How Important is Web Design to Your Digital Marketing Strategy?
Have you started working on your digital marketing strategy?
If so, you’ll be thinking about:
- Social channels
- Email marketing
- Paid digital ads
- An app
- The latest or upcoming digital trends, such as 3rd party platform product content (e.g. promoting and selling your products on Amazon), livestreaming, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
But it’s easy to forget, amidst all these assorted digital marketing channels and tactics, that a website is still the ‘mothership’ of any digital marketing strategy.
And, as such, it’s vital that your web design is nothing short of awesome.
Finding the Right Balance
There was a time, not so long ago, when website aesthetics and user experience (UX) were deprioritized in favour of functionality.
That was in response to a period of ‘Design for design’s sake’ website design during which too many brands adhered to the flawed idea that an aesthetically pleasing website was the be-all-and-end-all; often to the detriment of good user journeys, functionality, and, ultimately, lead conversion.
But web design trends have shifted to a good place now, where great aesthetics and functionality go hand-in-hand to deliver practical and enjoyable website user experiences.
Web Design Critical to Brand Engagement
A great-looking website that functions really well and makes the user journey as smooth as possible is integral to any effective digital marketing strategy. It’s a mark of your brand’s high standards and the importance you place on giving users great experiences.
Layout, colour schemes and more subtle details like an enticing call to action (CTA) buttons must seamlessly combine with one another to help build a powerful platform central to your digital marketing strategy and campaigns.
Regardless of your industry, a website that 1. makes it easy for users to easily find what they’re looking for 2. is aesthetically pleasing 3. is regularly updated with great content will:
- Get you great visibility on Google
- Build trust with potential clients and significantly increase customer acquisition and conversion rates.
The One Digital Asset Your Business Can’t Do Without
A well-crafted website is transactional and gives businesses the best opportunity to increase leads and sales.
It’s also the one digital asset that a brand and marketing strategy can’t do without.
Social media analytics are still in their infancy. And it’s not always easy to get clear pictures with paid or digital ad data.
But websites are easily measurable, giving you and your business the analytics it needs to:
- Truly understand your customer, their behaviours and needs
- Gain clear insight into what is and isn’t working
And therefore make effective data-led digital marketing decisions!
Best Practices for Maximum Website Impact
Stand Out from the Crowd
Differentiation is a crucial factor in all digital and brand marketing strategies.
An outdated and clunky website will give a poor impression that creates a barrier between you and your potential customer. And that’s a problem that needs fixing immediately.
But don’t go making a silly decision like simply replicating a competitor’s website and putting a new skin on it. Why? Because:
1. It’s sticking plaster
2. It could cheapen your brand because customers who shop around will easily spot that you’ve just gone and copied the competition
No, you definitely need to present your brand, story, products or services in your own way with a compelling website structure, visuals and content that truly reflect your brand and give potential customers memorable, enjoyable experiences.
The Importance Of a Great User Experience
Don Norman, the celebrated cognitive scientist and doyen of user-friendly design, described User Experience as follows when he was User Experience Architect at Apple in the 1990s:
‘User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products’
That’s it in a perfect nutshell.
And it demonstrates why user experience (or UX, as it’s commonly abbreviated now) is something brands need to constantly focus on and invest in.
Take your website, for instance.
A high-quality website will give users a great journey that enables them to easily engage, explore and interact with the brand. Building meaningful first impressions and then backing them up with enjoyable interactions will play a huge part in converting leads into conversions – and long-term customers who keep coming back for more.
SEO and Design Must Align
For those who may not know, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the methodology that goes into improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to your website or web page from search engines like Google and Bing.
Keyword research is a practice that we – as search engine optimization and digital marketing experts with years of website-building experience – use to find and apply search terms that users enter into search engines when looking for products, services or general information.
SEO – and the keyword research that goes into building a great SEO and content strategy – must be your focus before you write a single word on your new website.
What are your key markets searching for? Which keywords are the most strategically important? If you constantly don’t pay close attention to and regularly revisit these questions, your website is bound to underperform.
And it’s very important that your SEO strategy is reflected in your website design and how potential customers interact with it.
Chances are that, unless your brand is world-famous or they’ve typed your exact brand name into a search engine or browser, users will be confused if they land on your website and not immediately see references or allusions to the keywords they used to find it.
Web Design Conversion Directly Impacts Conversions
One of the most important website metrics is how good – or bad – it is at converting leads.
Conversion rates directly correlate with how users interact with the website, so are a hugely important factor in all your digital marketing decisions.
Which actions do you want people to ultimately perform on your website? Which off-page channels (e.g. email marketing, social media, digital advertising) will you leverage to get them to perform those actions? And how do these align with your SEO and overall brand strategy?
If a user can’t immediately find what they’re looking for on your website because of a poorly placed call to action button or unclear navigation, the likelihood is that they will quickly leave your website in a state of frustration – and never return.
Even worse, they’ll probably go looking on your competitor’s website and become their long-term customer instead!
Building and Maintaining Customer Loyalty through Great UX
Think of a brand that you really like and feel loyal towards.
Is it just because of their products and services?
Of course those are important factors. But, no, it’s also because you’ve enjoyed how their marketing looks, sounds and feels; the way the brand interacts with you; and how the brand continually nurtures its relationship with you and others like you.
Lots of variables go into building this influence. Not least – in a day and age where digital interactions are almost constant and people want to associate themselves with brands that make them feel good – UX-driven digital marketing.
Website Design at the Heart of a Great Digital Strategy
It’s vital that you realize just how important digital marketing interactions are to the way 21st-century B2B and B2C customers engage with brands and make purchasing decisions.
And, therefore – seeing as it’s the central piece in your digital marketing strategy – how influential your company’s website is to lead generation, conversion, and the building of brand loyalty.
Contact us today if you want an expert partner to build you a powerful website and digital marketing strategy that fuels growth