If we’ve learned anything from the past few years, a digital presence is an essential part of running a business.
While social media shapes a large part of your online presence, we'd argue that a good website carries the most significance. Why? Because you own it. You can use it to control the way visitors interact with your brand and how they purchase your products. What's more, you don’t have to deal with ever-changing social media algorithms.
Good website branding encompasses everything from the way you make a logo to your website copy and CTAs. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of website branding and how to properly represent your brand online.
What is website branding?
To understand website branding, let’s first look at the concept of branding. Branding encompasses all steps a company takes to shape how a customer perceives them. Branding cannot be easily quantified, but its success is rather measured by the emotions felt in the symbiotic relationship between brand and consumer.
Branding takes place both on and offline—at every touchstone of your business. It goes beyond your brand name, logo, color palette or catchy slogan and trickles down into every way your brand interacts with new and existing customers, as well as competitors and stakeholders.
With this in mind, website branding extends the visual and non-visual aspects of your brand identity into one digital space.
Since many potential customers first interact with your brand through your website, you have only a few seconds to make a delightful and meaningful first impression. A good website should clearly communicate brand messaging right from the start of the experience.
Why you need a branded website
According to Siteefy, around 1.14 billion websites exist in the world, with 175 new websites created every minute (that’s three every second). This noisy and competitive space continues to grow, offering businesses a lucrative opportunity to grab the attention of a global audience.
And while you can quickly and easily start a social media profile to support your business and branding efforts, you should simply think of it as a stepping stone to your website.
Think about it: Your website is available 24/7 for both new and returning customers who want learn more about your brand or, better yet, convert and generate sales for your business.
A well-branded website can:
Establish trust. Maintaining brand consistency and an overall professional look and feel to your website can help bolster credibility and brand trust. Familiar branding aspects on a reliably performing company website can instantly set users at ease.
Communicate effectively. Regardless of your industry, a personal or corporate brand connects your business to consumers. Unlike social media, your website grants total control over the look, feel and rules of engagement. This means setting your own website copy, blog posts and even newsletters. On your website, users can subscribe to an email lists, giving you reliable access to their inboxes for further engagement via drip content and lead generation.
Build authority. If you create a blog for your branded website, you’ll build organic search opportunities to drive traffic and establish your authority and credibility. In addition, you can publish content that establishes your brand as a thought leader for expertise, opinions or even trends.
Promote the brand. Not only does a website showcase your brand’s tone, products and visual identity, you can also promote other channels on it. For example, you can share webinars, podcasts, e-books or even co-branding directly on your website. Artists or creatives can also show off their work in a portfolio.
Guide decisions. Let the data tell a story. Website traffic and conversions can measure how many visitors engage in a session on your website. If you notice that users bounce right away and and don't return, you can take this as a sign that something is off on your website. These helpful metrics can give deeper insight into user behavior and interactions with your brand.
Tip: With Wix analytics you can review your site’s traffic, visitor behavior and revenue reports all in one convenient dashboard and make decisions based on the data.
How to create a branded website
01. Define your brand identity
Your brand identity encapsulates all the visual and non-visual aspects of your business. It is best contained in a brand style guide. Some features that you should consider in your website branding include:
Visual identity: This is the visual language that your brand communicates in one cohesive aesthetic across every touchstone.
Logo: A logo instantly signifies your brand and makes it easy for consumers to recognize you when entering your website. Most site owners place their logo at the top left, as most languages are read left to right. Both brand and UX experts consider this spot an important one. Also include your logo in the website footer, contact page, blogs, favicon and any purchase confirmation page. Depending on your website layout, you may also consider linking your logo to your homepage, so users can easily navigate back in one click.
Brand colors: As part of your brand identity, you should certainly consider your brand colors in your website alongside user experience and readability. For example, if your brand colors are bright yellow and orange, you may want these colors to appear in certain parts of your website, but not necessarily as a font color. Remember that colors can trigger emotional responses and influence how users interact with your website. In fact, nearly 93% of people say the visual dimension (color) influences their purchase decision over taste, smell, etc. Tip: When you create a website, the Wix Editor customizes your color theme automatically across your site and in all the 'themed” elements in the Add panel. You can also apply your theme colors to any element on your site using your brand colors. Alternatively, you can browse through the ready-made color presets and choose the perfect option for your brand. Fun fact: Most website hyperlinks appear in blue, since “red and green are the colors most altered by color-vision deficiency. Almost no one has a blue deficiency.”
