How a bad website damages your brand and corporate image?
Internet is ubiquitous and websites are mushrooming. As some of the recent surveys indicate, there are 600+ million websites worldwide, and increasing everyday with astonishing rate. Making your brands visible in this quagmire is getting tougher with each passing day. No wonder, organizations open their war chests to fund their user friendly, informative, and communicative websites. Virtual presence has become the real thing, but a bad website is equally harmful for the image.
Website is the integral part of marketing strategy and social media presence for marketers. Footprints anywhere on the web land on one final destination, your website. Facebook pages, Twitter posts, Google+ updates, and many more innumerable platforms where organizations connect with users, need a strong and convincing destination – your webpages.
Your customers, vendors, partners, and employees visit your website for their various requirements. A badly managed website with shabby appearance, broken links, outdated newsfeeds, and unfriendly navigation is enough to make serious dents on your brand and corporate image. Remember, your website must reflect the way you want your stakeholders to perceive your brand and organization.
The impact is substantial and as intangible as brand and corporate image; and the damage is serious.
Believe me these are not farfetched imaginations. There are numerous business websites making these blunders.
Present your brand and corporate identity in bad shape:
An image is sum of every single touch point that organization has with its different constituencies. The virtual image must be the reflection of real market presence. It should go in-line with the message transmitted to stakeholders every single minute.
Imagine if you find Apple’s website in stark contrast to its premium image. The premium tag will definitely suffer a jolt. The Apple’s point might be exaggerated, but you can find numerous examples where virtual presence of the organization and real image building efforts are degrees apart.
People visit your website for many reasons like knowing your company and offerings, product details, contact details in case of inquiries or after sale support, register complaints and feedback etc. A nicely built website with user friendly navigation is the minimum they expect from you.
Badly laid out pages, inappropriate links, cluttered design, outdated contents baffle the visitors. They leave the website instantly, more confused than before they come to your website for solution. They may never comeback. The impression has long lasting effect on your brand and corporate image.
Nullifies your other brand building efforts:
A bad website negates your brand and image building efforts. No matter what you do; marketing programs, campaigns, brand building initiatives, media advertising etc., your website is the single most source of the most authentic and comprehensive information to the outside world.
A professionally managed website complements your marketing efforts; whereas a bad website gives serious blow to your brand building crusades.
Drives away serious prospects:
The first impression of bad website drives away the prospects who, otherwise, can convert to your valuable customers. The prospects visiting your website for initial information will contact you only if they feel that you are professional and serious enough to offer them the solution.
Your website can repel hordes of potential customers permanently.
An unprofessionally built, casual looking website can do more harm than good. You pay the price in terms of lost opportunities, customers and ultimate revenue. This is not palpable, but you may be paying huge price at the cost of some dollars saved while managing your website unprofessionally.
Bigger organizations rarely suffer as they hire best of the minds. Quite often, its relatively smaller businesses who pay the price for not paying serious attention to their biggest source of online identity, their website.
I don’t intend to write technical details on building great websites. I wish to point out the critical areas that businesses must watch while building and maintaining their websites.
- Keep the pages uncluttered. Ensure minimal use of pictures, graphics and animations; make the text readable, maintain contrast of the text to the background.
- About page is one the most visited as a starting point, a door to your website. Make a solid, compelling About page.
- Check and recheck the content for any mistake. Use professional content developers to write the content of the pages.
- Host your website with reputed hosting companies. Check the page load time. Cut down your page file size.
- Check the compatibility of your website with all major browsers like IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera.
- Make the website search engine friendly.
- Get the others to see the website. Make it as user friendly as possible. Great looking website with baffled users is of no use to your business.
- Give multiples options to visitors to contact you. Monitor the feedbacks and comments of your visitors on real time basis.
- Make effective use of analytics. Google analytics is a great tool to know about your visitors. Make use of statistics, tracking and analytics.
- Provide strong search functionality in your website. Make it easier to your visitors to find what they want.
- Give your visitors the options to engage with you. Offer newsletters, updates, RSS feeds.
A website is an extension of your organization. It is the most important medium by which prospects and customers connect to your organization.
The difference between the two extremes of experiences is often a good or a bad website. This experience also constructs the screen through which your visitors see your brand and corporate image.
Article Courtesy: biztekmantra.com