Using Brand Research to Build a Better Website – Part 4

When you launch your brand website, your work isn’t done. Once your site is live, you need to monitor its performance and conduct post-launch brand research to ensure you’re consistently developing the right consumer perceptions about your brand, cultivating the right expectations for your brand, and driving awareness, sales, trust, loyalty, and advocacy. That’s the subject of Part 4 of the Using Brand Research to Build a Better Website series.

brand research web designIf you missed Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3 of this series, follow the preceding links to catch up. Now, it’s time to learn about the research and analysis that you need to do on an ongoing basis to ensure your website is helping you reach your brand goals.

Your pre-launch research helps you create the foundation of your web design, but consumers’ wants and needs are constantly evolving — as are your competitors. What worked on launch day might not work a year from then. In fact, it might not work the next month or the next week! Simply launching your brand website and walking away is a huge mistake that will limit your success potential.

Analyzing Performance Metrics

Use web analytics tools like Google Analytics to track the performance of your site. Which sites are referring traffic to your site? What content and which pages are getting the most interest and page views?

Couple these findings with social media monitoring to get a complete picture of your site’s performance. For example, use tools like HootSuite, SocialMention, and Radian6 to track your brand influence, how often your content is shared online by others, how often people comment on your content and whether those comments are positive or negative.

At the same time, you should monitor your competitors using the public tools available to you like Monitter.com to track what people are saying about them. You’re likely to uncover some great opportunities to directly and indirectly promote your brand simply by listening to online conversations related to your competitors or your industry.

Gathering Research Data

You should also conduct post-launch market research to learn more about your site’s performance in terms of meeting visitors’ wants and needs as well as to gather information about brand sentiment as it relates to the user experience on your site. Are there parts of your site that visitors find frustrating? Is there missing information that potential customers are looking for? Are you presenting information in the way visitors expect to find it or are you confusing them through your website design?

Use research to gather sentiment information as well from both existing customers and people in your target audience. Remember, creating an emotional connection between your brand and consumers is a critical element of brand building. Ask questions to collect information about how people feel about your website, their experience with your brand when they visit your website, and your brand promise overall. If there is any disconnect between your site, the user experience on the site, and your brand promise, you need to revise your site design strategy and execution.

If you missed previous parts of the Using Brand Research to Build a Better Website series, follow the links below to read them now:

Images: Flavio Takemoto

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Gunelius
Susan Gunelius brings over 20-year of marketing and branding experience as Contributing Editor for the AYTM.com blog. She is the author of numerous books about marketing, branding and social media, and her marketing-related articles appear on top media websites such as Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com.