As a search engine optimiser, I spend most of my time performing tasks to help websites rank higher on Google Serps. These tasks include link building, content creation, on page optimisations and creating link baits. Although these tasks can directly affect the position a website is placed on the SERPs, it does little to establish an active relationship with potential customers. This is when branding and general online marketing comes into play.
Many web masters are unfortunately under the wrong impression that having traffic is the goal to a successful website. To a certain extent this is true, however one must also take into consideration the sustainability of the traffic entering the website. In other words, one must ask if the traffic being generated will continue to return to the website one or two years later. This is what separates the successful to the failures.
Have you ever visited a website which you believed was of decent quality, ventured pass the initial entrance page and left with a smile? Now, think back and ask yourself, did you even end up returning to that website? The most common answer to the last question would be “no“, and this is what the lack of branding a website can do. Even though you initially found the website you visited via either a search or via a link, the chance of you returning is slime unless the website has made a notable impression on you. This impression must last until your next visit which the website would have a second chance to make a deeper impression. This is what your brand can achieve is done properly.
However, without proper branding and positioning of your website, visitors will end up leaving your website without the faintest idea of what your website is called and what its actually about. If your website was not user friendly, you may even leave a lasting sour taste in your visitor’s mouth, which would be very hard to alter in the long run.
In order to keep visitors returning, you must entice them with a great user experience, an obvious overall subject and a notable branding presence. With all of the above, you will be able to build a relationship with your visitors and hence increasing the chance of them returning as well as increasing the time they spend on the website per visit. This is the ultimate goal of branding and creating brand loyalty and this applies to both online and offline businesses. Without branding then it is only a matter of time when you run out of new customers to pitch your sales to.
Remember, to make big money, you need to think further than what your current revenue is, start branding now so that you can keep as many of your customers as possible, as they are the one who will continue to fund your business.