Last week, I chatted about how your brand affects your website. This week, I’m flipping it around and talking about the ways in which your website affects your brand.
To make this article less abstract, I’m going to talk about an “ideal client avatar” and give them a name, Michelle. I’m also going to talk about a fictitious brand that sells physical and digital (printable) planners (and planner accessories, like stickers and pens).
I’ll talk about the concepts in reference to these two parties, but the concepts can obviously be extracted, adjusted and applied to any business.
The website as part of the marketing strategy
Oftentimes, a website is the second point of contact for someone who is interested in your product or service. Obviously, social media is usually the first point of contact. You need to give your social media audience a reason to visit your website, usually in the form of a value proposition, a freebie, useful information, or a limited-time offer (I recommend using a combination of these).
So, you’ve grabbed Michelle’s attention with photographs of gorgeous planners in your Instagram feed. She likes a few photos and reads a caption that talks about a limited-time discount code that you’re offering on planners to kick-start the new year. She clicks the link in your Insta bio, which directs her to your shop.
Great, she’s on your website, possibly for the first time. Now’s the time to make a fabulous impression.
Website and Visitor
Think about what Michelle sees when she lands on your website. If the special offer is what sent her to your website in the first place, you should have that information easily visible (eg in a banner). If that information is hidden in obscure places on your website, Michelle probably won’t go looking for it, and it may put her off buying a planner (because you promised something that she can’t access).
While she’s on your site looking at the products, she will likely look through the site’s main menu (usually at the top of the page). Is the menu clear and does it make it easy to navigate your site? What pages have you included in your menu? Does it hold the important pages or are there a few that you’ve left out? Is the information on your site useful? Is there a blog? (I wrote another blog post on why I believe your website should have a blog. You should go and read it.)
Are your images beautiful? Do they invoke your brand mood? Do your images depict the benefits of using your products?
Have you made it easy for Michelle to contact you in case she has queries about your products?
Answering all of these questions and making the relevant adjustments on your site can improve Michelle’s user experience, encourage her to stay on your website for longer, and improve her perception of your brand.
How your website affects your brand: visitors’ perceptions
People are visiting your website and they expect to be told what it is that you do and/or sell. It’s in your interest to write clear and engaging copy that expresses the benefits of your product/service. The more clearly you express what your business is about, the easier it is to gain a visitor’s trust.
I’ve read it everywhere: “helping is the new selling”. So, a website that’s full of helpful information is likely to increase the chance of a visitor spending more time on your site and becoming a fan of yours.
If you work in an industry that is difficult to understand, or if you have a unique approach to your work, or if you know a lot about your products/industry, or if you are a new business owner, (or a combination of any of the above) it helps your website visitors if you have a blog. Your blog will help visitors to connect with the human behind the brand and establish a relationship with you.
Never underestimate the role of design in creating a mood. The aesthetic of your site should continue your brand aesthetic. The design of your site should give subtle messages about who your product or service is aimed at. This allows visitors to gauge if your products/service are “for them” and helps them to contextualise your business in their minds.
A website that is well designed, easy to navigate, easy to read and understand helps to establish credibility, authority, and also assures visitors that you are still around and that they aren’t visiting a site that’s been abandoned. This all contributes towards turning visitors into fans and, later on, buyers.
Melissa De Klerk
Writer, Web Designer, Digital Media Strategist, Typophile, Inspiration Junkie, Yogi
Melissa is the owner and creative brain behind Fox & Owl Media. She loves creating content strategies and has considerable experience with Website Design and Brand Management.
You can contact her here, and find her on social media by clicking the links below.
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