Trying to figure out exactly what to do with your website can be a minefield and it’s easy for business owners to make mistakes.

That’s especially true if you’re creating a website for yourself and you don’t have any guidance from someone with relevant experience and expertise.

This blog post highlights some of the pitfalls that business owners so often fall into when it comes to branding their website.

1 – Thinking it’s all about the logo

One of the biggest mistakes I see business owners make when it comes to branding is thinking that the logo, colours and images on their website is their brand and it’s all they need to really worry about.

A logo is part of your brand and an important part of it because it’s what is always visible to your existing and future clients but it doesn’t make up the whole of your brand. Without any other elements, you will never be able to create a strong brand that people feel an affinity with.

Your logo, colours, typography and images are what we call your ‘brand identity’. The other elements that collectively make up your brand are:

  • Your brand values
  • Your brand essence
  • Your brand personality
  • Your brand voice

When all these elements are in alignment and you’ve done the work on each part, you can start to really create a strong brand. But they all have to be there and their alignment is crucial.

To make sure this all functions in harmony and you can translate it into your website and other marketing materials, I always recommend that you work with a brand strategist who can take you through a step-by-step process and do much of this work with you.

The two brand strategists I recommend are Lynne Stainthorpe (based in the UK) and Sashka Hanna-Rappl (based in Europe). Both of these experts are incredibly passionate about making sure business owners can create a brand that truly reflects who they are.

2 – No Guidelines Document

When you work with a good brand strategist they will create a set of guidelines which you can then give to any graphic designer, copywriter, videographer or advertiser who will understand the elements of your brand and how they came together.

Your brand guidelines should be turned into a document which tells the person:

  • What your brand is about – the history of your business, your values and vision and the essences of your brand
  • Brand message – this includes your key messages you want to be known for and get out into the world (this will often include your mission statement)
  • Colour palette – this shows the colours you use in your brand and gives the numbers for each colour in Hex codes, RGB and CMYK numbers – so that people can consistently recreate the exact same colour
  • Logo and fonts – this will contain the different sizes of logo and how they can appear and the revers options. For example, if your logo was black on white then your guidelines will contain a copy of your logo reversed out to show white on black
  • Images – your guidelines will contain a brief selection of the images you use and why you use them
  • Templates – business cards, social media templates, stickers, icons, letterhead, compliment slips.
  • Brand voice – your brand will have a ‘tone of voice’ and often it will be made up of words and phrases you use as well as your thoughts and positioning on issues close to your heart. Sometimes it can be as simple as listing words you use vs words you don’t use.

A lot of business owners don’t take the time to create a guidelines document and the consequence can be a damaging lack of clarity when it comes to their branding and the creation of their websites.

3 – Lacking consistency

Consistency is crucial when you build a brand because it creates trust and people buy from people they trust.

Being consistent across your communications means you are joining up the dots for people who visit your website but also engage with you on social media, at networking events or via webinars or videos.  

So to take a simple example, if the images you use on your social media posts are in the same vein as those on your website then you are coming across as someone that can be trusted because it feels familiar and is communicating the same message. If your images are completely different then you are sending out conflicting messages and people will be far less likely to make the kind of connections and associations that can work to your advantage as a business.

Attention to detail and the care you take is what will set your brand apart from your competitors.

4 – Not giving Google enough fresh data

To keep seeing your website inching its way up the Google rankings, you have to provide fresh data for its algorithms to analyse and one of the very best ways to do that is via your blog.

I see business owners ignore their blog completely because they don’t like writing and this can be a huge missed opportunity.  

For some people writing is painful and it’s just not the medium they naturally communicate in. But we need to recognise that people take on board messages in different ways and your website needs to cater to as many of them as possible.

If you don’t like writing or it’s not a natural skill for you then you should consider working with a copywriter. This doesn’t need to be expensive and you can negotiate on fees by asking a writer to create a batch of 4 to 6 blogs at one time.   

Google reviews websites approximately every 6 weeks so if you have at least a couple of new blog posts up on your website in that timeframe then it will help with your Google ranking and could keep you ahead of your competitors.

5 – Overlooking the power of video

Video is not going away as a brand communication medium and when you see the investment that Facebook and Instagram are making into video and the number of people that now consume videos routinely it becomes a no brainer for it to feature somewhere within your business and on your website.

Ideally, video should be a key feature on your website but, as with writing blog posts, some people just don’t like getting in front of the camera. However, unlike writing you can’t get someone else to do it for you. Your clients want to see the person at the helm.

My recommendation is that all websites should have a ‘get to know you’ video where you talk about your WHY and how you help and support your clients to achieve their goals. Consider investing in this all-important video and if you have the budget consider employing a video production strategist because the quality will be far superior to a ‘do-it-yourself’ job.

If you feel instinctively comfortable with video, then ideally you’ll want to have a video on every page of your site – remember Google loves video.

Try and get some video testimonials from your clients too because that will really help connect with your potential clients. They will see themselves in those videos and that will make any future sales conversion so much easier.

Get in touch

If this post has made you think more about your website and your approach to branding then feel free to contact me either email me at anita@bommiemedia.com or message me via Facebook Messenger m.me/Bommiemedia

ABOUT ME

Hi, I’m Anita Wong and I’m a Digital Strategist and the owner of Bommie Media, an agency that’s passionate about making it easy for business owners to get to grips with technology and not see it as some sort of dark art.

I’ve worked with 100s of entrepreneurs to transform their visibility and support them in getting the exposure they need to attract their ideal clients.

Clients work with me in one of two ways:  

I provide a ‘done for you’ service where I design and build your website and social media profiles from scratch.

Or I show you how to ‘do it yourself’ through my courses and tech clinics where I share my knowledge and expertise in easy to follow, step-by-step processes.

Before setting up Bommie Media, I worked in online sales where I developed a passion for everything online. Prior to that I was an ICU Nurse in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

I have a certificate in marketing from the London School of Marketing and studied web design and programming at West London College.

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