Brands strive to make their presence on the Internet as engaging and memorable as possible, in their effort to attract new customers from the online medium. It is a well-known fact that online presence has become nearly mandatory with the spread of Internet connectible devices. However, the elements of a relevant, positive online brand experience are complex and require research, strategy and thorough implementation. It is usually recommendable to outsource web presence development services, starting from the creation of the website, and ending with the various forms of advertising opportunities that the web offers. Before handing over the task to a professional, however, it is also advisable to become informed on the matter, as well.
The design of a website is the most complex aspect of your brand’s online presence, as well as the building block, on which the rest of the online consumer experiences the company generates will be based. There are certain key principles behind successful website design, starting with the number of typefaces used, to the programming code employed in the backend of the site. Typography should be kept to a relative minimum, experts agree, in the sense that a website should never employ many different typefaces, but a selected set of visually similar fonts. In terms of page layout, one should always bear in mind the basic assumption of fluid page layouts, developed in the early 2000s. The assumption is that the end-users will be accessing the site from various devices (computers with different screen resolutions, tablets, smartphones, etc.). As such, the page’s layout needs to be broken down into constitutive elements, such as blocks of content, side bars and navigation areas. Code is also pivotal to good website design, since parsing and programming mistakes will lead to an error-prone or unusable website.
Usability relates to the end-user’s experience while navigating through your website and, in a certain sense, it is the sum of all the factors that combine in your website design. A user-friendly website does not take flashy visuals as its main goal, but is careful about the overall interactive experience it provides for the user. Consequently, well-designed sites provide clear instructions and prove their relevance for the user at a quick glance. They aim for universal use, irrespective of the user’s level of Internet or computer literacy, as well as of their employed device.
- Search Engine Optimized Content
The SEO acronym, which stands for Search Engine Optimization has become a buzzword in the online world, as numerous companies seek to improve their website’s ranking in search engine listings. SEO is essentially a marketing strategy, through which your brand will seek to improve its standing on the market, either by targeting place searches, keyword searches or image searches. In order to successfully implement such a strategy, you (or, more likely, your hired marketing specialist) will need to thoroughly research the keywords that are likely to lead people to your website. And while there are numerous schools of thought on the best model for optimizations, a few basic pointers apply in most cases. The written and visual content on the website should include relevant, specific keywords, which strongly relate to your company’s activities. The longer, or more specific, those keywords are, the more likely it is that the website will engage the Internet user. SEO strategies can be evaluated for efficiency through various analytics key performance indexes, such as Google Analytics.
- Online Advertising
An old adage says that advertising is the heart and soul of commerce and, in the day and age of near-mandatory Internet presence, the adage still holds. There are various ways to promote your business online, ranging from PPC Google AdWords campaigns, such as those provided via the Colewood Internet PPC services, to social media platform accounts. These two advertising methods are radically different, from the experience they generate for the user, the manner in which they engage your audience, the response you expect to elicit and the budget you need to invest, in order to articulate a successful campaign.
AdWords campaigns can be fully appraised in terms of success rate: you invest a certain amount of money for each click on your ad and then receive full reports on how many times each ad was clicked on, demographics for your audience (location, age, device and operating system used, time spent by the clicker on your landing page, etc.). These campaigns are based on the PPC (Pay-per-Click) system, which operate according to the affiliate model—that is, your potential customers stumble upon opportunities for purchase from your brand on affiliated websites that they visit during a usual session of online surfing. Meanwhile, social media advertising seeks to engage the consumer in terms of brand loyalty. This term mostly refers to socialization websites Twitter and Facebook, considered to be the most relevant by Google. Google indexes the trends (marked by a #hash tag) on Twitter and evaluates website content through its presence on Facebook. Briefly put, your brand needs to be on Twitter and Facebook, but simply being present will not suffice. It needs to generate content that is relevant to the consumer, posted at high-traffic times, can be further propagated via sharing and is not overtly or aggressively self-promotional. What is more, both Twitter and Facebook landing pages can be fully customized, to offer your customer base a unique brand experience, not just a visit to another company’s page.