Your Online Home: Rethink. Redesign. Rebrand.
Is your website or brand more ho-hum than hot stuff? Are your products and services stellar but your web brand, not so much? Is your digital home representative of your business persona? Does your brand lend itself to leads and as many sales as you deserve or might it hamper your superstar staff, and stellar product and service offerings?
As we all know, first impressions are important and if you answered in the negative to any of these questions then you’re likely fighting an uphill battle for attention, share of heart and, ultimately, sales.
So, what’s your rebranding strategy? How do you ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward? What are the steps towards building your new brand and a fully integrated social media and Search Engine Optimized (SEO) website?
These are big questions that deserve big attention. And once you start down the road and unpeel your needs you might feel that it’s a daunting task – so why even bother?
Well, it doesn’t have to be daunting and you bother because this is an investment in your brand equity. It’s an investment in working smarter and more efficiently, and it’s an investment in the growth of your business.
The team here at Ramey recently took on the enormous challenge of rethinking, reworking, re-everything our online home and persona – which, in turn, is being reflected in our offline branding, positioning and even our client work.
Here’s some of what we’ve learned along the way – from kickoff, to development, to execution and, finally, to maintenance and evolution.
- How big is the gap between your current branding and where you’d like it to be? Has your mission and vision changed? Your business model? Your entire target market? Or do you need a minor tweak to your products and services?
Continually thinking about these questions will allow you to adjust gradually over time – making tweaks to your brand rather than having to blow things up and start over completely.
Most of the time (especially if you did a great job to begin with), your current branding can continue to do the job just fine. Remember: your customers don’t need you to have a bigger, better website or a new logo…they just want to know what you represent and that what they’ve been promised is what they’re going to get (or more).
- Conduct a complete analysis of your existing site to identify existing strengths and weaknesses.
- Do your homework. Search out your competitors, search out keywords and be sure, from the very beginning, that you’re infusing those words into your new design.
- Back-end SEO integration…well, it’s your friend. Take the time to infuse SEO tactics into the backend, never-to-be-seen-by-consumers side of your website.
- Talk about your process ahead of the launch. Then talk about it some more. Develop a plan and stick to it.
- Simple is always best. Think about your website like a virtual storefront. Customers come in and they should know where to find things. If you move the products around on the shelves, it’s going to take them longer to find what they want.
- Keep an eagle eye on technology. If you’re going to change anything —whether it’s the theme you’re using, your plugins, or the domain name of your site — there’s a pretty good chance there’ll be tech glitches. Remember to breathe. And then TEST. Open your new site in every browser (not just the one you use). Click on all the links to make sure they go where they’re supposed to go. Make sure your new, mobile responsive site actually is responsive.
- Don’t forget your social media outposts and your blog. It’s a painstaking and arduous process but organizing your blog posts and coordinating with your social media strategy will result in much better search results and a more interesting, constantly updated website. After all, what good is your fantastic new website if no one can find it and if the content gets stale after a couple of visits?
- Shorter is almost always better. Imagery says a thousand words. Instead of talking about your persona, show it. Save the long copy for your philosophy and product and service descriptions.
Keep in mind your brand is much more than the outward trappings of your logo, company name, website, business cards, etc. But those things do help begin the conversation of who you are and what you offer – in both your prospective customer’s mind as well as your own. If you’re feeling the need to realign your inside with your outside, keeping all of the above considerations in mind will help you decide which path to take, what to look out for along the way and how to avoid mind-numbing scope creep, internal conflict and creeping timelines.
You’ll go from ho-hum to hot stuff, in no time at all.