A brand adds value and identity to a website. Design, content and outreach all come together to form a personal and recognisable name that customers associate with a particular product or service.
If you’re interested in selling your website, a strong brand alone can add to its overall worth. It differentiates your site in a positive way that really encourages visitors to come again and attracts lots of potentially high bidders. Here we’ll take a look at a couple of areas you’ll need to focus on to create a brand that’s both professional and memorable.
Use SEO for Your Domain
When search engines like Google and Yahoo index your website, they focus on a number of key factors to determine where to place it in its search results. The better you rank on search engines, the more traffic and exposure you’ll gain as a result.
Search Engine Optimisation is where you focus on improving these factors as much as possible in order to help the search engines favour your website over everyone else. There are blogs, books and entire businesses dedicated to SEO, so I’ll cover one of the biggest tips to help you get started.
The domain name you choose for your site is one of best ways to optimise your site for SEO. You should choose your domain based on the main keywords for your site.
For example, if your site is all about bicycles, make sure your domain has either the word “bicycles” or “bikes” in it somewhere. If you’d like to focus on a key phrase for your domain, I’d suggest using the hyphenated version instead of combined. Google tends not to recognise individual words when combined as much as when they’re separated, so using a hyphen could really help out.
So for example, using the domain bike-repairs.com instead of bikerepairs.com would work a lot better since the hyphen is regarded as a space. So when deciding on a domain, either go with a single keyword name or have a hyphenated one if you decide on using two or more keywords.
Having a main keyword or key phrase as your domain will also give you a natural reason to use it throughout the rest of your content and site headings. Search engines rely primarily on the keywords in the body text of your website. Since it makes sense to mention your domain throughout contact pages, blog entries, and other sections throughout the site, it will help with ranking in that respect as well.
Instead of thinking one up, you could also purchase an aged, high page rank domain that’ll be more lucrative for potential buyers. Search engines definitely favour domains that are 5 to 10 years old over ones that are less than a year old.
If you haven’t already, think of a list of keywords and key phrases related to your niche that you’d like to rank for. Use these throughout the title tags, alt tags and content on your site. Don’t go overboard with keyword use though. It has to appear natural for users who look at it.
There are a number of other things you could work on like improving site speed and link building, but remember that the key to SEO is to ultimately build a site where people will go to and revisit. Search engines follow people, and people follow brands.
Have High Quality Content on Your Site
No brand will work without trust. You can’t just put up a site, send out some discount codes and believe that people will see it as a brand. The site has to really know its audience and stay focused on being useful and relevant to them in an authentic way.
Providing unique, resourceful content to readers is one of the best ways to build a strong relationship with your target audience. This isn’t about covering things that interest you, but topics that follow and are relevant to your customers needs.
If the site isn’t a blog already, I’d suggest adding a section where you can post high-quality, useful articles that inform and provide a service to your target audience. Post new articles regularly on the blog until you have a good readership base that will share and link to your content.
Develop a Unique Design
A strong brand always has a unique design to go along with it. Image is a great way to reflect company vision, authenticity, and personality.
One of the best ways to work on company image is to have a great logo. Effective logos should resonate with people to trigger specific thoughts about your products and services. Try to design something that is simple, natural and friendly to your audience.
Choose colours that are distinctive and bold, but complement each other and the site as a whole. Remember that certain colours evoke specific emotions in different cultures, so choose these wisely. The typeface you choose should also convey a positive impression. Blend the right set of colours, fonts, and other imagery to a message that focuses on the main idea of the site. If you have a large enough budget, consider hiring a freelance designer to develop this for you.
Keep in mind that you’ll business logo and brand should look good on a variety of mediums. If you’d like to do some off-line marketing for example, you’ll want to make sure that your logo will look good on high-profile promotional merchandise such as premium business cards and promotional usb drives.
Have a Strong Social Media Presence
Social networks have completely revolutionised the way we communicate and share with audiences in recent years. A strong social media following will almost always increase the value of a brand dramatically.
If you haven’t already, launch and develop a Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest profile. These are currently the top 4 social networks with the largest consumer bases. Add social footprints on your website that will show proof of your large follower base and allow new visitors to easily follow as well. Connect with other large brands and social groups to establish a reputable presence on these platforms.
About the Author: Vincent Clarke is an Inbound Marketing Analyst for USB Memory Direct, a strong online brand specialising in the wholesale of custom flash drives.