Your website is the foundation of your company's online marketing strategy. Yes, you promote your business on social media and send a weekly email newsletter to keep your customers in the loop with what's happening at your company, but these efforts are all made with the intention of driving traffic to your website.
With so much business being conducted online these days, your website is often the first impression that customers have of your business. In some cases, your website will serve as the only interaction that customers have with your business throughout the entire sales process.
Considering the instrumental role that your website plays in your digital marketing strategy, it's imperative that you get website design right.
Here is an overview of how website design impacts your online marketing strategy:
1. Conversion Rate
Increasing your conversion rate should be a top priority with your website design. You work hard to drive qualified leads to your business, and once they arrive on your website, you need your design to inspire them to take action (make a purchase, fill out a form, etc).
Design-related factors that impact your conversion rate include the ease of navigation on your website and the layout of your landing pages. The choices you make in regards to font, color, and graphics used on your website will impact the credibility of your business.
The content that you incorporate into your website design needs to be relevant to your audience and add value. The layout of the content on your website pages will make a significant impact on how well you're able to engage your audience.
Today's consumers have short attention spans, so text alone will not cut it. Include a mix of text, graphics, images, and video content to command attention and encourage visitors to stay on your website.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Website design and SEO need to go hand-in-hand. In addition to including relevant keywords into the content that you share on your website, you need to take into consideration other design elements that impact your search strategy.
One of the most important elements that your website needs to have is a responsive design. With so many consumers browsing the internet using mobile devices, you need to make sure your website offers just as good of a user experience when accessed using a smaller screen as it does on a larger screen. Responsive design is mobile-friendly, and Google recently said that it gives preference to mobile-friendly websites in search results.
Certain aspects of your website's design can negatively impact its load speed (images, videos, etc). Google recommends that your website load within 2 to 3 seconds as visitors become frustrated if pages take too long to load. If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you need to rework your design to speed up your website to prevent your visitors from clicking elsewhere. The Website Speed Test tool will make you aware of your website's current loading speed and offer insight as to how to improve your speed.
Some businesses are tempted to stuff the content on their website with keywords or use hidden text to drive up search rankings. These black-hat SEO practices will get you penalized by Google and other search engines. Also, be cognizant to not include duplicate content on your website as this can hurt your search strategy as well.
The overall message, tone, and choice of graphics that your website offers play an instrumental role in your online branding strategy. Offering a design that is not consistent with your other branding efforts will confuse your audience and cause your business to lose credibility.
With so much riding on the design of your website, you can't afford to get it wrong. Partnering with an agency that offers all aspects of digital marketing under one roof is the best way to achieve a website design that works in tandem with your overall online marketing strategy.