Your website is so important to your digital marketing strategy. Fact. Your site is where people get a feel for your business – who you are, what you stand for, what you offer. It’s where people interact with you, make first impressions and hopefully make conversions.
Your marketing strategy might incorporate brilliant campaign ideas and content on social, email or offline, but if your landing page is badly designed and does not convert then your strategy has still failed. Think of how irritating it is to come across a website only to find it unresponsive, difficult to navigate and slow to load. To achieve those marketing goals, website design is key. Read on to find out more reasons why!
1. Pin down your Audience
Your website needs to be built and designed around your target audience, whether they be potential customers, internal stakeholders, leads etc. This way you can draw up user personas and consider user journeys – how will they navigate it? How will they reach their own goals on your site? Your website should reflect your branding and all your key messaging – this should be consistent across all online touchpoints. Identifying your site audience will help focus your online presence.
Once you have identified your audience, it is important to think about their online behaviour and think about how they might respond to certain aspects such as calls to action. A/B testing is a great way to find out what works best. This could mean creating landing pages for particular marketing campaigns and seeing what is most effective with your audience.
2. Define your website’s goals
Think lead generation, sales, or brand awareness – your digital marketing strategy will help outline the goals that should be central to website design. And remember, objectives must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Bound)! Make sure that KPIs are set for each website objective, whether they are based around conversions, website visits, time on page, keyword rankings or bounce rates.
And never forget about your competition. A competitive analysis is always useful, and it is beneficial to work out if you are outperforming your competitors or not! You want your website to have the competitive edge.
3. Focus on your Brand Identity
Make sure you’re happy with how your brand is represented across all online touchpoints. Your website gives you the opportunity to write detailed content on your business and build trust. If you convey a conversational, engaging tone on social media, your site experience should be visually engaging, straightforward and inviting. Your brand identity encapsulates everything, so it has to be consistent.
4. Think about SEO
You want your website to be seen on search. This is an important factor for any online business so that you can compete. To increase your organic visibility on search engines, there are various on and off-site techniques in web design. On-page optimisation includes technical elements of the site alongside mobile/device responsiveness, speed and smooth navigation. You want to help bots create a map of your site when they crawl it, so your website must be structured and include custom metadata and alt tags to explain pages and content. Page title and the meta description are also key – users see these in the SERPs and will decide whether or not to click on your link! The look and feel of your site can also impact user response, so design should be aesthetically pleasing so that they want to revisit.
Website content is also extremely important. You want the functionality to create and add new content to your site, this is great. Content and SEO go hand in hand; there is more chance that strong, relevant and rich content will be found on search engines. Keep updating your content, crawlers love that!
5. Keep an eye on Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
Conversion Rate Optimisation involves enhancing your site to increase the chances that a user will complete a desired action and improve your conversion rate (CR). Conversions aren’t always sales – it depends on objectives! They could mean newsletter signups, account creations, contact form submissions. Sites must be designed to drive users to these call to actions. Web designers need to find the balance between appearance and efficiency. Keep an eye on your conversion rates – designers and marketers need to work together to find out what is working best.
6. Remember User Experience (UX)
Enhancing User Experience is crucial – users want sites to be accessible, quick and responsive. As we already know, this is important for SEO and CRO. However, user’s also want a visually appealing and entertaining experience that is valuable to them. This way, they will come back. They may have been sent to your site from an email campaign – the design can help them find what they are looking for, and so overall their experience from start to finish has been smooth and worthwhile.
7. And Don’t forget Analytics and Monitoring
Review, review, review! Things change, trends come and go and business need to adapt to keep performing well. See what is working, and what isn’t on your website, and optimise it. Google Analytics can help with this. Identify the pages that aren’t getting much traffic or that aren’t converting, and don’t be afraid to redesign based on what you find out from this. It’s a learning experience – it all comes back to your audience, getting to know them and their user journey.
Your website is so much more than just an online existence. It should be well-thought out in line with business objectives and in support of your digital marketing activities so that it can achieve its purpose. The effectiveness of social, email, SEO or PPC depends on an engaging, audience-driven and well-designed website.
If your company requires a professional online presence please Contact Us to discuss how we can help you, on Dungannon 028 3754 9025 or Belfast 028 9002 5050.