1 | Logo
This may seem obvious, but I have seen so many small businesses get this wrong. Make sure your logo is present, on your website, in a prominent position, at an impactful size - This doesn't mean having an oversized logo.
It also doesn't have to be conventionally placed on the right, it could be placed in the middle, or the left, but, wherever it is placed, ensure it remains in the same spot on all your pages so to create a better user experience for your readers/customers/clients.
2 | Fonts and colours
There are some ground rules I always follow when designing or redesigning a website, especially when it comes to fonts and colours as they make a massive impact. Obviously keeping in line with the brand I also ensure the following:
I always have 2 main fonts maximum, and an accent font - one main font for headings, and one main font for body copy. The accent font is often used sparingly and usually when there is something to highlight, like a quote, or testimonial.
Being able to differentiate between the two main fonts will help create a sense of hierarchy and order with your content.
It’s also important not to forget the font used in your buttons, and navigation will also need to be considered and kept consistent.
Colour can create memorability and again can have a huge impact on the appearance of your website. Think Tiffany's and you will instantly remember that distinct blue they have as part of their brand.
I always use the brand's colour palette to create consistency and then based on the business and brand values determine a website's style. For example, is the brand colourful and bold or subtle and minimal?
Tip - Always ensure your buttons and call to actions are a different style and colour to other “non-action” elements on the page - This will ensure your buttons stand out, making them clearer to the visitor.
3 | Messaging and story - Tone of voice
The language you use on your website should reinforce your brand values, vision and personality. By adding that extra dimension and paying attention to the words on your website you are reinforcing your brand because after all, a brand is more than just a logo.
If your brand is bright, bubbly and colourful, and your audience is young, creative people, then a friendly down to earth, informal approach and tone of voice may work in your favour.
However, if your website is a formal, corporate business the tone of voice should reflect this.
4 | Photos, graphics, illustrations
Colour, text, and type can only do so much. Photos, graphics, icons, illustrations, and patterns are a few of the best ways to truly differentiate your website.
Not only can these things help to break up a text heavy page, but they can also add a continuity from other branded material, like your business card, or PDF documents.
5 | Ensure you have a professionally branded email address
Firstly, it's so important to include your contact details on your website. Ideally, they should be easy to find and conveniently placed so that your clients/customers can reach you with ease. I add contact details, in particular, social media links and my email address in the footer of my website so that it is present on every single page.
The one thing that looks REALLY unprofessional is having an email address that is not on brand. That's right, having an email address that looks something like email@example.com will do more damage than you think.
Ideally, you want an email address that:
- Strengthens your brand
- Leaves a good first impression
- Builds trust and credibility
- Promotes your brand
That is exactly why I choose to use a branded email address - firstname.lastname@example.org - on my website.
6 | Social media
Ok so, I know I said I would mention 5 tips, but here's an extra tip!
If you link to any social media profiles from your website, makes sure they are correctly branded with imagery, icons, patterns, colours and fonts that are consistent with your brand and website.
Your website is an extension of your brand, and in this day and age, it is so important to ensure your website is on brand and is consistent. I hope you found the tips useful in helping you brand your website.
What have you done that differentiates your website? I’d love to know.