Digital marketers often forget that good web design plays a part in successful marketing campaigns. In fact, because they often focus on what they need from web designers in the short term, (e.g., building a couple of landing pages for one campaign or a putting together a microsite for another campaign), marketers often limit the benefits they can receive from good web design. If web designers are brought in at the beginning of marketing campaigns, they have the opportunity to use their skills and talents throughout the whole process. By taking this more holistic approach, the web designer can add more value to digital marketing campaigns. Consider these 5 ways that good web design plays a part in successful marketing campaigns:
1. User Experience (UX)
Compelling offers and great social media content are two elements that can be used to drive potential customers to your website. Unfortunately, if the user experience isn’t satisfying, they probably won’t stay long enough to convert. UX is impacted by several factors. Let’s take a look at some of them:
There are two things to consider when designing a web page for ease of navigation. This first is making it easy for visitors to find the information they are looking for. The second, and most important, is to make it as easy as possible for them to do what you want them to do when they arrive.
Page Load Speed
The internet is fast, and getting faster. This means that when your pages load slowly, users are going to place the blame squarely on your shoulders. After all, if other websites are loading quickly, why isn’t yours? In addition to this, page load speed is part of the criteria used for ranking websites in search engines like Google.
Visuals are great for evoking emotions. The trick with including visuals is to ensure that they evoke the right emotions. Steps must be taken to ensure that visual elements do not have a negative impact on page load speed, and images must make sense to the user.
One sure way to confuse visitors and to create an unpleasantly jarring user experience is to get them to navigate to a web page or landing page that looks nothing like they expected. A good designer knows to keep certain elements consistent as the user navigates your site. For example: from blog page to a landing page to an order confirmation page.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Since its latest Panda release, Google is now cracking down on duplicate content. To some extent the risk of being penalized can be reduced by producing good original content and setting the noindex nofollow tags on duplicate pages. However, other content duplication really must be dealt with on the design level. A good web designer also knows how to use tags, meta descriptions, and even URLs to improve SEO. Finally, it is important to remember that it’s much easier to begin with web page design that is SEO friendly rather than going back to fix one that isn’t.
3. Conversion Rate Optimization
One of the most influential factors when it comes to optimizing for conversion is creating websites that convey authority, professionalism, and trustworthiness. A website that appears to have been designed using a free template, is full of clipart and stock images, and is hastily laid out, doesn’t create feelings of trust. In fact, the opposite is true. When people see poor quality, quickly designed web pages, they think ‘scammer.’ That’s hardly a good thing when trying to conduct an effective marketing campaign. In order to get customers to convert, a good web designer must employ their skills to create a website that indicates to visitors that time, talent, and money has been spent to create a professional looking website.
4. Pay Per Click Advertising Performance
The number of clicks you receive on your paid advertisements don’t matter very much. In fact, they can even be a negative thing if there also aren’t a significant number of conversions happening as the result of these clicks. This where good landing page design comes into play. Good web designers know how to create landing pages in ways that make visitors feel compelled to convert. Their efforts are even more effective if they are able to work in team with a content writer who understands the keywords that the landing page needs to be optimized for.
5. Use of Branding
It’s the job of the web designer to have an understanding of the ways that people interact with web pages. In addition to that, it’s also the job of a designer to understand the branding that they are working with. A good web designer will incorporate the overall branding strategy into the web pages that they design. One thing to remember is that it’s not just the company as a whole that has a brand. Every single marketing campaign also has a unique branding.
For example, let’s say that a travel agency has two marketing campaigns happening at once. The first is geared towards wealthy retirees who are interested in upscale vacations. The second is geared towards millennials who are interested in adventure travel. While each campaign should contain branding elements that associate them with the overall branding of the travel agency, each will have content, imagery, and a ‘tone’ that is unique to each campaign. The earlier in the process the web designer becomes involved, the better they will be able to plan ways to utilize branding in each marketing campaign.
Don’t sell the importance of web design talent short in all parts of developing and executing a marketing campaign. Instead, take advantage of their talents from the the planning stages all the way through to the post mortem stage.