Branding is a huge part of your business, online or off. For your web design to properly serve your business it needs to be branded as well as you are. Think of it this way. Your company’s premise is its home, and its brand is its personality. You want your customers and potential clients to respond to that personality, which means that you want your company’s home look and feel properly associated with your brand.
Branding in your web design goes much deeper than simply using your company colours to make a link between the site and the business. The graphic design of your site is important. Its font needs to be appropriate for your business. Its images need to have the right kind of feel to them.
Web design can embed movie files, include a web video presenter, have sound incorporated and offer a news platform for its users. The trick when branding your company to reach the right online audience is to only use the web functionality that is appropriate for your products, your services and your target market.
For example: a web design that includes lots of flashy videos and music is useless if that site has been designed for a bespoke jewellery company with a very reserved clientele. On the other hand, a holiday park website that doesn’t show off its attractions with lots of colourful noisy video files is doing itself a disservice.
There is a basic rule that is applied here which ensures that every web design ticks the right branding boxes for the host company. Your site is supposed to deliver the information its users need in the shortest time possible.
This rule applies to all users – web bots and people alike – and all information. It does not matter what it is. If the proposed design fails to deliver a piece of information to both web bot and person in less time than all the other alternatives, then it is probably wrong.
Navigation menus are an excellent example of the right and wrong web design choices. A flashy looking menu with text options that bulge out comically at the user when he or she moves over them, may seem right for our hypothetical amusement park but they cannot deliver proper information to search engine bots about how the site structure is put together. So the site with bulbous animated menus gets poorly indexed.
A site design that has simple, clear navigation – done as proper links rather than Flash text – is equally obvious both to the human user and the robot. Result: a web design that looks right, works right and gets indexed properly also.
Video files are another excellent example of the right way to apply web design rules. Take a site that sells products and compare exhaustive text descriptions with a 360 degree video walk round. It is obvious which is better.