbish – so they add it to look good.
Ja, Rob, But what if they can do all that stuff?
LOL, I agree, and personally I would worry even more if that can do so, because it will probably mean they are genius coders and not really aware of how to do your brand building, or get you leads from your website and more.
Plus they are probably still bragging that they have done website since”xyz” and that foot in the past is a very bad thing.
Check that they are aware of ALL the latest Google algorithm changes.
Seriously ask them to list them.
penguin, panda etc, the last big one was hummingbird.
Are you are planning for your website to just be the equivalent of a business card online?
Nothing wrong with that, a site that looks fantastic and is there as an information source on your business, address products etc.
If so, then you do not need to worry about getting a web design company that knows the latest search engine updates and all the SEO tricks necessary to rank your site in the SERPS (search engine results pages)
Or do you want Leads – lots and lost of leads.
This is a different kettle of fish.
You now enter the extremely competitive world of SEO, and if you do not know what to do you could never get any visitors to your website ever.
So, what is the most important thing.
Actually it used to be a lot more complicated (meta tags heading one, heading two etc) but now all you need to do is add fresh relevant content OFTEN.
the more the search engines see that your website is talking about your niche the more likely you are to rank.
That is the core thing you need to do.
But then there is social sharing, and it gives you a very big plus score if your stuff is shared and linked to from all over the social media world.
Then there are guest posts, back links, internal linking, press releases, web 2.0 properties and more.
Finally Google properties are VERY important right now.
your Google places listings, your Gplus business page, your YouTube account.
All of them need to be active and working in your favor.
check out my opposition :),
see what I offer and best of all be very comfortable with however you choose as you will be working closely with them for a month or two – perhaps even longer.
Start with this page of mine – http://designsmith.co.za/
see more options here – http://designsmith.co.za/website-design/website-design-packages
Most importantly SPEAK to the designer that is going to be doing the work on your website, know that they understand what your business does and what you need from your website.
You are trusting the entire look and feel of your website to someone who you have just met – make sure that they understand you and that you understand them.
Then go ahead – you do need a website and you will love it when it is live and working properly for you.