What is website branding? There is no simple answer to such a question. This is because website branding uses several different factors to achieve success. Just consider that any website branding program tends to involve:
- A clear expression of quality through design;
- The delivery of information sought after by the website visitor;
- The ability to exceed the expectations of all visitors; and
- The offering of a site that is easy to use.
Let’s take a look at each of these activities because this is the best way to comprehend the importance of, and best approaches to, website branding.
Expression of Quality Through Design
Here’s a quick question: You see two men standing side by side. One is in clean jeans and a fairly average t-shirt. The other is in a snappy suit and tie. What sort of “quality” do you assign to the two people? Is the one in the jeans a bit less serious and formal than the one in the suit?
This is how your website branding can begin – through a high-quality design. You could be designing your website in order to serve as a simple online brochure. This means that it gives nothing but information, but if you make that information look great, your visitors are going to automatically give it more seriousness or a reputation of quality because of the good looks.
Yes, this is shortsighted and even a bit shallow, but it is also the way that the consumer market functions. Branding is about “looks”, so make sure your website has the looks you think will best support your goals.
Delivery of Information Sought
The user experience at your site must always provide the visitor with the answers that they need, and this must happen quickly. People don’t like putting on a Sherlock Holmes hat to scout around a site looking for the vital clues they need. Making the site look good is step one, but making it simple and concise is the essential second step.
Look at your website in the same manner you might view TV commercials or billboard advertisements – they are designed to grab your attention, but it is the information that is sent out via the message that is the actual goal.
Once you have their attention, however, you have to ensure that you give them more than they came looking to find.
If you also ensure that you exceed their expectations by providing them with content of even more value, you are ensuring that you have cemented a place in the visitor’s mind. When they next need a product or service similar to yours, or need to purchase more of what you offer, there will be no doubt in their minds as to the best source.
For example, if you sell outdoor cooking gear, and you provide visitors with comparisons and the best equipment, PLUS free recipes or maintenance guides, they will view you in terms of added value content. Be careful that this additional content is easy to find, which is the final feature of website branding.
Easy to Navigate
When the site is easy to use and full of good-looking pages and useful content, it is going to assign a level of quality to your company that the best advertising could never provide.
Naturally, the goal of website branding is to build a following of the brand based on the visitors’ experiences. Clearly, this means that your goals are to enhance your professional image and build a reputation for quality products or services through the text and images found at the site. Because the actual products or services are not experienced through a visit to your website, however, it is essential to translate your ideal reputation through every facet of the website.