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The Importance of Web Design in Digital Marketing

As business owners we know the importance of great marketing but do you think about your website’s design when you think of marketing? The design of your website is just as important, if not slightly more important, than that big Facebook Ad campaign you’re planning.

Your website is where your customers are going to do the majority of their interacting with your business; it’s where they’re going to find the information, where they’re going to research your business, how they will contact you and ultimately how they will decide to use your services.

This is your first impression in many cases, we all know the importance of SEO but what happens once you’re number one of the Google listings? The users click on your website, and this is their first impression – the difference between a conversion and leaving the website straight away.

Start by viewing your website as an extension of your marketing campaign, especially if this is where you are directing people from your campaigns! So, when you are reviewing your website or your marketing, keep these next factors in mind when it comes to your website.

Branding

Your website gives the first impression of your brand to someone, so, are you happy with the impression your company is giving?

A website is a large part of a company’s brand. Therefore, it not only needs to be cohesive with your business but it needs to get across who your business is to prospects in the best possible way.

Consider the guidelines, values and messages that your business holds and then translate that into a design for your website. Don’t leave your branding there, bring it into the functionality and the use of your website. For example, if your company prides itself on a fast and easy to use service than make sure the navigation is easy to use and the page speed is fast.

Keep the branding consistent with your marketing materials; you need to create a brand identity so your marketing and your website should go hand in hand. A well-branded company builds trust between the user and that business, this will give you the advantages when users are making decisions.

If you are a slightly newer business or just haven’t nailed down your branding yet, try conducting a split test. Split testing your branding and company message will help you to analyse which model users respond to better. You can use Google Optimise to run this split test and record the data for you.

Conversions

You want people to convert when visiting your website; this doesn’t have to be making an online purchase, it could be filling out a contact form, phoning you or even signing up for your newsletter. This is why enhancing your web design with conversions in mind is important, you want to encourage visitors to complete the desired action.

In order to encourage people to complete a certain action, your web design needs to include a call to action button in key parts of your design. This is how you tell your users what you want them to do.

It’s important to attract the user’s eye to these call to actions so choose your colour palette carefully, use eye-catching colours for the buttons to make them stand out from your design. Place them in key places where they may be relevant to your user. For example, including a call to action on your services or pricing page would be a good idea as users are more likely to contact you from these pages.

Your user journey can also play a part in the conversion process, using a clear structure across your website allows your users to find everything they’re looking for as well as giving them information to aid their conversion.

Split testing can be a useful tool when designing with converting your users in mind. People respond differently to tones and specific words in the text. So, split testing your call to actions with different wording may be useful in understanding what your audience responds to best.

SEO

A big part of designing a website with SEO in mind is the layout of the website – both the structure of the site and the individual pages. These are important for both users and search engines as a clear journey is preferred by both.

When users land on your site you want them to find the information they’re looking for on that page, this means that you need relevant and useful content on every page. Paired with a clear page layout, it will mean users will be more likely to stay on your website. Try not to overwhelm pages with text or images, look for a balance.

Your site structure is what will determine your user journey; this is how users and search engines will find your pages. All pages should be linked from your sitemap, but it is also important to include pages in a logical order in your navigation bar. This will help search engines to navigate and index your website pages, benefiting your rankings.

When users find what they’re looking for on a well-designed website they are more likely to stay and navigate around that site – this, in turn, will reduce your bounce rate. There is no concrete evidence that Google looks at your bounce rate when ranking your site but in the SEO world it is thought that it does have an impact. Keeping a low bounce rate will be good for your website in the long run.

We’re in the day and age where browsing is done on the go, and that means one thing: your website must be mobile responsive! This will also impact your rankings as Google thinks that all websites need to be responsive. Designing your site so it can be responsive and all of the features work well and making sure the text can be read is crucial.

It may be tempting to include large graphics on your website with text included in the graphics. However, when you include text in graphics not only can this not be made mobile responsive but Google cannot read the text on these graphics. Therefore, any text you include in graphics will not count towards your SEO, Google will just see a graphic but no content.

Your website can also be one of your best marketing tools when designed and used correctly. These are just a few ways that web design can impact your business’s digital marketing and just some of the many things you need to consider when designing or redesigning your site.

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Tierney Crocker
Tierney Crocker is part of the Digital Marketing team at WNW Digital, involved in all aspects of digital marketing and social media. You can email her at tierney@wnwdigital.co.uk

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