In today’s digital world, your online appearance can make or break your business. For most people, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the perfect platforms to market their brands and interact with customers. However, if you are serious about developing a good reputation online, social sites are not the best option for you. For one, they don’t give you the freedom to spice up your pages and present yourself in the best way.
Self-hosted WordPress sites, on the other hand, allow you to customize your sites and digital presence in multiple ways including adding complimentary themes and color schemes. Depending on your plan, you can also track the performance of your site using a range of quality analytical tools such as Google Analytics and KISSmetrics.
Sounds good, right?
Now, let’s look at how you can create a WP Website that will enhance your brand and improve your business prospects.
Know Your Story
You cannot impress customers if you are unsure of yourself and what you stand for or rather, you can’t tell a story that you don’t know. One way to create a strong brand is to define your personal or business identity by asking yourself questions like:
- What are your core values?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What unique products do you offer your customers?
- What makes you stand out better from other businesses offering the same products?
One of the first pages that visitors to your website look at is your About Us page. What they see here determines whether they stay or go for good and you know they will tell their friends too. As a foundation of your brand strengthening strategy, pick up relevant questions from the above examples and provide answers in a well written and informative several paragraphs. If possible, ask your friends or colleagues to read and give their thoughts and suggestions on how to make it better.
If you’re not confident of your creative writing skills, make use of the thousands of experienced content creators in platforms like Upwork, Guru, Fiverr.
Analyze Your Current Online Presence
Now that you know what you want people to see and know about, you can take a look at what you currently “look” like to people who search for you. Google yourself and go through each result. Typically, social media profiles appear first and as you go through them, look for and delete images or posts that seem out of place or that are unflattering to your brand.
Also, look for any mentions of your name in blogs and social forums to get a picture of how the public perceives you. It’s possible to get unflattering posts pulled down if you have conversations with admins. We recommend setting up Google alerts to track future mentions of you or your business on blogs or social networks.
Social Media Integration
No matter how much you enhance your WP site, it won’t make much of a difference to your brand name on its own. With billions of daily users, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are as essential to your brand as an official website. They help you stay updated with market news, share and market your products to an international audience and most importantly, to connect and interact with your customers. Matter of fact, being funny and creative on social media can give your business much-needed publicity through retweets, and the sharing and making of memes. With the right strategy, you can leverage the attention to pull in more customers and consolidate brand loyalty.
Using plugins that allow readers to share content from your website to their social media timelines is a great idea too. First, it’s free marketing, and second, it makes it all the easier to improve your brand reputation when people are already aware of your existence. Plugins such as Social Warfare, Sumo Share, Monarch, and WP Social Sharing can be quite useful in this case.
Use a Suitable Email Address
Using a Gmail or Yahoo address won’t do you any favors as far as your brand name is concerned. It makes you appear cheap. As WordPress allows you to create an address based on your domain name, why not take advantage of that? BryanMatthews@MattMatters does sound better and appears more professional than BryanMathews@gmail.com.
Furthermore, WordPress gives you the freedom to add more than one domain email, depending on your plan. Thus, you can have a dedicated address for every major aspect of a business, for instance, Marketing@MattMatters.com, Sales@MattMatters.com, etc.
Use Themes That Support Your Design and Function Requirements
There are thousands of website design themes available in the WordPress Directory that fit almost every preference or budget. As you shop for a suitable one, keep in mind that the strength of your online presence will not only depend on your website’s appearance but also how easy it is for readers to navigate through. Some key features to consider before selecting a theme include:
- Security – How safe will your website be when using the theme? You don’t want a framework with dubious security features as you stand to lose credibility and even customers when your site is hacked.
- SEO tools – These are the inbuilt Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features that help you attract organic traffic which can significantly boost your sales.
- Flexibility – Choose a theme that allows you to add plugins, files and other features you need to improve your site.
Content is King
Your content needs to be well-researched and written in a way that keeps readers coming back.
All throughout this article, we’ve touched on how to establish yourself in the online space. That’s great and all but it won’t be effective if you don’t consistently remind people of your presence. To start with, be active in professional forums like LinkedIn, Google+, and Quora. Read and leave detailed and quality comments under other people’s posts and share posts you find relevant. Also, start discussions and write your own original posts on various topics in your industry. The trust and goodwill you create when you engage and interact with your industry peers and have your posts present in such forums will boost your reputation significantly.
Adding a personal blog to your website, regularly publishing quality articles, and using the right SEO tools will bring in more eyes to your site. Putting up posts several times a week without fail also shows commitment to your cause and your customers will reward you by checking in every time you post. By creating a name for yourself as an authoritative voice on industry matters on top of your hopefully good business reputation, your brand name will soar to new heights.
Your website should ideally be unique and easily distinguishable from others in the same business field. Nonetheless, there are still some things featured in high performing websites that you should incorporate in your WordPress site such as the ones mentioned above. We hope that you have learned something new and that your brand will become the stronger for it.
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