Running an online business can mean being a Jack of all trades. You need to be Elon Musk, PewDiePie and Don Draper all rolled into one. Fortunately, we’re living in the digital age, where there are a lot of tools found online to help you out with your business, content creation and marketing needs. The main thing every business needs today is a website. It serves as your customer’s first impression of you, and their main means of buying a product or gaining any information they need on your business. Therefore, it is important that your business website is engaging, bold and will stay in people’s minds. In this article, we cover branding, design and a lot of online tools to make your website look its best. For example, check out this logo maker to get you thinking about one of the most vital representations of your brand - your logo. If you’re looking for ways to upgrade your online business, read on for all our tips and advice.
Create your brand
Before you can address anything on your website, you need to nail down your branding. Your brand informs every design question you can address on your website. The brand might be the product or range of products, it might tie tightly with the audience you’re aiming for, or as influencers around the world are finding, it could be you.
There are two things you need to think about when you are considering your branding: what your target demographic is, and what your product/service/yourself stands for.
What your business stands for will make it stand out from the crowd. Say you sell sodas, why should people buy your soda when there are countless soda brands and flavours on the shelf? Some stand for sun and refreshing drinks, some stand for energy all night, some are even activists standing for women’s rights.
The demographic can sometimes inform what your business stands for, for example, if you were to sell nude tights for minority races, your demographic is baked into your product.
All this information will inform your future design choices, created to make an impact on the demographic you’re targeting.
Create your logo
Your logo will take more forethought than you’d think. It’s not a pretty picture, but a blink-and-you’ll-get-it symbol of your brand. Your audience should just glance at it and know who you are, what your business offers, and who it is aimed at. And it will be everywhere: attached to emails, profile pictures of social media, the top of every webpage. It is your visual signature.
Start with the simplicity of your icon. Your logo doesn’t necessarily have to be an image of the thing you’re selling, but rather consult the branding notes above: what does your product stand for.
For example, Nike’s iconic swoosh evokes feelings of speed and action, which is exactly what a sports brand is aiming for. Think about what feelings you want to impress with your product and go from there.
Choose your template
When thinking about the layout of your website, there is one thing you must strive for: clarity. Everything you can offer must be readily available to your customer, with no obstructions to the finish line that is the payment system.
A lot of website builders offer website templates if you are having trouble. Think about what you want to put front and centre and how everything else is arranged around it when choosing your template.
Create your graphics
Like everything else on your website, the content you choose will inform your audience as to what you’re all about. If you are creating your own graphics orphotography, think about what you want your audience to feel when they visit. Be aware that you are offering your audience something to aspire to. The obvious example of this would be a travel website, that will place pictures of holiday goers enjoying the beach, the hikes, the culture, etc.
If you are selling cupcakes, for example, give your audience something to aspire to. Do they want a cupcake by the open fire while reading? Or a tray to hand out at the office party?
Add some features
With the visuals established, you should think about how you can make the process of gaining customers as simple as possible for them. Make sure all your available information is easy to access and think about what features you could add to your site.
The features you choose will depend on the business you are offering. For example, if you have a hospitality business you might like to look at a booking form for guests to book tables or rooms or a page offering your services and menus.