Web development will declare your brand, but it will also impose its own!
Your website is, or will be, one of millions across the Internet. It’s a single office unit, located in a multi-unit building, in turn located in the business core among many other buildings. So when a visitor happens to come to your door …
… who you are, what you do, what you offer – the answers to these questions declare your brand, and the ease of their availability imposes another brand. Effective web development maintains consistency between both.
When a visitor follows the link of your domain name – that is your front door, your introduction, and your elevator speech. In that moment a visitor can stay, investigate further, ask questions – or move on with disinterest, or frustration.
Developing a consistent visual language that expresses your brand requires attention to three important facets:
1. Internet position
A hosted location and domain name pointing to that location is your virtual storefront, office building, meeting room. This is where potentially millions of visitors can discover who you are and what you offer. The reality, however, is many, many websites are undiscovered and unknown – but not because of their Internet position.
The Internet is a complex web of interconnectivity – it is compiled specifically for the purpose of revealing its various components, and to share the information it houses. Setting up your website makes it a part of a system that broadcasts by its very design.
Domain name – reliable hosting – solid website framework … and you’re broadcasting!
Hiding a website, or moving it to obscurity, takes effort – effort that resists what Internet position is intended to do by neglecting Website presence.
2. Website presence
For all intents and purposes – your website is you. How visitors and prospects will tend to think of you is from their first encounter with your presence online. This is where the efforts that can lead to obscurity really begin.
Website presence is not designed to do the broadcasting – but it is designed to be broadcast. Whatever your first impression is, it will be carried along – attracting and inviting similar impressions to eventually make the imposed brand, your brand. Your website needs to convey reliability, competence, and relevance in order to foster trust.
Reliability – competence – relevance … and you’re broadcast!
“My brand is a trusted brand.” Sound good? Then the user experience must also be good. Visitors should feel comfortable on your pages – with the freedom to leave when they choose, and the confidence to stay when they choose. So why do visitors choose to stay? The site is solid and secure, the content is conveniently arranged, the product is something most everyone would need, but…
3. The 99 cent turkey, et al
Over the holidays and at points throughout the year grocery stores offer the 99 cent per pound turkey. It has no profit margin – it’s an inducement, a gift, with the intended hope that customers will shop further. It’s the reason shoppers decide to stay longer, and a reason they decide to return. And it’s most often the starting point of regular shoppers who have made that store part of their routine.
Your product, service, message – that’s your mainstay which keeps you operating. You believe in it, and you are well versed in it – so let it sell itself. Instead of being a multi-page ad, or ongoing infomercial, your website should be drawing in visitors, and enticing them to stay so they can end up seeing for themselves just how awesome your mainstay is. Your 99 cent turkey is your knowledge, experience and passion related to your mainstay – it’s your site content. Share that with your visitors – they will find it useful – and you will find yourself becoming a part of their routine.
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