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Learn about the importance of a visual audit for brand image and how to conduct one in seven easy steps.
First impressions matter, and that’s why the design of your website can make or break the deal. Your website is the face of your company, and it should attract new clients and convince them to work with you. Potential customers prefer a well-organized, neat, and modern design rather than an outdated and unorganized design. That is why updating your visual branding and keeping up with trends regularly is important. To do that, it helps to perform a brand visual audit – a check-up of the organization’s design elements that helps ensure that the design is consistent across all platforms and represents your brand image accurately. If you want to be sure that you are communicating visually enough, that the design is consistent, and see how people perceive your company, it’s time to perform a visual audit.
Reasons to Conduct a Visual Audit for Your Brand
Every company that wants to grow and be memorable to clients needs a visual audit. It is especially important because of changing design trends, new tools and technologies being used, and changes in user preferences. To stay on track with the market, brands need to regularly update their designs. Let’s look at the key reasons to conduct a visual brand audit:
- For a consistent look. When it comes to brand identity, consistency is key. You need to make sure that your brand assets, such as logos, fonts, and colors, are consistent across all platforms. A visual audit will help make sure that everything is consistent and that customers can understand your message.
- To see how others perceive your brand. It is essential to understand how other people perceive your brand, and a visual audit helps with that. When you identify the gaps in the design, you can change how your company is perceived, make more informed decisions, and get a clearer idea of where to go next.
- To fix your visual communication strategy. Your design communicates your brand message, so you need to ensure that it is clear and easy to grasp. A visual audit will help you identify gaps in your visual communication strategy and fix any issues.
- To learn about competitors’ strategies. A visual audit also helps you stay competitive in the market. You can use it to learn more about your competitors and what they are up to, analyze their designs, and gain inspiration for your own branding.
How to Conduct a Brand Visual Audit of Your Website
Now that you have learned about the importance of conducting a visual audit, it is time to examine the steps required to make it successful. You may adjust these steps depending on your type of business and your goals, but the overall process is the same for every brand.
- Creating a framework.
First of all, you should define what should be analyzed and why. Make a detailed list of everything that needs to be audited. For example, you may want to analyze your website, social media platforms, or everything at once. If all you need to analyze is the UX – pay attention to the visual aspect of your website along with its technical aspects. However, you can go even further and analyze not only your website but also your competitors.
Thus, when building a framework, ensure to include the following elements: brand identity, visual assets, user experience, competitor analysis, and current design trends. This will help you ensure that your visual audit is complete and covers all essential aspects of your company. Make it as detailed as possible and identify what will be analyzed first, according to your priorities and needs. Remember that there is no universal way of building a framework, so do it according to your brand’s current state and your goals.
- Checking your current status
It is essential to take the time to analyze the current state of your website. You should pay attention to branding: colors, fonts, images, and style. See whether everything is consistent across all pages.
After that, evaluate the loading time of your web pages and check if there are any issues that need to be solved. The probability of bounce increases by 32% as page load time goes more than 3 seconds. So if your website is slow, your branding won’t matter at all because people will close the page and not wait for it to load. Pay attention to the format and size of all pictures on your website.
To evaluate your website’s current status, check its Core Web Vitals and speed in terms of UX. This can be done with the website audit tool by SE Ranking. With this tool, you can monitor any technical issues that can have an impact on the website’s performance and make use of suggested fixes to help optimize your website.
source: SE Ranking
- Collect customer feedback
What your customers think matters a lot. In fact, you may have a biased opinion about your website because you are its owner. That is why it is essential to talk to your customers and gather their feedback about your company and see how they perceive it.
To collect customer feedback, you can use polls and surveys, analyze reviews on different platforms, or use Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Ask people what they like and dislike the most about your website, whether they encounter any difficulties when using it, etc. It is also important to ask about their experience with making a purchase, interacting with customer support through the business phone system or omnichannel contact center, product quality, social media platforms, and whether they have any ideas on how to improve your brand image.
You may have a team of professional designers, developers, and marketers, yet customers are the ones making a purchase, so it is important to make sure that they find your brand appealing and want to come back. Thus, you can create Google Forms with questions and send them to your clients via email or create polls on Instagram or Facebook to collect feedback. Moreover, you can offer customers promo codes in exchange for filling out forms and sharing their feedback.
- Analyze customer behavior patterns
Once you have learned what your customers think, it’s time to learn what they usually do on your website and how they make purchases. In other words, you should analyze their behavior patterns.
More and more brands these days are investing in customer behavior prediction because it helps create more effective marketing strategies, improve conversions, and positively influence company growth. Thus, it is essential to know how to analyze and predict customer behavior accurately.
Customer behavior patterns are not the same as buying habits. Each customer has their own unique buying habits, but patterns are collective, which makes it easier for marketers to analyze them. Patterns can be grouped according to the place of purchase, items purchased, time and frequency of purchase, and method of purchase.
Thus, you should analyze each of those patterns to learn whether your customers prefer to shop online or offline, what they buy the most frequently, how often and when they do it, and what their preferred payment method is. All these insights should be included in your visual audit.
- Analyze your competitors’ content
If you want to learn what performs best in your niche, it’s time to analyze your competitors’ visual content. This can help you identify trends in the market and gaps in both your and your competitors’ content and develop a strategy to fill those gaps.
During this step, do the same as you would do with your website: analyze design elements such as logos, branding, content, speed, SEO, backlinks and leads, presence in search results, etc. This may help you generate new ideas for your content and design and you can learn how to outperform your competitors.
Moreover, you can check your competitors’ social media to see how they interact with their customers. You can also read people’s reviews to get a clearer look at how your competitors are doing and whether their clients have any questions you can answer.
Remember not to copy anyone’s content. Use your competitors as a source of inspiration and find a way to offer people something they aren’t currently being offered. Analyzing competitors’ visual content can help you to become more competitive and improve your marketing strategies and brand image.
- List the changes required
Next, develop your goals on what you want to change. You need to have a clear goal in mind when approaching your visual audit. Whether you want to increase conversions, rebrand entirely or get a new customer base, the steps you take will depend on this goal.
For example, if your goal is rebranding, you would need to create new designs, visuals, and a new marketing strategy. Thus, it would take a lot of time, resources, and money to do that, and your visual audit would have to be more comprehensive and cover all aspects of your brand.
Without a clear goal, chances are good you will waste time and money on a visual audit that will not bring any real results.
- Monitoring results
Once you have made the needed changes to your website, you should start monitoring the results. This includes checking social media activity, customer feedback, conversions, brand reputation, changes in ROI, and new sales.
Once again, ask your customers about their experience with your brand and whether they encountered any issues. Compare the state of your business before and after the changes and see what improvements helped you increase traffic and gain more clients. If you are satisfied with the results, it means that your visual audit was successful.
Ready to Get Your Logo?
A visual audit is not an easy task – it is time-consuming, requires manual evaluation, and it cannot be successful without a clear goal in mind. However, if you know what you want to achieve with your visual audit, follow the steps outlined in this article, and dedicate some time to it, you will see results. It can help you increase sales, drive more traffic to your web pages, and find new customers.
Rashana Ahluwalia is a writer at GraphicSprings, specializing in branding, marketing, and entrepreneurship. With a passion for creative expression, her articles provide valuable insights for businesses striving to stand out.