This is a guest post by Kevin Nave who is a SEO Consultant for Itineris Ltd – Web Design Agency in Ipswich.
When you create a website you want it to do 1 thing – Increase business. This post will describe why your branding can be just as important as your website.
Branding – What, Why and How
When you start your business the first thing most people decide is what they are going to sell or provide. Next thing is to check the competition and get a logo done; the logo then forms the deciding factor of your branding.
Once that logo has been done your documents, business cards and flyers will all revolve around it. For this reason you need to ensure that your logo stands out as much as possible but also fits in with the industry. For example if you are in web design or SEO you would have a fun, snappy and crisp logo in which everyone will remember it but if you are in engineering it will be very serious and to the point. This is why you find large SME and blue chips are so protective of their branding, it can be the deciding factor on success as well as repeat business.
Web Design and Branding – What’s the difference?
So we’ve just established that when you create your branding you need to ensure that all branding is revolved around the logo as that’s how everyone remembers your business but we’ve also established that it needs to be inline with the industry so no-one thinks your trying to be something your not. We will now go into how this fits in your website.
We all know that creating a website can be a long drawn out process having to get the creative right, ensuring it’s SEO friendly and that it’s coding to your spec. The main part that helps you get the business from the get go when people hit your site is the creative, if your creative it’s blue and red but your branding is pink and black people are going to think they’ve hit the wrong site or your not a reputable company and leave. Customers want to see consistency, people don’t like change they will get scared and leave. Always keep your website to your branding you want returning customers to recognise your business and see stuff they trust. I always got taught 1 key thing within usability – Don’t make them think. This means that when people are looking for something they aren’t reading or looking at anything what they actually are doing is skimming for keywords of what they are looking for.
I’m going to use Facebook as an example here. Facebook’s branding is mainly the deep blue and when anyone sees that they think of Facebook, but, Twitter then came along, they used a light blue….coincidence? I think not. You need to remember this with your branding, people like to stick with what they know. We all know you want your business to stand out from the crowd but why not steal business from the competitor, if all your competitors branding is red there must be a reason. Don’t get me wrong stand out by all means, have a funky logo or do pretty clever stuff with your website but your don’t want to take people out of the comfort zone.
So what I’m trying to say is yes your branding is an integral part of your business and your website is the integral part of your business by being your online shop or office. Your website is your customer service, receptionist and salesperson.
So is there a different between your website and branding as you may have guessed….there is no difference. They are both brand guardians and are both brand representation. Treat your website like your brand protects it but make sure it’s memorable.
So how does branding fit in with my web design
As we have established that your branding and your website are exactly the same. The best way to make it fit into your website is to:
- Make sure the designers know that the brand is a large part of the business and what your branding colours and logo look like
- Look at what your competitors are doing. Stick out, be memorable, do what they are doing but better
- If your competitors have a intro video do a interactive video
What I’m trying to say is always keep an eye on competitors as well. Check what they are doing with their websites. The industry leaders are always best to look as they are the leaders for a reason; if they are doing it obviously works. I would never say copy them as I am a SEO consultant duplication is very very bad in my eyes but do something similar or better. Coke and Pepsi are prime examples of this. Pepsi do something amazing, coke does it better, that’s what you need to do with your competitors.
Always remember re-branding campaigns can work wonders – if you relaunch a product or change your colour scheme, PR etc can work wonders for it as it will bring attention to your brand making it stick in their minds….
Kevin Nave is a SEO Consultant for Itineris Ltd – Web Design Agency in Ipswich. He has a large experience dealing with large corporate clients such as BT and PlusNet but he has moved back towards small business and SME to use his experience to help the smaller businesses fight against the large brands online. He has a large experience of online services varying from creative and user experience through to SEO and Social Media.