Typography: Like other visual mediums, typography can effectively communicate more about your brand voice than words itself. In addition, website typography must appear sharp, uncluttered and legible on any size screen. Typography experts recommend to never use more than three fonts on your website. Keep in mind that each of your fonts should carry its own level of importance to establish hierarchy and balance your website text. You can read more about how to choose the best fonts for websites to better understand the impact.
Imagery/photography: Brand imagery affects all visual aspects of your business. Pictures evoke emotion and tell a story at a glance. So when choosing graphics or photographs for your website, keep your brand identity in the forefront. In addition, know your audience and pick visuals that strategically speak to them. You're not limited to photographs on your branded website. You can also include illustrations. In any case, make sure it's a high-quality file appropriately sized for the space it'll will take up on the website. Consider users viewing images on a mobile screen compared to a desktop. For example, if you use a large image in your website’s header, look at how it appears on a phone or tablet. Remember, if you use stock photos, show a diverse range of subjects.
Templates. If you create your branded website with a builder like Wix, you can access a wide range of free customizable templates to streamline your branding efforts across every page. For example, these fashion and clothing templates include an online store with spaces for your company’s logo, story and messaging.
02. Refine your mobile experience
Today, mobile internet traffic accounts for almost 55% of total web traffic. A person's first interaction with your brand likely will take place on their mobile device, which means you must optimize your site accordingly.
You can take a few key steps for your website’s branding to better perform on mobile, including:
Optimizing for mobile-first indexing
Minimizing or hiding page elements for mobile
Using CTAs for effective navigation
Adding a “Back to Top” button
Hyperlinking your logo to the website’s homepage
Using mobile-friendly menus like hamburger menus
Integrating mobile features
Anything from mobile animated features to unique scrolling effects shape the brand and mobile user experience.
03. Establish brand trust
While your branded website serves to establish and foster brand trust, you can further build this concept into your design.
First, consider the value and importance of social proof. In fact, Forbes considers social proof to be one of the nine ways advertising could change in 2023. As Mary Harcourt of CosmoGlo shares, “Social proof will be the new trend for how customers shop in the near future.” Harcourt says,
“Social proof is trusted, inevitable and a much more effective way to gain new sales. The psychology is that a consumer feels better about purchasing because a peer has previously purchased the item and had a good experience.”
To build social proof, integrate customer reviews and testimonials into your website branding. Reviews can take on many forms including video testimonials, case studies, interviews, press reviews and social posts. Authenticity is key here, so be as transparent as possible.
Tip: The Wix App Market is full of customer review, testimonial and social proof tools that you can easily integrate into your website.
04. Use your brand voice
Your website is the place to let your brand voice shine. You can get your brand message across using a diverse range of content including:
Website copy (and microcopy like CTAs)
Brand story (‘About us’ section)
Regardless of communication type, your brand voice should always be present and your customers should be able to easily recognize it. For example, the Wix brand voice is approachable, reaching a wide range of audiences and maintaining a friendly tone, almost like two professionals conversing. Wix’s products consistently use this tone, from the Domain Name Generator to the Wix SEO Learning Hub and even social posts.
Your branded website’s content should also outline a clear content strategy that extends to external content, including guest articles and brand/influencer collaborations.
05. Be aware to user pain points
Your website branding must ensure an optimal user experience (UX). Using user experience design (UXD), you can plan your site to include features that positively impact user satisfaction and, in turn, brand loyalty.
If your website's aesthetic, usability and accessibility cause visitors to have a good experience, they'll likely form positive associations to your brand or business.
Ultimately, functionality can make or break your branded website. You must understand your target audience and how they want to interact with your website to optimize functions accordingly. If you recognize an issue, like a certain product hasn't sold as well as another, see that the checkout or the product page function as expected. An FAQ section and available customer support can help customers mitigate a range of issues the moment they experience one.
Be equally mindful of all aspects of customer pain points, including those pertaining to finances, productivity and support. Everything from the way you price your merchandise to the time it takes to check-out and receive a product can influence a customer's online experience.
To understand the customer experience, you must ask your customers for direct feedback. You can do this through questionnaires, feedback forms, emails and more. You can also look at external review or competitor websites to see what consumers say about your branded website.
06. Set up an easy layout and site structure
To maximize your website branding and offer the best possible experience, stick to an easy layout and site structure. Less is more.
Regardless of your industry, your branded website should be clear and easy-to-navigate, plus it should reflect your brand values and purpose.
