There is very little doubt at this point that in order for businesses to find success, they need to have a strong online presence. And while brick and mortar establishments are still able to find significant reach in the current online climate, the web holds a lot more opportunities for growth.
A business’ website is the one place that users can come and see what they have to offer as well as news and updates about the business. It has grown from being solely a marketplace into being a portal where customers can get new information, interact, and also avail of products and services. It is for this reason that many marketers emphasize a robust and well-structured web design for any business looking to find success.
Let’s dive deeper into the importance of web design as part of your overall digital marketing plans.
Essentially, web design is defined as the process of creating or making websites. It includes different aspects such as layout, color choice, font styles, graphics, and the type of content published on it.
And although web development and web design are quite often used interchangeably, web design is only a subset of web development which has a broader scope.
Because the website of a business is the main point of contact for customers, it only makes sense that it should showcase the stronger points of the brand, show their professionalism, demonstrate their expertise in their industry, as well as establish a strong and competent reputation. It is for this reason that web design is extremely important when creating a marketing plan.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT WEBSITE DESIGN?
At the heart of any business operation and marketing plan is a website that is well-designed and well-maintained. After the initial planning and taking into consideration every critical aspect of the marketing plan, your website should be able to meet all your business and marketing goals efficiently.
To help you assess if your site has been designed to fully leverage ever business opportunity towards reaching your business goals, here are some key aspects of a well-designed website.
1. It should be user-friendly
The last thing that users expect upon reaching a site is finding it confusing, clunky, and hard to navigate. This problem permeated earlier iterations of websites a few decades back but with how far technology and web development has progressed, there is simply no excuse for these types of site problems today.
First and foremost, your site should be intuitive. A website that is intuitive means the moment users see it, they know exactly what to do. Not only will this keep users longer on your site but it frees up space normally taken up with instructions on what visitors should do.
Search engines like Google are now emphasizing more on loading speed as well as mobile-friendliness as important factors for search results ranking. If your goal is to boost your site’s ranking, these are factors that you should optimize. Users appreciate websites they can access easily no matter the device they are using and one that loads fast.
2. Optimized for search engine
SEO, or search engine optimization, should be in every business’ marketing plan. It is almost impossible to reach business goals in this increasingly digital age without the help of an effective SEO strategy.
When integrating SEO and web design, you first have to determine what objectives you want the website to achieve in the long-term. Trends in web design come and go but your brand’s image and its online presence is something you should work to remain intact far into the future.
It can be easy to get bogged down and distracted by all these trends. Focus more on functionality and user experience. Work to optimize your site for the leading search engines that users are using in order to find your business. Include in your strategy both on-page and off-page optimization techniques.
On-page SEO relates to the component of your website that can be optimized for a search like catchy headlines and alt tags and meta descriptions on all your images. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, deals with aspects of other sites that can be optimized in order to improve your site’s ranking. This involves social signals and building quality backlinks.
3. Conversion optimization
How a website is designed also has impacts on its conversion rates. A site that’s well-designed and well-implemented can improve conversion rates and vice versa. Below are elements of web design that have an impact on conversion rates.
How easy it is for users to navigate your site to find what they’re looking for can improve your conversion rates. Disorganized and confusing sites can leave users frustrated which results in them losing interest in your business.
The color choice you use on your web design can sway the user’s behavior and emotions. The type of color palette you choose to implement on your site should reflect on your business, the type of product your sell, as well as your brand message. For example, online furniture stores choose to design their site using a lot of white and earthy tones to highlight their products.
Web design impacts branding and while the design is not necessarily your brand, it is essential in ensuring that you build trust with your audience. A good business branding engenders trust and reliability in customers. It involves the nuances outside of the product itself like packaging, logos, trademarks, taglines, and names. It’s important to remember that people will only choose to pay attention and buy from brands that they trust and respect.
IMPORTANCE OF WEB DESIGN
Web design is one that is dynamic and ever-changing. Important factors change depending on the needs and the goals of the business. Now that we have explored the elements that make for great web design, let’s focus now on its importance and why it’s necessary to include it into your marketing plan.
1. First impressions
In a world that is increasingly reliant on digitization, having a website is one way to create a first impression on users. The moment they land on it, within seconds they’ve already formed an idea on what the business is all about. If it’s unappealing and outdated, users will have a negative impression of your business. How your brand is perceived by your audience can either encourage them to remain on your page or leave.
2. Customer service
People can immediately gauge how a business handles customer service just from looking at their website. The web design offers them an insight into how you as a business owner view them as customers. By putting a lot of effort into the design of your web site to make it easy for users to find what they are looking for creates an impression that the business is customer-focused.
3. Building trust
People are no longer ignorant about the digital space. They already have a good idea of what to look for in a shady online business. One such sign is a website that is poorly designed and maintained. If people are looking to spend their money on a business, they want one that they can trust. Businesses convey that trust through their website. Think about it, major brands around the world have a crisp, organized, and well-thought-of design.
Businesses know to diversify their digital marketing plan. They know not to rely on one channel alone. For this reason, we are seeing brands creating social media profiles on Facebook and Twitter, starting a YouTube channel, and running a blog.
Integrating your web design on all these channels create a cohesive image of your business. Take some elements of the design and put it into your business’s social media picture or into the thumbnail for video marketing for small business. This way, your audience will still recognize you even outside your website.
And finally, and maybe the biggest reason why web design should be included in your marketing plan is that your competitors are already doing it. To remain competitive and relevant, leveraging web design is the first and maybe the biggest step.
You want your site to stand out. Seeing an outdated and low-quality site will push people to your competitors. Competing with other businesses will mean you are offering almost the same product and services. How well your website is designed in a great opportunity to set your business apart.
I hope this article sheds some light on how important it is for your business to include in its marketing plan a well-crafted web design. This not only boosts the credibility and reputation of your brand, but it also helps your customers interact more efficiently with your business, making conversion easier.
From user experience to SEO, branding, and social media outreach, web design plays a crucial role in how your business is perceived by users. Knowing how to leverage it solidifies your business’ place within the industry and helps it to thrive in this modern digital age.