If you have an internet-based company, especially an eCommerce site, you’ve probably already spent a lot of time optimizing your website design. Optimized web design, fast loading speeds, and attractive graphics are all part of drawing customers in.
But have you ever thought about taking it further — and making web design an integral part of your branding efforts?
Of course, when most people think of website branding, they focus on the visuals, like making a company logo stand out and color choices. And those are essential parts of a brand, for sure.
But there’s more to it than that. Any interaction between your online company and a customer is really a branding opportunity because branding is all about perception in the public eye.
This means that the overall design of your website is even more important than you thought.
As mentioned, one of the first things that people think of when it comes to a brand is the visuals: the logo, the graphics, the colors, the font.
Not coincidentally, visuals are an integral part of your web design, too. Statistics indicate that it takes only 0.05 seconds for a visitor to develop an opinion on your site, which means that the opinion is mainly visually-based. After all, 0.05 seconds doesn’t give them much time to navigate through your pages and see what you have to offer.
For that reason, creating an aesthetically pleasing website should be near the top of your priority list to minimize your bounce rate.
You should also maximize your branding within the website design. Include your logo on each page — the most commonly used location is the top left corner. Utilize your brand’s color palette, and incorporate branded fonts, graphics, and images.
Overall, picture your website as though it is the actual house in which your brand lives. Aesthetically and visually, it should reflect and amplify your brand to truly become the foremost part of your branding efforts.
Related: Design for Startups: The Aesthetics of Web Apps in 6 Questions
How your website loads and operates is another significant factor in the overall quality of the design.
Again, users form opinions on sites they visit in staggeringly short periods. So if your website takes longer than that 0.05 seconds to load, there’s a good chance that they could bounce right out of there.
Optimization of your site, images, and layouts to help to make shorter loading time and increases the chances that your initial visitor will actually get to the site — let alone remain on it. A well-maintained site that respects the time of its visitors will, on its own merits, provide a bit of extra shine to the reputation of a brand.
At the same time, it’s more than just the loading time that provides an actual customer service experience. Make sure to include all vital and relevant information in your layout, including contact information and product listings. Make navigation easy to understand and use. Let your website do the job it is designed to do, and your brand will benefit from it.
One of the most significant factors for many newer brands is how “cutting edge” the brand is perceived to be. Especially for an internet-heavy, eCommerce-type site, the ease of use and innovations in technology are big draws to new customers, as well as helping the retention of established customers.
This means that keeping your site new, updated, and on the cutting edge, using any relevant technology, gives your brand a significant boost.
This means not only that you maintain your site and include fresh, relevant, actionable, or entertaining content regularly. It also means making sure that you optimize your site for a variety of platforms, including laptops, desktops, mobile phones, and tablets.
Designing for a wide variety of platforms is what enables a brand to reach the broadest range of consumers. Remember that 40% of online transactions this last year were done with a mobile device and the number of mobile users vs. laptop users continues to increase.
At this point, 50% of websites use responsive design, which means that if your site is lagging behind, it could have a significant impact on the perception of your brand.
Related: New Web Development and Design Techniques
As web design garners more and more attention, more and more importance will likely continue to be placed on it. And since your website is the “home” of your brand, it makes sense that your web design directly impacts how your brand is perceived.
With attention to the beneficial use of new technology, aesthetics, and overall UX, your web design could be more than just the home for your company. It could be the face, the representation, of your brand as a whole.
Image Credit: RODNAE Productions; Pexels; Thank you
Zaheer Dodhia is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of LogoDesign.net, a SaaS company that offers brand designs. He has a deep understanding of business needs, search engine, and has expertise in graphic design, computer recycling, and technology, which have motivated him to spearhead several online projects including ZillionDesigns, and PCStore.com. He likes to cover topics like branding, graphic design, and computer recycling.