In the early days of the Internet, online marketing was basically nonexistent, and websites were essentially brochures, with simple contact forms.
The face of marketing and web design has changed dramatically in the past two decades. In today's market, creating a successful website requires you to think like a seasoned marketer.
Your website is the primary marketing tool for your business. Before you implement that cool new design and start showcasing your products or services, you need to come up with a strategic plan of action for how your website is going to work for you – and more importantly, for your potential customers.
Follow these steps before creating a new design:
- Define your target market and create buyer personas
- Define the objectives of your new website
- Research your competitors’ website, noting some of their strategies
- Consider the design elements you can use to achieve those goals
- Consider what features and content your website must include
- Plan calls-to-action, visual attracts, and pages that address your customers’ pain points
Focus on User Experience and User Interface
Once you have worked out most of these essentials, you can begin to work on your new design. When combining marketing and web design, it is important to prioritize the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) in the design. These terms refer to how your visitors feel when they are on your website and how easy it is for them to navigate through the site.
When it comes time to design your new website, please take all of the above into account to choose the style of your website. It is not a wise idea to pick a certain style just because it is trendy, or because your personally think it looks cool; instead, pick a design that will achieve your marketing goals and communicate effectively with your visitors. Put great emphasis on responsive web design that works for you on all levels. Consider the flow and layout of the site, and how the content you create will be presented, not only on a desktop, but also on tablets, and phones. By placing your key visual attractions and calls-to-actions in a layout that flows across all devices, you create an easy to use site for your visitor that will keep them on your site and guide them deeper into the sales funnel.
Once you have formally decided on the design of your site, you should begin to work on your content. Without buyer-persona-driven content designed to meet your customer's needs, they will likely lose interest quickly.
Determine search keywords for which you want your site to rank highly for and make sure those keywords appear several times on the page in prominent places, such as the page title, sub-headers and links. If you want your site to appear high up in search results when a user enters "SEO Tips," make all of those words appear either together or separately on the page. Aim to create a landing page for each keyword set (you do not need to scatter the keywords on all pages of your site, instead pick one page that you want search engines to point users to when they enter your chosen keyword phrase).
Give Away Valuable Information
It's true; everyone loves getting something for free, so why not give away some of your knowledge? Share your expertise through excellent content offers. One of the primary ways that design can improve marketing results is with calls to action (CTA's). These should be incorporated throughout your website. The strategic placement of well-designed CTA's asking visitors to download ebooks, subscribe to your blog, or get in touch via a contact form is an effective way to convert visitors into leads and keep them engaging with your content on a regular basis.
Create Optimized Landing Pages
To collect contact information from visitors who want to download your premium content, you’ll need to create landing pages. There are lots of ways to optimize the design of your landing pages and increase their conversion rates, from removing the main navigation bar to including compelling copy, images, and buttons that increase click rates.
These are just a couple of the ways that design and marketing can work together. If you partner with a company like Image Works LLC that specializes in both design and marketing, you can weave your design and marketing goals together into an appealing website that effectively draws in website traffic, converts leads into customers, and makes it easy for users to find what they are looking for and communicate with your company.