If you have a business or other professional creative pursuit but don’t have a website, then you are missing out on a lot of great opportunities. A website is useful in accomplishing many different objectives and helps your business grow.
Gone are those days when having a skeleton website and filling it with shallow articles stuffed with keywords worked. Today, a carefully designed website is central to succeeding online. Website design matters now more than ever, and it is one of the essentials of a good digital marketing strategy.
Your website is the place where users come to see what you are offering and are up to. People associate it with the messages and activities you are doing, both online and offline, in your business. It’s a great marketing tool with many benefits for serious entrepreneurs and businesses.
Let’s discuss the significance of factoring in web design in your digital marketing plans.
Importance of Web Design in Digital Marketing
According to the tech terms computer dictionary definition, web design is essentially the process of creating websites. It encompasses several different aspects, including webpage layout, color choice, fonts, graphics, and content production.
“While the terms web design and web development are often used interchangeably, web design is technically a subset of the broader category of web development,” stresses Techterms.com.
A business website is the common and primary point of contact for customers. It showcases your business’ professionalism and demonstrates your expertise and market reputation. It is precise because of this that website design is so crucial for any digital marketing plan.
Because your business website helps in making the first impression on your customers, it is not something that you can take lightly. You should ensure you are putting your best foot forward in your website design so that you can inspire customer trust, confidence and win their business.
In the digital age, website design reinforces the image of your company. If you want to succeed in business in the digital world, then you must pay attention to your website design.
Components of a Great Website Design
A well-designed, well-implemented and well-maintained website acts as the heart of your business operations and marketing efforts. After planning and considering every aspect of your digital marketing plan, your website can help you meet all of those marketing and business goals efficiently.
To help you determine if your website is well designed to accomplish your business and marketing goals, make sure that the website has the following key components of a well-designed site:
1. Friendly user experience
When designing your website and planning your brand image, always keep users in mind. Make sure your website is as easy to use intuitively. Otherwise, users will lose interest and leave.
Make sure it is easy for users to find and click all links on your website, and ensure the website loading speed is fast. The website should also display properly whenever users are accessing it on their mobile devices.
Google now considers website loading speeds and mobile-friendliness as key ranking factors in their search results pages. If you want your website to rank highly on Google, optimize it for these factors. Users also love visiting websites on mobile devices and want them to load fast.
2. Search engine optimized (SEO)
When approaching web design with SEO in mind, you should think about the objectives you want the website to achieve long-term. New trends in web design come and go all the time, but your presence online and brand image is something you want to stay and remain intact.
So, don’t emphasize or dwell too much on fleeting web design trends. Instead, focus more on website functionality and user experience. For example, one of the popular trends in web design today is parallax. This is a design that features a single page that keeps on going forever when users scroll the page. It may be popular with some users and web designers, but search engines are not the biggest fans of parallax design. And who knows if this website design trend will remain popular a few years from now.
Focus on optimizing your website for leading search engines that people are using to find your business. This includes using on-page and off-page optimization techniques. On-page SEO deals with aspects on your website that can be optimized for search engines, like adding catchy headlines, meta descriptions and alt tags in images. Off-page SEO involves aspects of other websites on the internet that can be optimized to improve the ranking of your website, like building quality backlinks and social signals.
Also, because users and search engines love a website design that is easy to use and mobile-friendly, meeting this need is another way to optimize your website for search engines. Go for a responsive website design. As the future of online searches is going mobile, search engines like Google and Bing have started rewarding responsive websites with a higher ranking.
Besides, a responsive design not only trims the need for running two websites for desktop and mobile but also assists in attaining low bounce rates.
3. Conversion optimization
A website’s design has a huge impact on conversion rates. Good design improves conversion rates and vice versa. You, therefore, must pay attention to the main elements of your website design that impact conversion rates.
Here are the primary design elements that impact conversion rates:
It is easy to see how website navigation and accessibility impact conversion rates. Sites that offer a confusing and frustrating navigation experience lose users’ interest and business.
On the other hand, the site that gives a seamless, intuitive navigation structure encourages users to continue browsing, which ultimately leads to higher conversion rates in terms of sales and subscriptions.
Color has the power of swaying people’s emotions and attitudes. Use color on your website and on its elements appropriately to sway the right customers, at the right time and for the right reasons.
For instance, if your website sells bouncy jumpy houses, then you cannot use black color. You should use colors that are vibrant and bright. On the other hand, if your site deals with selling products for women, then it may not be as effective to use dull colors, like light brown.
Some experts recommend using colors that are big and bold for titles, and navy for call-to-action (CTA) as it increases trust among customers. It is, however, always recommended to conduct your own experiments with different colors and select the ones that best meet your objectives.
The words used in CTAs on a website directly influence conversion rates. Words such as “free,” “offer expires soon,” and “download now,” for example, can increase conversion by 5%.
Be deliberate when choosing words on your website CTA buttons, links and so on to increase conversions.
There is a crucial difference between branding and website design. But website design impacts branding. The website design is not your brand, but it is one of the essentials of branding that aids you in establishing trust and positive relations with your audience.
Branding is like an investment that multiplies with the passage of time. It is that extra identifying factor that makes your audience say, “This is an entity whose products and services I trust.”
Elements of branding such as packaging, trademarks, logos, names, and taglines are key to establishing the right perceptions of your business and brand in the minds of customers. People will only pay attention to and buy from the brands that they respect and trust.
The probabilities of increasing conversion rates go up when you create a trustworthy association between products on offer and a trusted brand.
Select all the different elements of your website design carefully, including color and graphics, to link to a trusted brand (hopefully yours). This can be an effective strategy that builds your brand and improves your market position from a web design perspective.