Websites, an indispensable tool for Branding
In my last post, I promised I was going to make a post on websites for branding. I kept my promise!
The world has become a global village and physical location matter little in business. Every serious business owner who truly want to grow his business beyond himself must have a strong online presence and a website is a great way to start.
A website is a collection of related web pages including multimedia content, typically identified with a common domain name and published on at least one web server. It houses more information than any other medium for advertising your business.
In website creation, consider a website as a store front of your business that people will see while roaming the internet. This is more like a shop in a mall. What will you like visitors to see? What impression would you like to create? How organized is your store front? These and many more are questions must sincerely answer before you get started.
To get started in developing your business website, you must put into consideration the attractiveness of the site because this determines the bounce rate and the average time session spent in your site which overtly determines your placement in search engines like Google.
In creating a successful website, these guides will help you.
· Choosing a domain name and an extension: A domain name is the most important factor to consider in getting a website. It is the address of your site and should be your business name.
Whatever is left after the www. or https:// is the domain name. A domain name should be simple and easy to remember and should tell so much while saying so little example is facebook.com, fishfarm.com, macfood.com.ng etc.
A domain name ought to be memorable and in addition, should reflect accurately your brand’s voice so that it is near impossible to be mis-spelt. Names like agric-farm-er.com should never be used.
A domain extension on the hand should be chosen to reflect what category a website address falls into.
Some common domain extension and what they stand for are shown below:
For profit oriented businesses
For NGO’s and setting-ups that are not fully out for profit making.
For NGO’s and movements.
For government establishments.
For educational establishment (usually for higher institution)
For educational establishment (usually secondary and primary schools).
For establishments in Nigeria.
Any of these extensions can be combined with .ng extension to indicate that the business is localized to Nigeria.
· In choosing a hosting plan, it is vital to consider the nature of your website and business. Answering this questions will be a great way to get started.
What level of traffic are you expecting?
Will the website be media-rich with loads of pictures, presentation and videos?
What level of security will be needed on the website?
Do you have technical support in-house or do you need a reliable, responsive support from your hosting provider?
Does the hosting company offer scalable solutions?
What back-up, security and additional features are offered?
I know a couple of hosting companies that are doing quiet great in the business and have very wonderful support. One of such is whogohost which is the hosting company I am currently using and I don’t have a regret whatsoever. You can check out WHOGOHOST for more
There are basically two types of hosting plans available; shared and cloud hosting.
a. Shared Hosting: In shared hosting, the service provider serves pages for multiple websites with each having its own internet domain name, from a single web server.
Shared hosting is a cheap way for businesses to create a web presence and most hosting companies will offer free SSL certificate, high PHP version, unlimited sub-domain, unlimited webmail and many other incentives. However, shared hosting is not suitable for businesses with high traffic.
b. Cloud Hosting: In this type of hosting, a web server is fully dedicated to a site. This server is either provided by a web server or maintained in-house in a personal computer (PC). In cloud hosting, computing resources are procured from the computing provider or facility to host data in an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud delivery model that provides a suite of remote or virtual services.
It gets more technical with cloud hosting!
A cloud hosting may combine the capacity of several servers to provide a single cloud hosted server. Some of the cloud hosted solutions are cloud servers, cloud desktops, cloud storage.
With a cloud hosting, you get higher speed and can accommodate higher traffic but there is need to purchase an SSL certificate to secure the site against hackers.
While the entire business world has fallen under the grasp of digitization, an upright website can help them utilize the virtual web space effectively to score up their branding, gain more visitors, and establish credibility. In other words, a website can help them achieve what they couldn’t even after rigorous marketing offline.
However, not every site can boost the branding of a company. There has to be a right strategy, apt content, intuitive graphics and some interesting design to captivate viewers and convert them to money-making leads.
Websites are of varied kinds. It may be services-based, garnering leads or may just provide information about something. This article focuses on the former. Read the section below to know the essential ways to tweak a website for branding for getting potential leads.
Work on Website Functionality, Styling and Design
The way a website can be navigated leaves an impression about the brand. Whether it is an innovative one or a conventional old business site, it can be perceived well by the visitors by its functions. So, businesses need to emphasis on the functionality of the site so that it catches the attention of the targeted ones. Layout of the website along with key design elements like background, fonts, navigation buttons, header, footer, etc. all is together responsible for creating the brand impression.
Authentic 'About Us' and Creative 'Blog' Section
While the ‘About Us’ page will offer more clarity and better idea to the customers about the business, a ‘Blog’ section will show them the company’s feat in the industry. If you own a website, be specific about putting credible information on the About us section and engage the audience with a brainstorming blog topics.
Present a definite value-proposition
When a entrepreneurs start a business, there might be some unique idea behind it. In a website, at every step, they should be very clear about that and know what to communicate to the visitors. It’s always about being different from the rest to grab maximum eyeballs. From domain name to landing pages, clear your audience about the unique value proposition.
Make an impression with Social Buttons
One of the major reasons businesses use website these days for branding is because it pushes social promotion. By putting social-share buttons at the most prominent places in different pages, companies make everything of the site super quick and easy to promote on social media profiles.
Realise the power of Imagery
By far, very few businesses know that using imagery on their website has some great positive influence on the branding. While large-size photos with clarity give an utter professional look to the site, small graphics, icons, and animated illustrations add a fun appeal to it. On the whole, using imagery will help viewers connect more to the site.
Nothing can beat the power of a website at this present digital era! A consistent brand presence with a website is the foundation for online marketing. So, if you have a site representing your business try harnessing it in all possible ways to promote you as a brand, but not only to sell your services or provide information.