When you hear the term “Web Design”, what exactly comes to your mind? A pretty-looking website with an attractive color scheme, isn’t it? A website definitely must have an eye-catching design but the current digital era, where almost everyone uses the internet, requires it to be an effective marketing and communication tool. In other words, Web Design today encompasses much more than fancy fonts, dazzling graphics or spectacular animations etc.
Believe it or not, many professional web designers are still not familiar with Internet marketing and for this reason; they’re not able to design a website from a marketing and communication perspective. This blog post is written with the intention of making those designers familiar with the importance of web design in marketing and communication.
So, let’s start!
How Does Web Design Affect Marketing?
You, as a web designer, devote a significant amount of your time, effort, and resources to design a website but do you know, the design of a website can make or break a business’ entire internet presence? Yes, you heard right! If you design a website without any solid marketing strategy in mind, you’ll not be able to reach potential customers, fulfill their immediate needs and most importantly, interact with them effectively.
That’s because, a website’s design has a huge impact on most of the elements of a digital marketing strategy. Below are the main areas of marketing, which are affected by website design:
A very old and famous saying, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, seems to be absolutely true in case of branding. A well-done design not only establishes a strong visual connection between your brand and website but also delivers visitors a memorable brand experience. Hence, designers must pay extra close attention to at least following design elements:
As a logo represents a business’ identity, it should be unique and professionally designed. Place the logo on a location that is readily visible on your site. The design and placement of your business’ logo determine how people actually perceive your brand.
The tagline plays a vital role in the branding of a website since it makes your visitors think of your business, product or service. It gives you complete control over the impression that your want to leave on your visitors. Try to keep your business tagline short, descriptive and easy to remember.
Search Engine Optimization
The next big thing is SEO – one of the main reasons why many websites are getting re-designed today. Where new design trends are emerging day by day, on the other hand, search engines constantly rolling out new updates to their core algorithms. In this situation, using a fleeting trend in your design may prove to be problematic for your website in future. For example, Parallax Scrolling is one of the most popular design trends today but indeed, it’s neither good for SEO nor safe for future.
Focus on factors given below to make your brand search engine friendly and future-proof as well:
In the past two years, the use of mobile devices has grown rapidly. People today love to access websites from multiple devices, so you have to incorporate responsiveness in your web design strategy. In the true sense, responsive design is something that you must not ignore at any cost.
Speed matters! People hate websites that take too much time to load. If your design incorporates elements that slow your website down, consider eliminating them to speed up the load time. Also, try to keep the design code light, clean and SEO-friendly.
Design has a direct influence on conversion rates that depend a lot on the credibility of your site. Customers feel comfortable to share their personal details only when they find your website authoritative and secure enough. Simply changing the design elements of a web page on your site, you can easily get a huge boost in conversion which helps you stay ahead of your rivals at every step. To produce big lifts in conversion, pay attention to these design elements:
Good navigation is all about making visitors easily find what actually they are looking for. Your website should not present new challenges to visitors; otherwise they will neither stay nor will return to your site. Use a well thought-out navigation that even your grandmother could understand.
The wording you’re using in your calls-to-action directly affects your website’s conversion rate. You wording should encourage users to perform the desired action. Using words like “free” and “limited time offer” in your calls-to-action can increase website’s conversions to a large extent.
Color schemes are one of the most crucial aspects of web design, not just because they define the look and feel of a website, but also because they have the power to evoke a response. So spend some time to research some best colors that match to your brand.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC, which is an integral part of any online marketing strategy, also gets affected by web design to a certain extent. You may wonder, how? Well, in PPC advertising, you pay for driving traffic to a dedicated landing page. So if the design of your landing page is not professional, users will not perform your desired action even after landing there. So it’s crucial to design a landing page with conversion in mind. Below are some tips to keep in mind while designing a landing page:
- Keep it simple and uncluttered.
- Put only high-quality and useful content.
- Use trust indicators like testimonials, ratings etc.
- Add an effective call-to-action.
- Make it visually attractive using relevant images/videos.
The Role of Web Design in Communication
Communication, despite being one of the most important aspects of a website, is often overlooked by designers. Regardless of whether the website is a corporate site, a government site, an eCommerce site, a portfolio site or just a blog, it exists to deliver visitors a clear, unified message. The more effectively and clearly a website communicates with visitors, the more helpful it is in marketing of your business online.
Essentially, marketing is not about how beautiful is the design of a website, it’s rather about how well the website communicates with visitors. Every design element that you add to a website communicates something to visitors. Some elements give visitors an idea about the type of website while others instruct them what their next step should be. Not all websites communicate with visitors in the same way, but almost every site uses these design elements to communicate effectively with visitors:
Title & Description
Both title and description play a vital role in telling visitors what they can expect from a web page. Search engines use only title and description on the SERPs, so they not only help you improve your website’s organic click-through rate (CTR) but also antecedently tell visitors what the web page is about.
Text on a Page
Text is something that rules online everywhere, especially in case of blogs. Whether it’s a headline or the main body content, visitors rely solely on text to understand the main purpose of a web page. So keep in mind, an appealing design can do nothing without high-quality, informative content.
Media not only makes your design engaging enough but also communicates with visitors more emphatically than text. Images, audios and videos provide you a golden opportunity to say more in a very less time to your visitors. Whatever kind of media you’re using on your website, make sure it’s working in harmony with the rest of the design elements.
Want to communicate quickly without using any text? Make use of Icons – the “hidden gems” of web design. Besides improving the look of your design, they give visitors a clear idea of what they should do. Honestly speaking, today’s visitors find themselves much comfortable with icons. So, use them wisely.
Last but certainly not least, you must always pay extra attention to the design of certain pages on your site. For example, your 404 error page should have design similar to other pages of your site. FAQ page should be interactive enough and contact page should be easily accessible.
Whether it’s marketing or communication or anything else, web design essentially has a huge impact on every aspect of your business. So spend some serious time and efforts working out each and every element in your design. Needless to say, you’ll definitely produce a better product that you have never imagined.