Many if not most PR firms offer web design services today. And that's a positive development—because the right PR firm just might be the best choice for creating your site, if you value building visitor trust.
You see, when you listen to the pitches of many website design firms today, they usually fall into one of two categories:
Some agencies attempt to impress you with visually acrobatic designs that have an appeal similar to Fourth of July fireworks. Bang. Boom. Pop.
Other firms focus on short-term lead generation to the exclusion of other considerations. They make your brand's story sound like a mathematical equation. Input content, output sales. It rarely works that way.
The reality is this:
If your visitors don’t trust you, nothing else matters.
Unfortunately, many PR firms are just not that good at web design. It's not their strategic focus and it shows in their results.
So, if you are looking for web design by a PR firm, how do you know you are looking at the right agencies? One way to evaluate PR agencies that market themselves as web design firms is to take a close look at their own websites.
Idea Grove has been designing websites for our clients for more than a decade, including awarding-winning sites for CA Technologies, Omnitracs, EXL and many others. Several years ago, I wrote Idea Grove's first blog post comparing the websites of major U.S. PR firms. We've rebooted that post a few times over the years, and this is our 2021 update.
We've based our rankings on the analysis of Nibbler, a tool by U.K.-based Silktide that gives a numerical rating to websites based on web design, development, SEO and other criteria. The free service has graded millions of websites on a scale of 1 to 10.
Few things are more important to a brand's reputation than its website. And no one understands brand reputation better than an experienced PR firm.
Too many companies, particularly as they get caught up in the day to day of running a business, forget just how central their website is to public perceptions of their organization. Fairly or unfairly, visitors to your brand's home on the web make conscious and unconscious judgments about your company based on their online experience.
A quality PR firm can be the partner you need to make sure your online image is always top of mind and keenly focused on securing trust at scale with your customers and other key audiences.
Just make sure the agency you choose is also good at web design.
Trust expert Scott Baradell is CEO and founder of Idea Grove. Idea Grove helps its clients secure trust at scale through its unique Grow With TRUST approach. Scott is an established authority on trust and editor of the online publication Trust Signals, as well as author of the upcoming book Trust Signals: Brand Building in a Post-Truth World. Idea Grove celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2020, earning honors including the 2020 Pegasus Award for Small Agency of the Year, being named a Top 200 B2B service provider by Clutch, and ranking in the top 25 tech agencies in the U.S. by O'Dwyer's. Scott has an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America and speaks on PR and marketing topics at industry events nationwide.