Unpretty – does your visual brand let you down online?
Our recent blog posts on website development explored the importance of the brief, scope and project management elements of a website redesign, as well as more technical aspects of (SEO, CRO) that will ensure your new website performs as it should.
But there is a third, all-important dimension to all successful websites which is the visual design. Of course it’s stating the obvious to say that a poor-looking website will be a turn-off for visitors and be unlikely to generate leads or new business. You’d be unlikely to go into a café or restaurant that had poor signage, no menu or a grubby entrance.
Despite this we often see organisations investing in areas like SEO, and even re-launching a new site completely, without looking at the visual aspects of their brand and how this translates online.
We’re not just talking about a fancy logo. The use of colour, heading styles, typography and image selection are all vital ingredients of your online brand.
This doesn’t necessarily mean an entire re-brand, but it does mean looking how you can portray the best, intended qualities of your brand – in other words, how you want your audience and customers to see you. If you describe your brand as being ‘energetic’ and ‘creative’, then black and white photography and Times New Roman isn’t going to cut the mustard. If you say that your team are ‘approachable’ and ‘personable’, then head and shoulders corporate shots with everyone in suits (you know the ones…!) will give the very opposite image.
Of course your online brand extends beyond your website too, with a company’s site no longer being the only shop window. There are many other ways customers engage with a brand online, and your website may not be the first thing they see.
Don’t forget social
A report published at the end of 2015 indicated that social media has become the #1 driver of all website referral traffic. It was estimated in December 2014 that 31.24% of all referral traffic came via social media. Whether these figures are accurate or not, the verdict is clear; social media matters. So, presenting your brand in the best possible way online means paying equal attention to how your social media presence looks.
This means taking the time to get your profile photo right, ensuring cover artwork is in place and that your handle (i.e. the name of your profile) is consistent with your brand name. Pixelated, missing or poorly cropped logos and cover images are a complete turn-off to users and can let an otherwise great visual brand down.
In the same way that websites need to work seamlessly across different devices, the same applies to your social media profiles. An image that looks good enough-quality on Twitter mobile may not look as slick scaled up on a desktop view. That said, creating artwork and profile images that look beautiful across all of the different devices can be tricky and not everyone has the Photoshop skills to attempt this themselves. In our experience, having channel artwork properly designed is a relatively small investment but really pays off. It will ensure your visual identity is consistent across all channels, and that your brand is portrayed in the best possible way online.
If you would like to talk to us about how you can improve the visual appeal of your website, or would like us to help you smarten up on social media, get in touch.