If you own a business, you probably already understand how important online marketing is.
After all, there are over 14 million Australians online (as well as billions of other users across the globe), so the Internet is undoubtedly the best way to connect with potential customers.
So you’ve set up a great online marketing strategy — but do you have a website that supports that strategy?
Many business owners don’t tie the two together, but in reality, it is very important to have a website that supports your marketing efforts. This is because marketing is often the first step in making a sale. But the second step is having a well-designed, user friendly website.
A website is the window into your store, and without one, your business and its goods or services are not going to be noticed. Yet having an effective website is no easy task – if you are not equipped in designing one for yourself, then you should hire a professional instead.
Here are four ways your web design can help with your marketing.
The User Experience
The user experience (which is often referred to as the UX), is one of the most significant aspects of website design. Your website should always be designed with the user in mind.
It should have a simple navigation system that is easy to use; it should be visually pleasing and it should load quickly. Research has found that most internet users will leave a webpage if it doesn’t load in five seconds, and this is a big issue for all sites, no matter their size. The Washington post recently announced that they are even trying to speed up their site time!
Furthermore, it is also very important to make sure that your website is optimised for all devices, including mobiles, tablets >and other ‘smart’ devices. This is because lots of potential customers will see your marketing efforts when they are scrolling on their phone, so they will probably visit your website from a mobile device as well.
Examples of good UX
Reviews: Have reviews on your website, and make sure they are easy to find so that your brand offers transparency. Ask clients to write a quick quote and place it on your website for all to see – not only does this make your company trustworthy, but it also can be a competitive edge.
Simple web design: Your website doesn’t have to be cluttered or over-the-top. Rather, it should be minimalistic with small paragraphs that are short and to the point. Pull out the important content and keep anything that isn’t necessary away from your web pages unless it is a page completely dedicated to your product.
Easy to understand content: Humanise your website by keeping confusing jargon out of the way. People do not want to come across your website, only to be bombarded by language that they do not understand. The only reason you may want to use industry-specific language is if you are targeting professionals in that industry – if you are not, it is best to keep your content simple.
Easy navigation: You are pushing consumers along, leading them down a funnel that you have created. Ideally, you want there to be as few steps between a consumer landing on your homepage and getting to the checkout. More steps mean they are more likely to abandon their cart, especially if there are unnecessary click-throughs. If you are unsure of why or where people are clicking off from your website, you can run an audit. This audit will pinpoint where people abandon your website, which can help determine why. Once you know this, you can find a solution that will rectify it and increase conversion rates.
SEO (search engine optimisation) cannot be overlooked. It is an intrical part of your website and marketing plan, and without it, your website will not be easily found.
How can SEO help, exactly?
Well, SEO will help increase the traffic to your website, which will, in turn, turn interest into conversions. But for this to happen, you need your SEO to be effective. Your SEO campaign needs to have the fundamental elements of engaging and well-written content, keyword research, and the ability to keep up with the current trends and audit your website so that you know what is working and what isn’t.
When putting together an SEO campaign, consider the following elements:
Well-targeted keywords: Keyword research is the groundwork of a successful SEO campaign, and without this research, you have no direction when it comes to focusing and targeting your audience. Of course, to do this, you should start with generic keywords relating to your business and industry. Once this is done, look for long-tail keywords that link to the generic ones.
On-page optimisation: The content on your website needs to be optimised with your chosen keywords, however, it also needs to be grammatically correct, well-written, and aesthetically pleasing. Hire a professional copywriter so that your content flows and encapsulates your brand’s tone of voice.
Conversion Rate Optimisation - CRO
Your website conversion rate optimisation can also have an effect on your marketing strategy. Conversion rate optimisation refers to how many visitors actually follow your call to action once they arrive at your site (which could be buying a product or signing up to a newsletter), and it is a good indicator of how successful your marketing campaign is.
For instance, if you get 200 hits every day from your campaign, but only 3 sales, it is likely you have a good campaign and a below-average website. On the other hand, if you get 20 daily hits and 10 sales, it is likely you have a bad marketing campaign and a great site. If you want to boost your conversion rate, consider speaking to Small Business Sites. They can help you to set up a website that will complement your marketing strategy.
A CRO strategy will ensure that your website is tailored to your audience in the hopes of reaching your targets, which could be boosting engagement, leads, traffic or customer signups. What’s more, a strategy can help you improve the quality of your leads that help your overall bottom line. When you tighten up your digital marketing goals, your message becomes clearer, making it easier for you to target your audience. You have a more concise sales funnel to lead your customers done, hopefully closing more sales.
The cherry on top, however, is that Google will reward your company website by placing you higher up in the search engine rankings. This means if your CRO strategy pays off, you will earn more traffic and sales because of Google recommending your website over competitors.
Good brand awareness keeps your company in your customers’ mind, builds a quality reputation, and can cause consumers to choose you over your competitors. It also makes your website more trustworthy, your brand more marketable, and because Millennials and Gen Z want to put their money in a brand that has a good face and ethos, bring in more sales.
Think about popular brands and how they pop into your head without much thought. Ice cream? Ben & Jerrys. Athletic shoes? Adidas and Nike. Your aim is to be amongst these household names.
How can you increase your brand awareness?
Write regular blog content: Content is the backbone of your digital marketing strategy, especially when it comes to spreading your brand across the internet. Write content that will educate and inform your readers but also engage them and probe them to share your content, furthering your reach. Firstly, your website will need to have a blog. Use this blog to post your content. This can be written content like a blog post or a video upload.
You may have only considered content as a means of optimising it for SEO purposes, but it is so much more than that. It is about establishing your brand as an industry leader, so if people were to ever have a question, they would turn to your website in the hopes of finding an answer.
Have compelling infographics: While there is always room for long-form content, infographics are a great way to spread your content quickly. Infographics not only look fun, but they are easily digestible and can be easily shared across social media. Having engaging pictures and facts pulled out and highlighted makes it easier to highlight the purpose of your content.
Always have your brand name and brand logo included on your infographic so that you are associated with the context. This makes you a resource to look back to if they ever want to have similar questions answered.
Web design needs to be included as part of your marketing strategy. After all, a company website’s main duty is to market your brand and be a place for people to find answers. Poor web design can damage your brand reputation but also cause cart abandonment, causing consumers to leave and turn to your competitors.