Brand Websites in the Mobile, Cross-Device Era

What does the distributed, multi-device reality mean for the original channel — the brand website?

Websites have been the core of companies’ digital identities since the advent of the internet. But today’s world is radically different. Now brand web presences have multiplied, distributed across Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, across Glassdoor and Indeed, within the sprawling environments of an Amazon, in the App Store, and of course within Google search results. And within each of these growing channels, consumers are accessing brands across mobile, tablet and desktop — alternating between them in ways that continue to bedevil marketers. This distributed, multi-device reality presents ongoing challenges for marketers as they seek to keep up. But what does it mean for the original channel — the brand website?

Looking back, websites once had to be all those things: stores, blogs, brochures, portals for new hires and new business and two-way channels for conversations with customers. Now that most of those functions have been improved via specialized third-party sites and services, the role of websites have changed.

Websites are still the cornerstones of online presences. They are the primary nexus for news, information, content, job postings and executive profiles. The difference is that now it the websites function as archives and central repositories of this content, rather than the front pages for it. What can be found on company websites can be found elsewhere, sure, but only on the websites does the content make sense as part of coordinated business wholes.

The other benefit of inbound website traffic is that it is the best place to gain a better understanding of leads, prospects and consumers. By offering insights, research, webinars, exclusive content and/or offers, websites provide unrivaled portals through which to gather the data that then informs outbound sales and marketing efforts. It’s not as easy to gather that data through all the extensions of brands. Social platforms, in particular, have privacy policies that prevent such data from winding up in companies’ hands. Websites are still the best places for it.

Furthermore — and this can’t be understated — websites are the most definitive articulations of companies’ brand identities. The colors, fonts and overall user experiences communicate the personalities of brands in succinct and enduring fashions that can’t be accomplished within the curated environments of social platforms and other extended channels, where all content is rendered uniformly and where brands’ own content appears alongside other user-generated material that may have nothing to do with their messages.

That’s why you see so many resources going into the design of websites. Earlier web services focused on executing functioning sites with reliable back-ends, but services like Wix and Squarespace have moved all of that to the background. Today, most of the energy in creating websites goes into their design and user interfaces, which are the very things which create lasting brand impressions.

Some thought that websites wouldn’t survive the changes that have come to our digital lives. On the contrary, their role remains crucial. As long as websites are mobile-responsive, websites function today much as they have for the last two decades: as the primary digital presences for companies, the nucleus of an ever-expanding set of channels for the expression of brands.

Fortunately, there’s more opportunity than ever for SMBs to build websites, either by working directly with marketing services partners, or through a do-it-yourself (DIY) or do-it-with-me (DIWM) models. Content studios, ad agencies, local media companies and other ad services providers, including Sound Publishing, can help companies build and design websites to grow their businesses. At Sound, we can get started on a revamped, mobile-responsive website that will work across devices to reach audiences wherever they are.

More in Marketplace

Walk-in wellness 7 days a week — close to home!

New walk-in clinic is well-equipped for safe, convenient care

Got weeds? The easy, eco-friendly solution to invasive plants and underbrush

Mulching makes short work of unwanted material and improves soil for what’s planned next

A new look for your home begins with A Clean Streak

Beyond looking good, a deep clean has practical benefits, too

Slow to Start, Local Man Finds Big Trade Off in Riding Bus

Stinger Anderson absolutely would not get on a bus. He owned a… Continue reading

The team at Cook Wealth Management: advisors Darin (left) and London Cook and administrative assistant Chelsea Ceasar, are ready to help you achieve your financial goals. You can find them right in Oak Harbor.
Money matters. Your Money Matters More: Creating personalized portfolios in Oak Harbor

Work with the financial professionals you know at Cook Wealth Management on Whidbey Island

Innovative, evidence-based behavioral health treatment

Sunrise Services Community Behavioral Health is more than meets the eye. As… Continue reading

Sandra Oldemeyer, executive director of Welcome Home Oak Harbour seniors’ care residence, says she loves the diverse population and the inviting setting.
Welcome Home: Sharing a passion for care and community

Sandra Oldemeyer is passionate about welcoming residents home to Welcome Home. “There’s… Continue reading

Bryan and Carrie Stucky invite the community to celebrate occasions of all kinds at the new full-service Whidbey Events Center, conveniently located off State Route 20 in Oak Harbor.
There’s a new celebration hub in Oak Harbor

Rooms of all sizes, food/beverage services and more available for your Whidbey Island gathering

Your Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce team (from left): Miranda Hoppock, Hailey Beecher, Cathleen Snow, Vicki Graham (standing behind) and Autumn Parks.
Oak Harbor Chamber team cheers community, eyes BIG 2020 year!

Next up: New Year’s Eve fireworks show

Kick off the holiday season in Oak Harbor with these festive fundraisers

Festival of Trees gala weekend important for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Island County

The Hive Salon is a-buzz – find out why!

The Hive Salon team has been busy for the past few years,… Continue reading