Saturday, January 23, 2016

4 quick and easy ways to improve your branding online

Building an online brand can seem overwhelming to new or small businesses. There are so many possibilities. But once you have your website up and running, and you've decided on which, if any, social networks to target, there some simple measures you can take to help build your brand. Here are 4 easy ways to increase your brand exposure:
  1. Use vanity URLs
    When you create a social media account for your business you're given a unique URL that links to your page or profile. Usually this will consist of a random and rather unmemorable collection of letters and numbers. A vanity URL is one that includes your name, or company name, and is set up easily with most social media sites. Using a vanity URL makes your page easier to find, easier to remember and looks more professional.
  2. Set up a favicon on your website
    A favicon is that tiny little logo that appears in the browser tab next to the page title. These are extremely useful to those of us who somehow always seem to have so many tabs open that the favicon is literally all we can see. If a website doesn't have a favicon I can spend seconds clicking around from tab-to-tab looking for the right one. And we all know how valuable seconds are in the online world. A favicon helps your visitors become more familiar with your logo and branding, making them more likely to recognise and remember it later.
  3. Connect the online dots
    Cross-reference your various URLs everywhere. Include your website and social media profile in your email signature, and give your website visitors plenty of opportunity to link back to your social media pages. Make sure your website is mentioned in social media About sections and summaries, and post any updates to your website or blog as status updates.
  4. Use your logo in your email signature
    Because the brain is so quick to process images, it is to your advantage to get your logo seen whenever you possibly can. One way to do this is to add it to your email signature. This step is a little more complicated than the others and you may need to ask your web developer to help you. Ideally, you (or your developer) will create an HTML signature and host your logo on your website. The alternative to this is creating the signature yourself in your email client, which will include the image as an attachment. This has issues however, not least that many people now read emails on their mobile devices on-the-go, and so any images you attach will use up their mobile data allowance. One disadvantage of hosting images is that some people block images in emails. So make sure your developer adds an alt attribute to the image tag.
Of course this is in no way a definitive list but hopefully I have given you some simple ideas that you can quickly get started with. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, just choose one or two things at a time to work on until you gain the confidence to try bigger and better things. The online world is your oyster - don't be afraid to crack it open and claim the pearl.