Your business website is a major brand touchpoint, and therefore will be the one of the first impressions many people will have of your company, its products and services. As a result, your website represents an important part of your branding strategy. It communicates your brand’s identity, what it offers and the promise it delivers through its content, organisation and appearance (look and feel).
You wouldn’t deliver a speech in your bathrobe and briefs, so the same attitude should be taken with your website- no clumsy presentation. So whether you intend to develop your website yourself or have a professional do it, consider doing it from the following branding perspectives:
Step 1. Analyse. Before you say what you want to say, it is important to study your audience, your competitors, the industry and your brand.
- Audience Analysis: Online success starts with a comprehensive audience profile. Who will your visitors be? What type of experience are they looking forward to? Are they internet savvy? Do they need some information or training regarding your product? What kind of appeal will they respond best to; emotional, practical or both?
- Competitive Analysis: You will want to outsmart your competitors without imitating them. So check their URL, and select something that won’t be confused with their own. What do their websites look like? Since colour is such an important part of memory recording and retrieval, avoid using the same colours of your major competitor.
- Industry Analysis: What are the biggest trends in your industry today? Study the history of your industry carefully, down to its current situation and projections for the future. Our markets and technologies are evolving fast, especially online. Be prepared.
- Self-Analysis: Identify your brand’s corporate personality, Is it formal or playful-in a quirky way? Technical or flexible? How can your project this persona to reflect on your business website?
Step 2. Clarify. Based on the information obtained from the above analyses, streamline your focus to a particular niche. Don’t try to make your brand appeal to everybody because that’s a recipe for disaster. Target a particular audience. The VPS @ umbrellar.nz believes, “It is more pragmatic to target a specific audience with a specific offer for a particular product or service that solves a particular problem.” For example, instead of just selling men’s shoes online, you could sell classy shoes to posh male professionals seeking a mix of comfort and style.
Step 3. Strategize. Where your site is concerned, there are so many areas that require your attention. The first two, are your site’s content and its organisation. Ensure that you divide your site into segments according to user needs and expectations, then populate each segment with the suitable content. Draw out a structure or wireframe for your website- you should do this even if a professional is developing your site. Fill the homepage with vital information, such as your value proposition, and rely on the links off the homepage to give more detailed information (via other pages).
Develop a site navigation system to enable your visitors find information they seek easily, without going in rigmaroles as if in a maze. If your site is complicated to navigate, be assured that they will bounce off to your competitors.
The third area you should focus on is the appearance of your website. Modern consumers are now more visual than ever, so the look and feel of your website is important to its success. To cap up, make sure you use an efficient web host so that your website’s load time is fast. Never compromise this for special effects.