Tuesday, 17 February 2015

importance of website in Branding

In a world where people stay online for most of the day, a standard website just doesn’t cut it. Depending on the product, up to 83% of consumers visit a company’s or service provider’s website before making a purchase. And as more and more consumers make decisions based on their online experience, the appearance, usability, and accessibility of your website is more important than ever, especially if you are in a competitive market.

Having a right understanding of your website’s role can greatly benefit your business. Think of it as an extension of your sales staff. In the same way you wouldn’t send out an unkempt salesman to represent your company, neither should you send out an unremarkable website to the consumer who is specifically searching for your product or service.

Working on a website is the ideal time to consider the rest of your branding as well – message, color palette, and logo. The worst thing you can do is invest in a well-built, mobile friendly website, and not have the proper design elements to make the website stand out visually.

We mentioned earlier that your website is an extension of your staff, and just like you formally evaluate your team on a yearly basis, you should be doing the same thing for your website. Recommendations vary, but most agree that every 2-3 years you should consider updating the design of your website. But, you should also be making tweaks to the website throughout the year – offer new information, update pictures, and add any new products, services, or staff members – this is simple, routine maintenance.

Here are a few things to look at when evaluating your website:

Have you added any services or products?
Has your target market changed – expanded or tightened?
Has your competition created a new website or branding that is stronger than yours?
How do you rank on search engines for the services or products you provide?
Is your website mobile and tablet compatible?
 Is the overall design up to date, fresh, and current?
Is it easy for you to make small changes to your website?
If you answered yes to a couple of these, it’s probably time to consider a new website.

About a year ago a major shift in website design occurred – Responsive Website Design (RWD) arrived. RWD allows your website to automatically resize and reconfigure its layout based on the device it is being viewed on. So, whether your consumer is viewing your website on their desktop, their tablet, or their phone, they are seeing the appropriate version. The reason this is great news is that it has eliminated the need for maintaining two websites – a desktop and a mobile. This cuts costs and saves you time, only having to update one website.

If your current website is not responsive, you should consider the potential downside to this. Over the last year, the percentage of traffic to websites via mobile devices has increased by 78%. As of quarter one of 2013, nearly 25% of all website traffic is derived from mobile devices. If your website is not mobile friendly or compatible, you are potentially losing out on 1 out of every 4 consumers. 2013 has been called the Year of Responsive Web Design.

With over 650 million websites, and another 51 million added each year, there is plenty of online competition for your services. We looked at a few ways to make your website stand out aesthetically, but there are also ways to help it stand out on search engines. Being on the first page of a Google search for your services is crucial to your online conversions.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what helps your website rank well with search engines. There are several SEO services that can be performed on your website, both one time and ongoing. This is another factor you should consider when building a website; much of the SEO work is done during the website build, so be sure to ask early. This is a much larger topic and one we may revisit in a future article.

Having a business card has been necessary for years and years. Websites have become just as necessary. It’s expected and it has become a major component to the consumer’s decision process. Even if they learn about your company through a trusted referral, at a sponsored event, or in a meeting with you, before they make a final decision they will visit your website. Make sure it looks good, functions well, and clearly communicates your company’s goals.

Social media marketing
Social media networks were a novelty 5 years ago, but today their importance is no longer debated. Yes, businesses have definitely realized the power of social media and accepted that social media marketing has to be part of their marketing and PR mix.
In Social Media Examiner’s 2013 End of Year Report, marketers now place very high value on social media marketing:
86% of marketers stated that social media is important for their business
89% of marketers stated that increased exposure was the number one benefit of social media marketing
These are the definitive benefits of social media marketing that are listed:
Increased exposure
Increased traffic
Developed loyal fans
Generated leads
Improved search ranking
Grew business partnerships
Reduced marketing expenses
Improved sales
Provided marketplace insight
Facebook is still the leading social media network and continues to grow. Here are the latest facts and figures:
Facebook now has 1.26 billion users
Facebook averages 1.23 billion monthly active users
There are 128 million daily active Facebook users in the India
Facebook averages 945 million monthly active mobile users

Google+ is now the second largest social network at just over 50%, with Facebook still dominating at 70%. Keep in mind that a Google+ account is mandatory whenever a person creates a new Gmail account. This is pushing up the account ownership stats. But no other social network has Google’s web assets leverage. Read more on how important Google+ is for Your Business and how it has a major impact on search engine results for your biz.
YouTube is more popular than cable television: YouTube reaches more adults than any cable network. In the India, the number of people who watch television has fallen behind the number of people who watch YouTube on a regular basis. This makes it clear that televised content is undergoing a decline, online consumption of video is on the incline. Many companies have taken advantage of this by Corporate movie and their ads or marketing campaigns on YouTube.

LinkedIn is still the largest professional business network and continues to grow but not at the pace of Pinterest,Google+ or Twitter.  Here are some numbers from Visual.

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