Whether you want to build your own personal brand, or you need to maintain an outstanding brand for your business, a WordPress website is one the easiest ways to create and expand your brand. Why? Because WordPress websites make it easy to talk to your customers.
But WordPress websites can also make it easy to send the wrong messages. For example, if the last post on your website is months old, your business looks inactive.
Here are four ways to build a brand that sticks using your WordPress website:
WordPress Branding #1—Choose A Schedule And Stick With It
Although WordPress websites can make great static (unchanging) websites, WordPress was originally designed as a blog, and that’s still what it does best. If you add a blog to your website, you must not commit the cardinal sin of blogging: excessive inactivity.
Brands need life, vitality, to be effective. You’re not going to buy from yesterday’s brand—and neither will your customers buy from you if you look inactive.
That doesn’t mean you need to post every day—or even every week—but you should post on a regular schedule. The more regular, the better. I recommend once a week for new bloggers who think they’ll like blogging or at least once a month for someone who doesn’t like writing. See my good old blogging routine for a full time blogger.
If you can’t communicate with your customers and potential customers at least that often, hire a writer or public relations firm to do it for you—because if nobody is communicating on behalf of your firm, your customers are going to get all of their information from other people.
But if you choose a schedule and stick with it, not only will your blog look fresh to new visitors, but your frequent visitors will notice your schedule and see that you’re a reliable person.
WordPress Branding #2—State Your USP Clearly On Every Page
A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is one of the most effective tools for getting customers to buy from you (or continue visiting your site) because it establishes what makes you unique—how you differ from your competitors.
Your USP is so important that it should be on every page of your site.
The easy way to do that is to turn it into a slogan and add it to your website header. Another way is to turn your USP into a domain name. But the best way (in my opinion) is to manually work your USP into every single post. See this 20 step action plan as your website USP is part of that process.
For example, say your USP is “local dentist with 40 years experience.” You want visitors to know that you’re the only local dentist with that much experience.
You can work this into blogs in many, many ways:
- Mention a weird dental situation you encountered 40 years ago.
- Discuss how all the other dentists who were working in your town when you started have retired.
- Discuss how dental techniques and technology has changed over 40 years.
- Talk about seeing the children and grandchildren of patients you worked on when they were children.
- Point out that you’ve seen perfect teeth stay perfect across 40 years thanks to brushing and flossing.
If you manage only one site or a small number of sites, I highly recommend that you write your USP on a sticky note and tape it to your computer monitor. (On laptops, I tape important notes to the dead space around my touchpad—it looks ugly, but I get the message.)
WordPress Branding #3—Choose A Theme And Stick With It
Every few years around here, the local supermarket (or their parent corporation) hires a consultant who tells them where to put products in the store to maximize sales. During this two-week process, everything on inside aisles of the store gets moved around. I hate it. It turns a 5-minute shopping trip into a 30-minute Easter egg hunt.
If this has ever happened to you, you know how frustrating it is to be in a familiar place but to have everything rearranged on you. Now imagine how your audience feels when you re-theme your WordPress site. Unless you’ve made some major improvements—like adding a responsive design—existing readers probably dislike your redesign.
I know this joint well and truly. Here’s why:
- I have used the Socrates WordPress Theme.
- Then I changed from Socrates to Elegant Themes.
- I have used Thesis.
- Now I ditched Thesis for Genesis.
My good friend owned a mid-sized organization with about 3,000 employees and most jobs were completed in house. That was until my friend hired a branding consultancy firm for an outrageous amount of money—but they did good work and one of the things they designed for the staff was a general theme to use on all of our marketing material, from the website, to the brochures, to even the regular letterhead—every single thing produced for public consumption had this same theme. And—I just checked—ten years later they’re still using it.
Because branding breeds familiarity, and familiarity makes us comfortable—and we’re most likely to buy something or use something if we’re comfortable.
WordPress Branding #4—Actions Speak Loudest
That organization my friend owned ten years ago has been wildly successful, and although their general theme helped, I’m sure the greatest share of their success came from doing good work.
They were in an industry where shoddy work is commonplace—but they committed to doing quality work. (It helped that they were a non-profit competing with for-profits.) As a location-based business, their marketing department frequently reminded all of us that the absolute best marketing is word-of-mouth marketing from happy customers.
Word-of-mouth marketing may not be ideal for websites, but having a quality website—a website which demonstrates through its actions that it cares for its customers—is still the best online branding available.
Social media can help you promote an excellent website. People will link to an excellent website. Excellent websites will get return traffic.
In other words—you can build a brand without having a great WordPress website, but a mediocre website will have a mediocre brand. To build a great brand, you need to have a great website.