Online branding: Is your website sending the right message?

Branding is crucial for every business. Your logo and website should clearly communicate the ethos of your company, and the first impression your business gives off has a massive impact on whether or not customers will buy from you, and whether they will remain loyal. A survey found that 48% of consumers admitted the most critical time to gain loyalty is when they make their first purchase, or start using a service.

There are a number of different things to take into consideration when branding your business online, such as domain name, content, and website design, which can all help ensure that you’re sending the right message to your clients.

You also need to be confident that your branding online is delivering the message efficiently to potential customers and clients. A website that takes time to load, has low-quality images, and a complex user interface can drive your customers away, so make sure you have a well built website, and follow the following tips.

Make sure your domain name is memorable and clear

The domain and URL you have for your business is crucial to online success. Domain names at their best must include your business name, and explain what you’re offering to customers. As branding experts Novanym explain, a domain name should “capture the tone of voice and style of your business”. This means it is important to consider domain name potential when you first start naming and developing your business, as you want your business name to be as clear as possible – and for its matching domain name to be available for purchase.

Your domain name is the face of your company, and you want it to be brandable, identifiable, and memorable. You should carry out research to be certain potential customers won’t confuse it with an existing website or brand, which could drive them away from your website. The extension you choose can also impact your brand. Newer extensions such as ‘.me’ may feel edgy, but ultimately, the more common ‘.com’ is much better for business.

Only include relevant content on your website

Everyone who lands on your website is a potential customer, and you want to do as much as you can to keep them online for as long as possible. Having irrelevant or generic content can drive people away from your business, so taking the time to produce your own quality content will pay off. A study found that 78% of consumers believe that companies who produce custom content are more trustworthy than those that churn out generic content. Creating content that draws customers in and informs them of your business, and the industry as a whole, may take more time but will pay off and encourage customers to stay on your website.

You should also ensure that everything about your website and branding is relevant to your business. Your customers are landing on your site for a specific service, so everything should be related to what you offer in order to keep user attention. If you have a company blog, you’ll want to create original and engaging content which is related to your business. According to this infographic on content marketing, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads per month than those without blogs. This is because businesses are specialists in their fields, and are therefore sources of accurate information for customers. A business which is knowledgeable is immediately more likely to appear trustworthy to customers.

Ensure your website is user friendly

The user interface of your website or app is as important as your branding; there is no point having a great brand with a terribly designed website.User experience (UX) is defined as the ease that someone can use and navigate around your website in order to get what they need. A bad user interface can make it difficult to navigate around to the right services, and may keep relevant information and products hidden or difficult to find, giving a bad UX. Small details, such as the design and layout, can make a huge difference to the user interface, so you should keep this in mind when building your website.

Interact with customers on social media

Social media is one of the best forms of marketing and branding for a business—and it’s completely free, so there’s no excuse for not taking advantage of it. Around 53% of people recommend companies and products on Twitter, which will lead potential customers to your social network page, and then your website. People generally buy based on recommendations, so customers mentioning your brand online will encourage many others to buy from you.

On top of this, 64% of Twitter users and 51% of Facebook users are more likely to purchase from a brand they follow online. Your social media presence is vital to your business, and interacting with your followers can encourage them to make more purchases. It also means you can deliver excellent customer service online, which customers appreciate. Your social media channels are considered an extension of your website, so you should ensure that branding remains consistent across all pages with the tone of voice and imagery.

Your brand is vital to your business, so you should make sure that everything is perfect, from your URL to the website design.