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Brand Your Website




How do you brand your website so that it is consistently recognized with a sense of personality? Simple. Decide on your online voice and consistently present it with your own unique twist. Be yourself Ė whatever that self may be.

While your domain name is your identity online, a brand is really your websiteís own personality. Think about it as a living being with its own mind. It walks, it talks and it communicates with its visitors.

The brand you create will determine how your visitors perceive you and what they think about you. It will determine your credibility to a certain extent as well as the value you add to your visitorís experience.

Your brand will also determine the trust and comfort level your visitor places on your website and what you have to say. This is important no matter what kind of website you are operating.

All this boils down to your visitorís perception of you. Their perception will dictate how they treat you, your recommendations, the products youíre selling and everything else. It is also natural for your visitors to start expecting a certain quality product from you based on the brand you develop.

This discussion assumes that you are familiar with simple web design and the most important rule in designing websites. Website usability is critical to your success online. Go back and read those discussions if you havenít yet.



Why Should You Brand Your Website?

Many of my colleagues used to ask me this question. They used to argue that ďit is just a websiteĒ. True, itís just a website. But if you have big plans for your website, you should definitely establish a brand for it.

Unlike a brick and mortar business or a face to face service transaction, conducting business or interacting online is a lot impersonal. Your website is your first and most times your only chance to interact and persuade your visitor.

First impressions are critical here. Because the Internet is so vast and there are so many poor websites out there, visitors have low expectations and tend not to trust most websites. To win their trust, you must communicate clearly and openly through your website.

Your brand will dictate and convey your personality to your visitor. Keep it real and make your visitor realize the real you behind the scenes. Your brandís job is to win your visitorís trust and comfort level. They must like you to spend time on your website, or to follow your recommendation or buy your product.



What Type of Brand Should You Create If You Have an Offline Business?

This is an excellent question and a dilemma if you already have an existing business and you want to take it online. You have a choice to make whether you want to sell on eBay or make your own website.

You might choose to establish a completely different identity online (and many do). If that is the case, you need to develop your online personality to be different from your physical businessí personality.

Most people however prefer to maintain a consistent brand image. I prefer this personally. Why start from scratch when you can leverage an existing brand and make it even bigger? Unless your physical business is tainted or is suffering from some stigma, I recommend you take this route.

Take your businessí existing personality online. If there is a certain way you do your marketing ads, or if your voicemail is set up a certain way, make sure your tone carried online to your website. Consistency is key and will aid in the long term establishment of your brand.

You still have to abide by the principles of good web design and operating effectively on the Internet. However, your tone must be consistent in establishing your brand.



What Does It Take?

Websites go up by the day but most owners abandon them because they donít have the drive or ambition. Some people simply loose faith and stop believing in their success.

If you do this you will never get a chance to establish your brand to know if it will be successful or not. Donít do this.

You need to be consistent and persistent for your brand to establish itself on the Internet. Success is inevitable if you try hard enough and stick to what is discussed on this website.




Developing Your Online Personality

Learn to write in Active Voice and speak directly at your visitor not about them. Notice how I am speaking to you right now? Do you feel like you know me? Are you more comfortable?

Imagine your visitor is having coffee with you and speak to them like you would in person. When you speak, speak about your positive strengths and stay away from weaknesses.

For example, if you are less skilled than your competitors, present it in a way where you are the expert in what you know (you are a specialist in whatever little you know). Or if you have just a handful of customers or clients, talk about how you are dedicated to customer service and spend all the time necessary to satisfy your clients.

In all you do, just remember who you are. Stick to your personality and be consistent and your online brand will establish itself with time.






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