There are some obvious advantages to having a company logo and slogan — and a couple of other good reasons to have them when considering your new website and its ability to be easily found on the internet. This post discusses those.
Lately, I’ve begun to do some website design and consulting work for a few clients who are coming to me with literally nothing established in the way of company branding. While they’re relatively-small and locally-based service firms, each is involved in an extremely competitive market. Lots of folks are regularly browsing the internet and looking for the services they offer. All things being equal, they’ve got to do anything and everything to stand out from the crowd.
A corporate logo and a slogan are two ways to stand out. Often these will differentiate you significantly from competitors and you’ll gain a bonus SEO (Search Engine Optimization) edge as well!
A company logo doesn’t necessarily need to be a graphical representation of the company’s products or services. It’s often tough to come up with a simple image that conveys something like ‘I design and build backyard decks’ or ‘we provide in-home massage services.’ A hammer or a screw or a row of planks would all be too ambiguous for the former and I have no idea of a single image that even comes close to representing the latter! So perhaps the ingredients of a good logo for your business might only involve the use of a specific typestyle (font), in a consistent way (e.g. all capital letters) and be shown in one or more consistent colours. That might be all that’s needed to make it relatively memorable. And if those elements could be put together by somebody with a creative bend who did such things for a living, all that much the better because it would probably be even more original-looking and memorable.
An original corporate logo is well within the grasp of literally any business on earth these days due to digital services-finding websites such as Fiverr and 99designs. In the case of Fiverr, you simply browse through literally dozens of profiles of logo artists from around the planet, all happy to design and make you something for less than the price of a good restaurant meal! These are people who, once they’re told a bit about your business and perhaps some ideas you have and a favourite colour or two, will design you something pretty stunning. And if you want some choice, 99Designs gives you the means to hold a contest for your logo design business! Designers submit ideas and you pick your favourite. Do an online search for “logo designer” and you’ll find even more sources for these graphic designers, many who live in the third world.
Website Logo Bonus
Here’s another reason to have a company logo: SEO traction.
Is it too obvious to state that Google and other search engines can’t “read” photographs or other graphic images in the same way you can? Currently, they can’t, leaving them to build indexes of websites based solely upon the words that the web-crawler bots encounter there. Believe it or not, the addition of a company logo on your home page and elsewhere on your website actually gets you the ability to use your company’s name and some choice SEO keywords more than without a logo!
Not everybody browsing the internet has a fast connection and many people have disabilities that prevent them from seeing and reading what others can. Those with an ultra-slow connection will turn off their browser’s rendering of detailed graphics whose size can quickly clog their digital pipeline. Folks with sight-related disabilities will use screen readers to read, through text-to-speech software, whatever is on the web page before them.
In both of these situations, “alt tags” are used in place of displayed graphics. For the user with the slow connection, alt tags tell her what images are on the page that she’s not seeing. Similarly, the screen reader is reading the alt tags to the blind person, telling him descriptions of what images are on the page.
The bonus here is that we can put SEO-helpful words into these alt tags and not be penalized for doing so by Google and other search engines. In fact, leaving alt tags blank for graphic images will actually lower search engine rankings.
As a general rule, your company’s name should tell what it does. But many of us had no control over this or the business changed its mission but couldn’t change it’s name. For example, Kenny’s Carpentry seemed to be a great business name when Kenny began it, offering general carpentry services. He eventually realized he built great backyard decks and that there was a big and profitable market for them, but didn’t want to change his company name and lose all of the goodwill and superior reputation it had amassed.
They’re also known as straplines or taglines and personally, I think that any business is at a great disadvantage when they don’t have one. Why? Because those extra three to ten words that you might often place beside or below your logo can strike a chord with its reader and, in a perfect world, sum up your company’s mission in a few well-chosen words. If nothing else, they announce to your website visitor that they’re at their intended destination. They also help considerably, as I mentioned above, if your company name is fairly non-descriptive.
Company Slogan Bonus
Similar to the alt tags situation with company logos, a company slogan beneficially lets you inject some heading words onto your website’s pages that are directly related to your business and its mission. So, if the strapline of Kenny’s Carpentry is “Building solid yard decks since 2010” then we’ve got another chance to use the word deck — the company’s specialty — and surround it with SEO-helpful words like ‘building’ and ‘yard.’ See how we just got a bit more SEO traction from the addition of a descriptive company slogan?
Whether it’s as elegant and simple as the Nike “swoosh” or the script font used in the Coca-Cola brand name for over a century, logos and brands make and support the image of a business regardless of its size. Similarly, a company without a straightforward and informative slogan infers that it hasn’t a clear mandate or mission. If either is omitted from your website, you’ll be at a significant disadvantage because of competitors who do have and regularly and repeatedly use them in all of their marketing materials.
Additionally, you get the chance to once again use primary and related SEO keywords not only in the text that your website visitors read, but also in the text that they can’t read that’s embedded into those helpful alt tags!