If you have an Internet-based business, especially an e-commerce site, you’ve probably spent a lot of time optimizing your website design. Optimized web design, fast loading speeds, and attractive graphics all help attract customers.
But have you ever thought about taking it a step further and making web design an integral part of your branding efforts?
Of course, when most people think of website branding, they focus on visuals, like making a company’s logo stand out and color choices. And these are essential elements of a brand, of course.
But there is more than that. Any interaction between your online business and a customer is truly a branding opportunity, because branding is all about perception in the eyes of the public.
This means that the overall design of your website is even more important than you thought.
Website design aesthetics and your brand
As mentioned, one of the first things people think about when it comes to a brand is the visual: the logo, the graphics, the colors, the font.
It is no coincidence that visuals are an integral part of your web design as well. Statistics indicate that it only takes 0.05 seconds for a visitor to form an opinion on your site, which means that opinion is mostly visual. After all, 0.05 seconds doesn’t give them much time to browse your pages and see what you have to offer.
Creation of an aesthetic website
For this reason, creating an aesthetically pleasing website should be high on your priority list to minimize your bounce rate.
You also need to maximize your branding in the website design. Include your logo on every page – the most commonly used location is the top left corner. Use your brand’s color scheme and incorporate branded fonts, graphics and imagery.
Overall, imagine your website as the real home your brand lives in. Aesthetically and visually, it should reflect and amplify your brand to truly become the most important part of your branding efforts.
Related: Design for Startups: the aesthetics of web applications in 6 questions
Website optimization and customer service
How your website loads and performs is another important factor in overall design quality.
Again, users form opinions about the sites they visit in incredibly short timeframes. So if your website takes longer than 0.05 seconds to load, chances are it will bounce right away.
Speed up loading time by optimizing images
Optimizing your site, images and layouts to reduce loading time and increase the chances that your first visitor will actually land on the site, let alone stay there. A well-maintained site that respects its visitors’ time will, on its own, add a little more shine to a brand’s reputation.
At the same time, it is more than the loading time that provides a real customer service experience. Be 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’s designed to do, and your brand will benefit.
Web design technology and impact on branding
One of the biggest factors for many newer brands is how the brand is perceived to be “cutting edge.” Especially for an e-commerce type site with high Internet density, the ease of use and technological innovations are great assets for new customers, while helping to retain established customers.
This means keeping your site new, updated and cutting edge, using all relevant technology, gives your brand a significant boost.
Maintain your site with fresh, relevant content and optimize it for mobile
This not only means that you maintain your site and regularly include fresh, relevant, actionable or entertaining content. It also means making sure 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 allows a brand to reach the widest range of consumers. Remember that 40% of online transactions last year were made with a mobile device and the number of mobile users compared to laptop users continues to increase.
At this point, 50% of websites use responsive design, which means that if your site lags, it could have a significant impact on your brand perception.
Related: New web development and design techniques
Web Design – The New Branding Trend
As web design gains more and more attention, more and more importance will likely continue to be given to it. And since your website is the “home” of your brand, it only makes sense that your web design has a direct impact on how your brand is perceived.
By paying attention to the beneficial use of new technologies, aesthetics, and overall user experience, your web design could be more than just the home of your business. It could be the face, the representation, of your brand as a whole.
Image Credit: RODNAE Productions; pexels; Thank you