When building your WordPress site, you should treat making your brand identity stand out as vital to your site’s success. You need to ensure that your site aligns with your company’s image, goals, and values. You also need to remove any elements that might confuse visitors as to your objectives, personality, and investment in your own brand. To reach those goals, you need to find ways to add touches of your company’s personality while stripping out any extraneous information or references to other brands (like the maker of a WordPress theme).
No-Brainer Changes for your WordPress Site
To start this discussion, consider some of the easiest things you can do to establish your brand. The first should be obvious to all. If you have not yet paid for your WordPress site’s theme or plugins and have a bunch of developer logos and names all over your site, you should cough up a few bucks now. Alternatively, many free plugins and themes will not leave their branding on your site, so removing this extraneous content may just require using a different option. Either way, this simple fix immediately elevates your site from one that looks like a cheap afterthought to something truly representing your own investment in the brand.
Next, make sure you have created a tagline to replace the default “Just another WordPress site” language. Searching around on the web a little reveals just how many regularly updated sites inadvertently overlook this very easily remedied detail. Much like removing developer branding from your site, this change helps to erase others’ branding and make your site look more professional. To change this, just go to Settings> General and change the text in the Tagline box. You can also change the text in the Customizer panel by going to Appearance> Customize. If you prefer to simply delete this text, you can do that, too (though this may represent a missed opportunity to communicate your brand identity).
More Effort, Bigger Rewards
The next level of changes you should make may require a little more effort, but can also yield much bigger rewards for your branding efforts. First, develop a logo and deploy it on your site. Unless you have a solid design background, you should reach out to a professional for help coming up with a logo that really speaks to your audience. For web purposes, a simple, easily recognizable logo that can work in multiple colors tends to make the best option. This provides the greatest amount of flexibility in deployment. In other words, you will be able to put it in more places on your site (and other advertising materials) without worrying about it clashing.
Once you have a strong brand logo, use it prominently on your WordPress site. That means putting it in places other than just your header. Use it in your footer, in images, on your emails, and anywhere else that makes sense. Your goal is the reinforcement of the image in visitors’ minds through repetition. That way, whenever they see your logo (or something that reminds them of it) they will think of your company. Be sure to ask your designer to create at least one favicon version of your logo. A favicon appears on a browser tab next to the page title. Unfortunately, not every WordPress theme natively supports favicons. If yours does not, look for a WordPress plugin that will let you add this functionality.
Finally, take a look at the footer of your page. Often overlooked, this area provides tremendous opportunities for extra value and reinforcement of brand personality. Add your logo in subtle ways, customize your menu structures, create links to social media, and invite people to join your mailing list. You can do so many things with your footer area, and most themes provide widget areas in this region that make adding that content simple.
Take Your Branding to the Next Level
These branding efforts may require the most effort of all, but can best represent your brand to your customers. First, regardless of the product or service you offer, your site should include a blog. WordPress grew out of a tool for building blogging sites, so adding a blog with WordPress could not be easier. Share information relevant to your visitors about your company, products, industry trends, or other information they may find useful. Avoid plagiarizing other pages because this could actually hurt your site’s search rankings, brand reputation, and invite a lawsuit. If you do not feel you have adequate writing skills, look to the freelance community. You can easily find thousands of writers eager to provide original content to your site at reasonable prices.
Next, customize your site’s 404 pages. Sure, you want to build a site that will keep people from hitting these dead-end pages very often. But, when they do, you have a terrific opportunity to turn a disaster into a positive brand image. Imagine what a site visitor would rather experience. Would they prefer a sterile white page with a bleak error message? Or, would they prefer a beautiful or humorous image, clever message, and a tool to help them find the content they wanted? Use these kinds of calamities as opportunities to reinforce your brand identity and message. A number of plugins can help you create these custom 404 pages. As always, look for ones that do not include developer branding, or pay for the white-label version.
Of course, the best branding of all comes from a fast, well-designed website that provides a superior user experience. A site that makes things pleasurable for site visitors always performs better than a poorly designed one, regardless of branding. Consider what brings visitors to your site, what they want to find, and factors that could frustrate those desires. Avoid cramming pages with too much content. Instead, break your site into easily digestible bits of information. Organize these bites by page. Use simple, obvious navigation tools to take people to precisely the content they want with minimal effort. Once you get visitors on your page, consider funneling them toward conversion. What is the goal of your site? Sales? Email sign-ups? Visits to a store? How can that page subtly push your visitors toward that goal?
Get Your Branding Efforts Off on the Right Foot with InMotion Hosting’s WordPress Hosting
InMotion Hosting’s WordPress Hosting offers all the speed, power, and tools you need to get your WordPress branding efforts off to a quick start. With formidable performance-boosting tools built right into the server hosting your site, this product immediately improves user experiences with faster page load speeds and greater reliability. Using BoldGrid, a suite of WordPress plugins that come included with your WordPress Hosting plan, you get an easy drag-and-drop editor, beautiful and industry-specific themes, automated backups, a staging environment, and a number of other useful tools to help you launch your site in minutes. With so much of setup and optimization out of the way, you can focus on developing your brand identity and running your business.
Discover just how much better your site’s brand identity can be with InMotion Hosting’s WordPress Hosting today!