In addition, understanding your user's needs alongside your website's purpose can help you decide your layout. It boils down to knowing what to highlight on your website and where. For example, if you are an artist, you’ll likely want to use bigger imagery that highlights your work. On the other hand, if you are a masseuse, you likely want your customers to focus on your offering, price points, location and testimonials.
Tip: Build a branded website with Wix and use ready-made templates that take these details into account.
07. Maintain consistency
Branding consistency is key. You want customers to have the same experience when walking into a brick-and-mortar store, unboxing a package at home, interacting with a brand ambassador and using your website.
What’s more, you can’t control where or how visitors come to your site. One customer may spontaneously come to your site via a social media ad, while another types in your URL from their office desktop. Regardless of external factors, they need to experience the same excellent site performance and functionality.
In addition, customers who experience your brand on other channels or platforms want to feel the same feeling when entering your site for the first time. By aligning your website to your brand style guide, you can maintain consistency and ensure customers have the same experience on your site.
08. Keep your website up to date
You’ve put in all the time and effort to build your branded website, but the work doesn't end there. Just as you nurture your brand, you must give the same attention to website maintenance and upkeep.
Regular website maintenance includes updating and refreshing content, checking for broken links, ensuring your site performs properly and keeping visuals fresh and aligned with your branding needs.
This also includes security updates, uptime monitoring, SEO optimization and general support and maintenance issues.
Website branding examples
Let’s look at some of the best website branding examples that set the bar high.
Wix user and Tel Aviv-based artist Shira Barzilay is the face behind the iconic Koketit. In her own words, “The world is her canvas.” She's made this evident through her distinct artistic style seen in collaboration with brands like Zara, Cartier, Elizabeth Arden, Vogue Portugal, Harper’s Bazaar and Revlon. Most recently, she collaborated with Porsche to hand paint a Taycan.
Barzilay reflects her unique, unmistakable style on her website. Images of her artwork front and center on her site do the talking. Users can easily navigate through the site to her online shop, view collaborations or even explore NFTs. Koketit’s branded website also has an ‘Inspiration’ section showing artfully curated walls showcasing her work in homes. Visiting her site is as just an eye-catching and exciting experience as her artwork itself.
People know French plant-based bacon brand La Vie for their animal-free product line as well as their cheeky attitude. The brand is bright, bold and humorous in both its visual aesthetic and brand messaging. As La Vie explains, “We are building a movement, a positive change for the industry and for the planet.” Website visitors can feel this core value across every element of La Vie’s branding.
Their playful website copy includes phrases like, “Bacon and lardons without Mr. Piggy. 100% Veggie” or “Save a pig’s bacon. Eat La Vie,” making the brand's mission clear to any website visitor. The brand’s vibrant color palette of bubble pinks, sky blues and bright yellow appear in splashes throughout the website. Visitors will find the site easy to navigate, plus will walk away understanding the product offering and environmental impact.
Cult-favorite water brand Liquid Death has been recently dubbed Gen Z’s La Croix. In Liquid Death’s own words, “We’re just a funny water company who hates corporate marketing as much as you do. Our evil mission is to make people laugh and get more of them to drink more water more often, all while helping to kill plastic pollution.” And, so far, they’ve succeeded: The water brand is valued at $700 million in its latest raise and is the top-selling still water and second top-selling sparkling water on Amazon.
Every detail of Liquid Death’s website branding communicates their message and values. Upon entry to the site, a reel of user-generated content (UGC) greets visitors, showing real people of all ages creatively drinking Liquid Death. As visitors continue scrolling, another video shows devil-like characters killing plastic bottles, aptly referred to as "Death to Plastic." The brand even partnered with Martha Stewart to create a life-sized severed hand candle using Liquid Death cans—a creative and eco-friendly effort to battle pollution.
The branded website considers every detail, including a skull icon in their favicon, a “Sell your soul” membership club, branded merchandise and more.
Founded by visual artist, photographer and Wix-user Orit Harpaz, Weirdoh Birds is a creativity-forward lifestyle brand focused on home goods and hospitality products. LA-based Harpaz says in her “About section" that the Weirdo Birds “combines her love of drawing birds and interior design to create a groovy, upscale and exclusive brand.”
Visitors will immediately recognize Weirdoh Birds' distinctive and quirky style upon entry to the branded website. From the unique retro imagery, vibrant bird wallpaper displayed across the background and the unmistakable logo that cleverly reinforces the brand name, every aspect nails the brand. The website details also show off Harpaz’s unique drawing style through product integration and overall browsing experience.