You’re constantly on the lookout for things that could harm your brand’s reputation. An inappropriate post on social media, a rude interaction between your support team and a customer, and inconsistencies between your values and your company culture could put your brand’s reputation at risk. But there’s one place you may have forgotten to monitor when it comes to upholding your reputation: your website.
Brand reputation and web design are more closely entwined than you might imagine. Your website isn’t just another piece of brand collateral. It’s the main mode of connection between your brand and your audience. Not everyone who’s interested in what your company offers is going to stop by your brick-and-mortar office, but 71 percent of B2B buyers begin their research with a Google search. That makes your website’s design and functionality even more important than your physical location!
Your website is the focal point of your brand, and it’s often the first representation customers see of your company. The American Marketing Association reports that more than half of consumers go directly to a company’s website for branded content and product information. Once they’re there, it doesn’t take long to make a first impression—just two-tenths of a second, according to a Missouri S&T study. Seventy-five percent of a visitor’s
Continuously monitoring and improving your website is essential to maintaining good brand perception, and there’s no better way to do it than with growth-driven design (GDD). This data-driven approach to web design aims to launch a new site quickly, then make continuous improvements based on real-time user data. Learn how this smarter approach to web design can help you manage your brand reputation.
Growth-Driven Design Keeps You Up to Date with Best Practices
Keeping your website up to date with the latest best practices is the bare minimum for a reputable online brand. Issues like slow site speed and problems with mobile responsiveness can have a huge impact on customers’ perception of your brand. Nearly 40 percent of website visitors will stop engaging with a website if a page takes too long to load or the layout is unattractive.
It can be hard to keep pace with the latest best practices in a constantly changing digital world. Traditionally designed websites are often already outdated from the moment they launch. A typical website redesign takes 108 days to complete from the initial kickoff meeting—and it goes past its deadline by two weeks. To make matters worse, most websites that follow the traditional model only update their site every two years! That’s a lot of missed opportunity to keep your site in line with customers’ expectations.
GDD turns the traditional approach on its head by launching the initial website quickly, focusing on the changes that will have the biggest impact to shorten the timeline. Then you’ll continuously monitor and reevaluate your website so any updates in best practices can be implemented quickly. With this approach of ongoing monitoring, your website will always be current, giving your reputation a boost of professionalism in the process.
Growth-Driven Design Puts Your Audience First
Meeting the needs of your target audience is a primary concern for any brand that wants to maintain a positive reputation. When it comes to website design, this means not only staying on top of best practices, but also going deeper to give your customers their ideal browsing experience on your site.
If you want a reputation as a customer-focused brand, you need to be invested in offering a positive user experience on your website. GDD’s data-driven approach evaluates user’s habits in real time and makes adjustments based on the findings. That means that if there’s information your audience can’t find or there’s a clunky design making them click away, you’ll be able to fix the problem sooner than later.
Your brand values are apparent in everything from your writing style to the thought leadership you share.
The data shows that customers notice and respond to websites that have user experience in mind. A Google survey noted that 48 percent of respondents said that if a site wasn’t mobile friendly, they would assume the company simply didn’t care about their business. If you want to prove that your brand places a high value on serving your audience, growth-driven design is the way to do it.
Growth-Driven Design Aligns Your Site with Your Brand Values
Websites aren’t just about design. An elegant, well-organized site can boost your reputation at first glance, but the content within that design can take your authenticity and trustworthiness to the next level. Brand authenticity makes a big impact on your organization’s reputation—86 percent of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support. But consumers are having a hard time knowing who to trust. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer reports that 42 percent of respondents have experienced a loss of trust in business, saying they don’t know which companies or brands to trust.
There’s clearly a gap to fill here. Creating content that aligns with your brand values is one way your company can bridge the divide, putting its best foot forward as an organization worth trusting. Get clear on your brand values, then craft content that incorporates them in every way possible. Your brand values are apparent in everything from your writing style to the thought leadership you share. It’s important that everyone in the company is on board with a consistent content plan that accurately conveys your brand values.
That’s where growth-driven design comes into play. With a traditional site design that only happens every few years, it’s easy to forget about updating your content, especially on static pages like your About page. That means that while your brand values are continuously evolving, your brand values aren’t appropriately reflected on your site—sometimes for years at a time! GDD can help you improve your brand reputation by regularly ensuring your site’s content aligns with your values, boosting your authenticity factor and letting your audience know you’re an organization worth supporting.
Growth-Driven Design Helps You Achieve Your Brand Goals
Every organization has a vision for the future and goals to help them get there. These goals are often directly related to your reputation, such as making strides toward an improved outward expression of your brand values, or implementing an employee recruitment program based on conveying your company culture through social media.
GDD can help you achieve these brand goals by keeping them front and center for your team as they continuously evaluate your site and plan for improvements. Unlike a traditional website redesign, which considers changes and updates every few years, growth-driven design is constantly evaluating your website. That means you always have opportunities to make adjustments where your website is failing to help you achieve your long-term goals.
The State of Growth-Driven Design report found that websites launched with GDD saw 14 percent more visitors over six months than those launched as a traditional redesign, and they saw more than a 44 percent increase in leads over the same time period. These aren’t the only metrics that matter, but they’re a strong indication that you’re on track to hitting other brand goals, like strengthening your organization’s reputation.
Managing Your Brand Reputation with Growth-Driven Design
There’s no denying the importance of maintaining a positive brand reputation. Now that you know how brand reputation and web design go hand in hand, you can get to work improving your website in ways that will have a big impact on customers’ perception of your brand.
Learn more about how GDD can positively impact your brand with our article “Analyze, Optimize, Repeat: A Case for Continuous Website Improvement.”