If you’ve ever taken your business to a branding consultant, you know that your business has a personality.
It might be professional or casual, modern or classic. Whatever the personality, a good branding manager will choose it carefully and make sure any materials put forth by that business are in sync with that tone. Really well-done branding will promote credibility and customer loyalty, so it can be well worth the time to get it right.
Ideally, your business’s website is an extension of your business – it’s tone matches your tone. But how do you fit a website into your branding strategy?
1. Think of your website as an employee. Since your website should work for you, it’s not too far off! If your website were a person you could hire, would they be smart or funny? Warm or serious? Think of the key qualities you would seek in an employee to solidify what the most important aspects of your website’s personality should be.
2. Look to your logo, if you have one. Does your business’s logo have particular colors or fonts? Rounded corners or strong lines? What about any 3D elements like a drop shadow or bevel effect? All these design qualities can be included in your website to help your cohesive branding. If you don’t have a logo, well you’re freer to take your website in any direction!
3. Prioritize the most important information. Really think about your individual website as a vehicle for your individual business. What are your site visitors looking for? Make it easy for them to find.
4. Break tradition. Just because some websites have an About page doesn’t mean you have to. Or maybe you want to make the About page the first page on the site. Look around at other websites to see what you like or don’t, but think outside the box about what you want people to do on your site.
5. Make your calls to action prominent. Ultimately, your goal isn’t to get customers to marvel at your site design, but to contact you or buy your product. Make sure the actionable items are obvious, but also pay special attention that they integrate into the design well. A call to action that overtakes the design can annoy rather than intrigue.
6. Tweak the copy. Your site’s copy should emphasize your chosen personality while still providing all the valuable information your visitors need. We have a whole post about writing great site copy here!
7. Make sure it works. This one seems obvious, but the best design in the world can cover for flaws like broken links or clumsy navigation.