Every time someone comes across your business, they should know it’s you straight away and they should be impressed. These are the two reasons it is so important to get your brand and website spot on.
Catch Their Eye
Your brand should be eye catching so people take notice when they see it. It should be distinctive so when someone sees it for a second time they remember they have seen it before. Your brand should be attractive to your ideal client so that the right people are paying attention to it. Your brand should also reflect you but that isn’t as important as it appealing to your target market. For example, I like pink, teal, rose gold and calligraphic styles of typeface but if my target market is bikers, predominantly male and in their 50s then having a brand that just reflects me probably isn’t going to attract them. I have no idea what kind of hypothetical business I’m running with that as my target market but you get the point I’m making.
You need to be consistent with your brand and use it wherever you are making contact with people. Your website, social media, publicity materials, business cards, shop signage, vans etc all need to be on brand. This is why your brand needs to be designed to work in many formats. Your logo has to be legible when it’s very small on a business card or website header but it also has to look good when it’s printed really big on a shop sign or a large pull up advertising banner. You may think you won’t need it in all sizes at the moment, it’s just for your Facebook page and business card, but you don’t know where your business will end up and how it will grow. Get your branding right now and hopefully you’ll only have to do it once (unless of course your business changes a lot) and it will save you time and money in the future. (If you have no idea what format you need your logos and brand assets in take a look at our Branding Checklist)
Is My Website That Important?
So, that’s how your brand impacts on people and it’s clear to see why you need it to be spot on, but you’re probably wondering why getting your website right is so important. Some of you may sit in the “I don’t need a website; I’ve got a Facebook page” camp. Some of you may have put a website up a couple of years ago and just left it thinking, “There we go. I’ve got a website now. Done.”. No! Not done!
Your website might be the first touch point someone has with you or your business. It needs to sing your praises and reflect your true professionalism. It needs to work beautifully across all devices because 50% of the people who are looking at it will be doing so on their phones or tablets. If you’ve left your website sitting there for a few years, there’s a chance it was never tested to see if it works on the latest devices or in the newer web browsers.
Your website should also show you are an expert in your field, that you’re on top of developments in your industry perhaps through blog posts or an up to date portfolio of your work. It needs to show you are respected and trusted which is easy to show through recent testimonials. Notice the words “recent” and “up to date”. The quote from Sharon in 2015 that’s on your home page isn’t quite cutting it anymore.
A Website Replaces Bricks and Mortar
One of my business friends the other day likened a website to being the modern day equivalent of having a physical office or shop front. Even if someone has noticed you on social media they will want to come and check out your website. (It’s the first thing I do!) A decent website shows that you are serious about your business. That you are in control of it. It’s the equivalent of being able to come and browse your shop or meet with you in your office and that first impression matters.
Gillian Duncan wrote a blog post for me on why creating a website was the first thing she did for her business, before sorting out her social media. It’s definitely worth a read to see the reasons from a non-web professional’s perspective.
So, if your brand doesn’t appeal or isn’t consistent or your website is old and clunky you are waving goodbye to a lot of potential customers. My challenge to you is to cast a critical eye over your website and brand and ask yourself whether you really think they are doing a good job. To help you out we have a number of resources that you can use to help you make sure that your brand and website are doing a good job for you. Good luck!
By Jude Wharton
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