Guest post by Course Vector / Images by Heike Martin Photography
Brand building in Manheim can feel like a daunting task. Brand building online when you don’t know anything about building a website can feel like an unreachable goal. But brand building is attainable and important in a digital landscape where businesses compete for seconds of attention at a time. Your website should be engaging, authentic, and tell a story about your business while encouraging users toward a goal of your choosing.
Branding goals for a website can be twofold.
There should be goals for the customer and goals for your company.
For the Customer
- The customer should know that this is your site right away.
- The customer should be able to recognize your brand through color, photos, products, text, and more.
- The customer should trust you. Yes, your website plays a part in that trust-building.
- The customer should want to come back – often.
For your Company
- Branding your website to build your brand helps to keep your goals in mind.
- Branding your website can help to keep things organized.
- Branding your website helps to prevent your visual assets from getting out of control.
Much of this boils down to consistency. Branding your website helps to keep things consistent from page to page, from product to product, and even from person to person within your company.
Where to start
When building a website, you should start with a domain name. A domain name is what the customer types in to visit your website. If you’re building a brand new business, secure your domain early. Try to think of different variations on your name and secure those domains also. The last thing you want is for your competition to snag a similar domain and point it to their website. Things to consider when buying a domain name include:
- Is it easy to remember?
- Does it represent your brand well?
- Is it easy to misspell?
- Try not to use hyphens, numbers, or homophones if you can help it.
Get a professionally designed logo.
Get a logo professionally made. If you’re going to spend money, a logo is money well spent. Your logo will be everywhere from your website to your social media accounts to your email signature to your products to your promotional material. It should represent your brand well and stand the test of time. Spend the time and money to work with a designer to get a logo that will represent your brand.
The logo designer should be able to put together a branding package for you. This should include the fonts used, and sometimes fonts that go well with the fonts used in the logo. The branding package should include the colors used in the logo. This information will carry over to your website.
Once you have your colors and fonts set, you can dig into the website.
What belongs on a website to build your brand?
On-brand images are another part that is smart to include into your marketing budget. It cannot be stressed enough the difference good photography makes on a website. The images are going to draw your customers into your website. Photography is the first thing that tells your brand story. Hiring a photographer can be an investment, but a good branding photographer can help you stick to your brand image well.
Going for dark and moody? Or does light and airy feel more authentic? A branding photographer in Manheim, Pennsylvania will help you create the look that best fits your brand voice.
Mixing styles while you build your brand for your Manheim business can confuse the look and feel of your website. At the very least, put together a mood board. If you decide to tackle your own photographs, place your pictures into the mood board. If it fits, great! It probably can find a home on your site. If it sticks out awkwardly, it probably doesn’t belong on your site.
Text plays an important part in your brand narrative. While the colors and images on your site will certainly be the first to draw a visitor into the site, your text (your story) will keep them there. Be thoughtful about the message you convey. Explain WHO your company is. Tell WHAT your company does. The what should go beyond just, “we sell widgets.” What sets you apart from all the other widget-selling companies in the world? Do you donate to charity? Are you owned by a zebra-loving well-digging philanthropist? That would certainly set your company apart. WHERE does your company do business? Let us know WHEN we can get in touch, buy from, or otherwise contact you. Finally, explain your WHY. Why do you do what you do?
Beyond the who, what, where, when, and why is the “what do you want your customers to do?” This final bit is probably the most important snippet of text on your website. Don’t leave it up to the customer to decide what to do. Tell them what to do, where to go next with calls to action strategically placed throughout the site. Strong calls to action convert leads to sales.
Perhaps just as important as what is on the site is what is not on the site. Give your assets room to breathe. Whitespace is a very important design element and can be overlooked by some.
Where to build your site.
We love WordPress as a content management system (CMS) to build websites. First, it’s free to use. It is scalable, will grow with you as your business grows, and is completely customizable. If you use the CMS as it was intended, you can wrap a theme around the content and change the look and feel of a site with ease.
There is an army of support and options available for use with WordPress. If you choose to use it, you aren’t locked in to one thing and one thing only. Chances are if you Google the thing you’re looking to accomplish, you’ll find it. If you have a question, a quick search usually affords an answer.
WordPress plays well with others. It’s very easy to tie into eCommerce solutions, payment gateways, social media, newsletters, and more.
WordPress is also very search engine friendly. You are in control of your search engine optimization (SEO). You can tweak and optimize until your heart is content.
A website for all devices
When you build your brand, it’s an investment. You want to make sure that investment is smooth and working in all areas. It should go without saying that your website should be responsive. It should seamlessly flow from desktop to tablet to smartphone. Many of the themes available for WordPress are built for all devices. They may take a little finessing, but for the most part they are device inclusive.
Let’s keep in touch
Once your website is built, it’s important to keep it up to date. You want your customers to come back and come back often! For some businesses, it will be easy to add products or blog posts regularly. For others, it makes more sense to keep social media posts at the center of their web content. Luckily there are plenty of ways to put social media posts right into your WordPress website. No matter the frequency, having a website that is updated regularly lets both customers and search engines know that your business is still open for business.
You want to choose a reputable Webdesign firm which offers easy and affordable website update plans that couple with managed WordPress hosting. Depending on the number of updates you need, you may want options like a yearly or monthly update plan. These update plans are geared toward businesses who need regular site updates or want to focus on their SEO efforts.
Building your brand online
There are so many choices when it comes to how to build your brand and your website online. It may feel like you need to hurry up and get it done. However, it is important to choose your assets wisely. Invest in the pieces of your brand that will stand the test of time and carry your business through many phases of growth. Hiring professionals for your brand could be the best option for your business in Manheim. We encourage you to do your research and make a decision that makes the most sense for you.
Thank you CourseVector for the great introduction to building a website.
CourseVector has been in business in Central Pennsylvania since 1989. They pride themselves in providing web design, hosting, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) marketing services at affordable prices. Not everyone that works with CourseVector is family by blood, but earns that status through Christian values, hard work, and a commitment to their customers. Their team is comprised of professional artists, programmers, technicians, and copywriters ready to provide their unique services and experience to you and your project.
When is the last time you felt seen?
As one of the top headshot and personal branding photographers in Lancaster, PA, I specialize in helping business owners, entrepreneurs and creatives magnetize their brands with intentional, eye-catching images they actually love. It’s an experience that will transform how you see yourself.
I invite you to experience the power of feeling seen, so you can book your dream clients!