Have you ever been to a store with rust stains on the tiles, a dilapidated façade, haphazardly placed merchandise, or one that always seems to be under construction? It doesn’t feel welcoming to you and you end up having a horrible shopping experience. Did you know that visitors to a visually underwhelming, slow, confusing website experience something similar?
This is why, having just one negative experience on a website makes visitors 88 percent less likely to return.
Since your business website is the place where most people will interact with you, both your online and offline marketing activities will redirect users to your website. Be it to get contact details, book appointments, finalize purchase, or get more information about your services and products.
You might be running an out-of-the-box marketing campaign only to be disappointed by sales because your website’s landing page is failing to convert due to a plethora of design mishaps. You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of a quality website to the success of your digital marketing strategy.
The importance of web design in digital marketing is starting to dawn on most digital marketing analyst. Which is why most seem to be redesigning their websites. If you are in the throes of a website design/update, be sure to focus on these web elements to cement your digital marketing strategy.
As A Digital Marketing Analyst, Keep An Eye On:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization strategies all boil down to increasing your organic visibility on search engines. This is where you employ numerous off and on-site techniques to get the job done. If your website doesn’t appear on top of search results, it spells trouble for you since 93% of online activity starts on a search engine.
Not to mention, with 60% of searches taking place on mobile, not having a responsive website is a recipe for disaster. If you are a digital marketing analyst, you must know the importance of responsiveness in 2020. However, making sure that your website is compatible with a host of devices can be a tough nut to crack. Anybody who has used a non-responsive website on a mobile device knows how exasperating it can get.
In addition to responsiveness, a web designer should also heed other on-page optimization activities, such as improving the technical area, navigation and content of the entire site. Any web design project you undertake can affect your rankings in search engines. Make sure you consider the following elements during a website redesign.
Structure and navigation
The key is to make it effortless and intuitive for users to navigate your site. This also helps bot map your website when they crawl it.
While user friendliness holds more importance than aesthetics, the overall look and feel of your website should encourage users to stay on your website and wish to revisit it.
Your website design should allow you to input tailored alt tags and metadata to offer a better explanation of pages and content to the bots crawling your site. The first thing a user sees in the SERPs is usually the meta description and the page title, which determines whether they click on the link or not.
Ever since Google released its Panda algorithm, website owners are avoiding duplicating content for different versions of their websites. The occurrence of duplicate content can have a devastating impact on your rankings. Your website should incorporate the functionality to create new content so that you have more pages indexed in Google. This enhances the visibility of your website and indicates that there is more information about your website on the internet. A site that is regularly updated will have a greater chance of getting crawled by Google more frequently.
If your business website isn’t optimized for design, speed, and navigation, pull up a web design contract with a reputable agency to design your website with SEO in mind.
2. User Experience
Another area that would greatly benefit a digital marketing analyst is the User experience of the website. Ideally, the website should be worthwhile, accessible, and easy-to-use for your user. UX is directly linked with CRO and SEO and is vital to web design. When you are optimizing your website for conversion, you need a site that considers the user journey across your site. Not to mention, search engines now consider mobile friendliness, UX and website loading speeds as key ranking factors in their search results pages.
A visually appealing website will create a journey for the user to interact, explore and engage with the brand. Building meaningful first impressions – all the way from brand to consumer – can affect your bottom line and the overall objectives for a brand. Another aspect that is now considered to be a ranking factor due to its implications on UX is the website speed. With trailblazing internet available to your audience, the users’ expectation of page load time has never been higher. If your website design is a treasure trove of large images and other media elements that are slowing your load time, it will have negative repercussions on the UX of your website.
Navigation is also vital for improving user experience. If the user can’t find what they are looking for on your site, they would jump to your competitors. This somehow bounces back to responsiveness. When using mobile, contact forms and payment forms often fail to function well. This can significantly lower the conversion rate.
Similarly, when placing ads, it’s prudent to place them at the top or bottom of the page. Visitors don’t respond well to ads that take up the entire screen since it makes it difficult to navigate through the page easily. Try to place relevant ads in the simplest way.
