In today’s overcrowded internet, having a great brand can be the difference between the success and failure of your website. A brand is something that identifies your website or business as different from others.
It’s what makes you unique, and it’s this uniqueness that makes visitors connect with you and become loyal followers or customers. In this post, we’ll show you ten essential steps to create a brand on your WordPress website.
Before you start
Before you begin the process of branding, there is some important groundwork to do. The first thing you will need to know is who you are creating your website for. Once you know this, you will need to research that audience. What kind of people are they? What are their values? What do they need from your website? What can you offer them that no-one else can? Only once you have a detailed picture of your audience can you begin to develop a brand that they will find a connection with.
Once this has been done, you can then begin putting these ten steps into action.
Choose the right brand and domain name
The most important identifier of a brand is its name. You can name your brand anything you like. Many self-employed people just use their own names and create a personal brand around that. However, for other types of website, names need a little more thought. If chosen well, with the target audience in mind, it can have an instant connection; if chosen badly, people can find it repulsive, so, it has to be a name that appeals.
One thing you should consider is using a name that helps people understand what the website is about, Mumsnet is a great example of this. You can also think of names which may be catchy or easy to remember, such as Fudge Factory which uses alliteration or Pam’s Jams which uses rhyme.
Another important factor is to make sure that the name of your website and the domain name are identical. If you are going to be known as Pam’s Jams, you want to have pamsjams.co.uk or pamsjams.com, etc., as your domain name. Check the availability of the domain before making the decision.
Pick a suitable WordPress theme
When creating a brand, you should choose a theme that best represents the type of website you are. There are thousands of free themes available from the WordPress Directory and countless premium themes available too. There are themes specifically created for different types of content: blogs, shops, magazines, directories, news sites, corporate business, etc. so there will be something to suit.
You should also choose a theme that has a style of layout that fits with your brand’s image and which you think will best appeal to your target audience.
Make a splash with your colour choices
The colours you use on your website can have a huge impact on how successful it is. According to Kissmetrics, something as seemingly insignificant as changing the colour of a call to action button from green to red helped one company increase conversions by 21%.
Think very carefully about the colours you use on your site. Are they right for the content you are publishing? Will your audience associate with them? Do some research before you decide and make sure you choose a theme that lets you use those colours.
Use an appropriate font style
Your chosen font style says a great deal about the type of website you are. Luckily, many WordPress themes now allow you to use Google Fonts, which gives you over 840 different styles to choose from.
Although it is important to choose a style that matches the identity you want your brand to have and which will appeal to your audience, the most crucial thing is that it is easy to read. If it makes readers struggle, they’ll not hang around.
Curate your content
The content you publish on your website is the most fundamental element of your brand. When you strip away the design features, the content is all that is left. It is the real substance of what your brand is about. If you run a blog, that substance is the subjects you cover and what you have to say about them; if you run an online store, it’s the products you are selling.
At the end of the day, it is the uniqueness and quality of these things that will make or break your success. You need to curate your content wisely and with your target audience’s needs always at the forefront of what you do.
Write using a suitable voice
An integral part of the content you publish is the voice you use to communicate with your audience. By this, we mean the tone of voice. Your tone can be funny, serious, witty or caring. It can be formal and business like or informal and approachable. You can also choose to write in the first, second or third person.
The writing voice is perhaps the most important element for helping your audience connect with the persona of the website. Some voices are far more approachable than others and can help create bonds between the website and the reader. For example, which of the sentences below appeals most to you?
- This article will help readers learn about branding
- We’ve written this article to help you learn about branding.
- Not sure about branding? No problem. This article will help you out.
Choose the voice that is most appropriate for your brand and which will help you gel with your audience.
Use images that fit your brand’s style
Websites are highly visual entities and the images you use go a long way to giving your brand its identity. Think carefully about the style of images you use and try to ensure there is consistency throughout the website. For example, some websites only use artistic looking black and white photographs while others will shun photographs completely and only use graphic images.
You may also want to consider the colours of any images you use and how these tie in with the overall website design.
Share your values on your About Us page
As we mentioned in the intro, one of the things you should research when creating a brand is the values of your target audience. Values are important because a reader who shares the same values as you is more likely to stay loyal to your website.
Although your values should be clear from the general content of your website, the About Us page should be used to state them explicitly. The aim of the About Us page is to tell the reader, This is us, this is what we are trying to achieve with this website and this is what we believe in. When visitors read this, and can see a connection with their values, they immediately identify with your brand.
Keep your logo simple
It is easily possible to put too much time, effort and money into creating a logo. The most effective logos out there, however, are the simplest. In essence, a logo needs to:
- reflect the identity you want to put across
- be recognisable as unique to your website or business
- be inoffensive to your readers
- use your brand’s colours and font
- be something that will endure
Think simple. Nike has a tick, Apple has an apple and the most famous of them all, Coca-Cola, just uses its name written in its own font.
For your website, just make sure that the logo is clearly seen in the header so that it appears at the top of every page.
The favicon is the tiny symbol which appears in the tabs of a web browser when you land on a website. You can see our favicon in the image above. These little images have become an essential part of website branding over the last few years and it is helpful if your site has one as it makes it look more professional. It also makes it easier for readers with more than one tab open to remember which one was yours.
Favicons need to be square and easily recognisable as your brand. Many websites use their logos or elements of their logo in their favicon. Others use their initial letter in a background of brand colours. Most WordPress themes will enable you to upload a favicon to use on your website.
Great branding can do wonders for a WordPress website. It gives it an identity that visitors can connect with and creates a place they can feel at home on the internet. With the right research and the use of the steps shown here, you can create a brand that will help turn your visitors into loyal readers and customers who will return time and time again.
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