You might believe that word of mouth is your principal marketing tool. And it might even be true. But when that word of mouth reaches the ears of interested potential customers, where do they go for more information? To your website, of course. And what do those potential customers expect to find when they do reach your website? They want to find a consistent experience that tells them what your business is all about and how they can expect to be treated as customers. In short, they want brand unity in your web design.
Achieving Brand Unity on Your Website
Brand unity on your website means more than just making sure your company logo is on all the pages. It’s consistency across the entire website experience, from the logo to the color scheme to typography to the navigation, visual elements, and written voice. Here are five things to think about when striving for brand unity in your website design:
- Brand identification: The identity of your brand—the brand name and/or logo—should be presented in a consistent way across all pages of your site. This means the size, color, and placement of your brand identification should be the same no matter what page the visitor sees.
- Graphical elements: The visual design of your website also should be consistent. This includes the color scheme, font faces and sizes, layout, graphical decorations, and use of white space.
- Navigation and other web page features: The technical aspects of your website need consistency as well, including the size, color, placement, and function of navigation buttons or links, presentation and function of form fields and controls, and the implementation of other interactive features.
- Narrative voice: Just as important as the visual elements of your web design is the style of the site’s writing. Anything that describes your business, its purpose and mission, and its products and services should maintain a consistent style and tone, and of course should be clear and concise.
- Usability: Your website’s usability is another important, but often overlooked, aspect of brand unity. Simply put, this means that elements (such as buttons, links, and other interactive features) that look the same from one page to another behave the same way, and are easy to find and easy to use.
Brand Unity: Beyond Web Design
On top of all that, remember that brand unity goes beyond web design: It also includes your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. SEO is beyond the scope of this article, except to say that the “meta” tag information, keywords, and other SEO elements in your site should be consistent with what users will find on the site itself. If the site changes, the SEO should change with it. This will ensure that there is no confusion for users between what the search results led them to expect, and what they actually found on your site.
Brand unity brings a high level of professionalism to your site, and assures your site visitors that you know what you are doing. A lack of unity implies that you are uncertain in what message you want to convey, to whom you want to convey it, and what you want to achieve. A consistent brand presentation implies that you will provide a consistently high level of service to your potential customers. That makes unifying your brand worth the effort.
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