One of the strongest indicators of a well-crafted, successful website is branding. A brand doesn’t just consist of complementary colours and a flashy logo–it encompasses everything from personal values to content frequency. A brand should be the foundation of your website, and we’ll give you everything you need to set up a sturdy brand that will stand up against your competitors.
A strong brand fosters recognition within your audience. Some brands don’t even need to be presented contextually to make sense. Odds are if you see a green mermaid with long wavy locks and two tails, you’ll recognize it as the Starbucks logo. Though you probably won’t experience Starbucks’ level of brand recognition straightaway, it’s easy to see the value behind creating a consistent brand to boost the user’s connection to your website.
Create a branding plan
Start out with identifying the objectives of your website. This is the most important aspect of your branding plan, and each step you take towards creating a brand should stem from these goals.
Your objectives for your website should be centred on the space your site is occupying. If you write game reviews, maybe your objective is to provide informed, unbiased reviews for newly released games. What sets your site apart from your competitors? Any unique niches your site occupies can play a part in identifying your site’s objectives.
Present these objectives in your website branding by creating a mission statement or slogan. Your users should be able to identify what your site stands for without ever leaving the homepage. This leads into our next tip.
Streamline the user’s journey
Create a landing page that’s informative and easy to navigate. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. Refer to the industry standard for your specific site. If you’re running a wiki, your user expects to navigate it like they would any other wiki website. If you’re building a blog for the best game mods, identify categories and tags you can file your content under. By presenting the user with already familiar operations, you’re introducing yourself to the user as a specific interest site.
Don’t worry about blending in on this level! You can make these formulas your own by introducing your personal touch through strong visual branding with logos, fonts, and colour schemes.
Make an impression with visual elements
Remember our mention of Starbucks from before? The reason that their logo remains so identifiable is due in part to the consistency from colouring to font choice. That branding is carried down through everything, from the aprons Starbucks workers wear, to the menus posted in Starbucks globally.
Your visual branding should shine through on every page of your website. Pick a colour scheme you feel best encapsulates the tone of your content. Soothing, pale pastels have a very different effect than brash and bold neons.
For a logo, what aspects of your site objectives can you incorporate? What does the name of your site mean to you? Are there important motifs that come into play when users peruse your website? Your logo might be as simple as your site’s name set against a black background, or as complex as creating a recognizable ‘mascot’ to live as your logo. Whatever you decide on, utilise different colours and fonts to really set the scene for an instantly identifiable brand.
Consistency in branding doesn’t just mean pasting your logo onto everything your site touches. To bolster your brand, you need to be consistent across all facets of your site maintenance. Post your content on a schedule that keeps to a set weekly minimum. Check out your pages for any inconsistency in tone or format. By rising above just being visually consistent, you can build loyalty in your users.
You don’t need a team of marketing experts to help you hone your brand. There are loads of resources available from the most recognizable brands, as well as more tips and strategies you can find right here, on our Publisher Collective blog!