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Branding has long been an important part of building a successful business. With the expansion of the Internet, more companies and individuals have taken this to cyberspace with online branding. Online branding is letting the world know who the company or individual is, what services it can provide, and how it performs those services. More than just getting the name out there, it involves getting the company's message out, too.
Commonly used by companies to increase the business they do over the Internet, online branding strategies can be used by anyone with an Internet presence. Creating an identity and getting their names at the top of search engine lists can be essential for bloggers and social networkers. Even an individual can use online branding to create a presence, especially if he or she has a resume posted and is directing potential employers to look to at his or her Internet profiles.
Online branding begins before a website goes live. A properly developed website lets people know what a person or company can do for them. Developing it the right way can help drive traffic to the site and, ultimately, the business.
A well-designed website can create an air of trust and authority to those visiting it for the first time, essential in establishing a long-term relationship. More than selling the company or the blog, online branding sells the individuals behind it, as visitors will remember a site with a face or a name more readily than one devoid of the human appearance. A successful online branding strategy depends on visitors knowing exactly what to expect on the website, and a business or blog with a vague name needs to make its function clear immediately.
One key to a successful online branding campaign is being found. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a method of assigning keywords to a web page that will maximize its chances of being found by any of the major search engines. The higher on the list of results, the more people will be exposed to the site. Keywords are assigned in the title tags of the website and in the domain name, among other places; part of online branding is the careful selection of words to market the site as effectively and quickly as possible.
Most people cannot be successful on the Internet alone, and building partnerships with others is crucial. Linking to other like-minded companies or similar blogs can be key to finding new users or fans. For example, bloggers trying to jump start a page on training methods for dogs might want to reach out to local animal shelters, rescues, and companies selling homemade dog treats. One of the most important parts of successful online branding is networking, and a network of links and contacts will be more likely to result in a web of clients, customers, fans, and visitors.