Indubitably, UX has become the defining factor for brands, with more and more users expecting an intuitive and authentic website, reflecting the brand’s service level, perspective, and vision. Ensure the ideal UX through strategic plans such as A/B and user testing to provide a seamless experience to visitors that keeps them coming back.
3. Brand Influence
The end goal of branding is to get your audience say, “This is a product/service I trust.”
A brand that nurtures a consistent relationship with users and customers begins to gain influence, which transforms into brand loyalty down the road. Brand loyalty is when a consumer is loyal to your brand, not just your products.
This influence is impacted by various variables, and the presence of digital marketing is further cementing these connections through a digital ecosystem. When you are marketing to Gen Z and millennials, this brand influence becomes all the more vital in building a brand. These generations choose brands that they can relate to. The key is to convert those customers into advocates, which in turn will help with keeping the retention up, launching new products, and impacting the overall bottom line.
Keeping in mind that most of your consumers will engage with brands online before making a purchase, make sure that you’re happy with how your website is represented. A well-strategized website can help you create a top-down marketing campaign across all media, generate a robust social media presence, and increase sale. A bad experience on your website will reflect negatively on your brand and could have a detrimental impact on performance. So, consider your core brand values and make sure these are reflected within every aspect of your website.
There is no such thing as a perfect website. It will need to constantly adapt, tweak, and be optimized to perform how you want it to. If you want a website that converts, you’ll need to know what areas of your website are performing well and which aren’t, which is where analytics come into play.
We are increasingly seeing a shift towards one-page websites, or more specifically, websites with various pages crammed into one. This impacts the Analytics data you are able to collect. A website designed with such an infrastructure can effectively record the necessary data with the help of most Analytics tools, but a digital marketing analyst will probably need to tweak their tracking strategy and leverage some advanced techniques to make sure they are getting the desired measurements. This is where web design plays an important role.
The importance of collecting Analytics data cannot be emphasized enough. Which is why you need to ensure that your website infrastructure is designed in such a way that you can effectively collect the data you require. Analyze whether this advanced tracking can be implemented in your website or not. Every area of your website should be diligently monitored to optimize it for users. Understand the user journey and identify the pages that are failing to convert. You cannot hope to measure the success of your new website without this prerequisite data, let alone gauge the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy as a whole.
5. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
If you want to know how your website is performing, conversion rate is an important metric for offering an ideal customer experience. A conversion rate can directly impact the marketing decisions of a company since it relates to how a user engages with the website. If your web design is strategized for conversion, your conversion rates soar high. While most small businesses make the mistake of falling prey to cheap website template solutions, remember that this can wreak havoc on the overall user experience of a website, and in fact your conversion rate. If you want to see how web design impacts conversion rates, we suggest you start focusing on these elements in particular:
It’s a no-brainer that navigation structure and accessibility impact the conversion rates directly. Customers run away from sites that offer a harrowing experience to visitors. An intuitive site structure, on the other hand, not only propels visitors to keep on browsing, but also helps them spiral down the sales funnel.
Different colors evoke different emotions in your audience, which is why the right use of color, at the right time, and with the right audience can make or break your brand. For instance, if you sell toys on your ecommerce site, you wouldn’t use the color black in your branding collateral. Instead, you would aim for a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors on your website. Similarly, you wont use brown or orange when Selling Women’s Products. See how Loreal leverages white and black on their website. According to the psychology of colors, Big, Red And Bold Colors fare better for headlines, while using a dark shade of blue for the CTA is in good taste. It’s always wise to tinker with colors and settle for a palette that is in line with your marketing objectives.
The choice of words in your CTA can have a direct impact on conversion rates. Including phrases such as “offer expires next week,” “Sale” etc. can boost conversions by 5%. The words you put on your CTA should ideally minimize landing page friction.
Another thing a digital marketing analyst should heed is to keep the design simple but highly functional. This is a difficult feat since if you complicate the website design for amping the functionality, you run the risk of increasing the load time. But on the other hand, if you keep it too simple; viewers would find it hard to trust. The trick is to strike the right balance between the two so that functionality remains uncompromised by the simplicity of the design and your users continue to view your web design as a trustworthy entity.
Are you a digital marketing analyst looking to align your business website with your marketing goals? We hope you found this a useful read. Do let us know in the comments below.