Your website is your most valuable marketing asset.
It’s your #1 marketing tool (aside from yourself, of course).
It’s always selling!
When people ask you for your business website, are you hesitant to give them the URL?
Are you worried that it’s not responsive, lacks consistency, isn’t engaging or doesn’t provide a unified message across the entire website?
Well, today’s your lucky day!
We’re talking about how to make sure your website is your business’s best marketing tool by following six key design marketing principles.
#1 Is It Responsive?
Your visitors want unity.
Your website and mobile versions must align and provide the user with a smooth transition on both platforms. That just means they should have the same experience if they access your website on a desktop or mobile device, for example.
If your website and mobile versions look different, it’s time for a change — to a responsive website.
To make your website a killer sales tool, your business should focus on a responsive site because it will:
- Support social sharing (and more visitors will share your information and blogs).
- Improve overall website speed (which means visitors won’t have to wait long to load the site).
- Get favorable scores from Google (so the website will rank higher on searches).
- Decrease bounce rates (so more visitors will stay on your site).
#2 Is It SEO Friendly?
If you don’t know what SEO means, don’t be embarrassed. That’s what marketing experts are for!
SEO means search-engine optimization — or making your website “readable” by search engines.
If you’re designing your website or having a professional redesign it, make sure it has basic on-page SEO to ensure that you can rank on searches.
SEO experts are expensive, and some debate whether it’s worth the investment. You don’t have to pay a lot to get SEO expertise. We’ve learned that the right content will capture your audience if it is relevant and interesting to them.
Here are a few tips you can try to help you get SEO friendly:
- Keyword/concept-based research. You’ll get good results using the AdWords Keyword Planner tool to employ the traditional keyword-search methodology. Take a keyword for your industry and think about how a consumer might use it. For example, if the keyword is “SEO techniques,” website searchers might type in “Best SEO techniques for 2016” — not just “SEO techniques.”
- Optimize images. Add the name and alt tag to your images. Throw in a couple keywords! This will help you appear more frequently in website searches.
- 301 redirects. If you’re redesigning your website, make sure you redirect those old URLs to the new site. This action will restore traffic from your previous website. You don’t want to lose organic traffic you’ve worked hard to earn!
- Internal and external linking. Use links to some of your other website pages and scatter them throughout the site to improve user experience and provide site authority.
- You may also find Moz’s Beginner’s Guide To SEO helpful. It covers everything you’ll ever need to know about SEO.
#3 Is It Social?
A user is browsing your website, sees an amazing article or page that is relevant to her, and wants to share it.
But uh-oh, your website doesn’t have a share button!
You’ve just missed out on an opportunity to convert a lead, engage your audience and — not to mention — left the visitor with a poor user experience.
You’ll want to make sure your website has social sharing options. Consumers are social creatures and they want to spread the word about your services, promotions, events, fundraisers, webinars and everything from the moon and back on the internet!
If you don’t currently have share buttons on your website, here are some great resources to get you started:
#4 Is It Attractive?
Great content is vital to visitor engagement. But it’s not the only factor.
The challenge is keeping users on your website once they land there.
It’s your one chance to impress, instill trust, make them feel welcome, and sell them on your services.
You need a consistent, appealing design that supports your content to accomplish these goals.
Here are a couple do’s and don’ts to remember when designing your website:
- Keep design styles and shapes simple. Simplicity goes a long way!
- Create clear navigation structures and calls-to-action to keep users flowing effortlessly through the site’s pages.
- Use legible typography! Font size and font colors need to be easy to read.
- Hire a professional for your website’s photography. Remember, 95% of real-people photos outperform stock photos.
- Make sure visitors know what your website is about the second they arrive!
- Overuse Flash and functionality that isn’t directly related to the user experience and message. It will distract visitors and take away from the goal you have for the website overall.
- Offer too many navigation options. Keep things simple and don’t make visitors think too much.
- Overuse pop-ups. If you do use them, make them discrete so that they don’t interrupt the user experience.
- Play music…Ever!
#5 Is It Engaging?
Do you have a blog? Do you consistently update your content?
A blog can be a primary traffic driver to your website if you’re populating it with relevant, informative, useful content for your users.
But the catch?
You have to be consistent.
Businesses who use blogs receive 67% more leads than those who don’t. But you can’t throw a few articles up this month and hope to convert leads forever.
Now, you may not have time to write every week. You’re busy. But don’t think that means you can’t generate fresh content.
Get some help!
There are two effective ways to alleviate the burden of populating your site with fresh content:
- Hire a content writer.
- Hire an inbound marketing agency (like Flight Media!).
Companies who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see ROI. It’s a credible, impactful way to demonstrate to visitors your knowledge in the industry and a great way to build trust with your audience.
By publishing relevant content, you’ll create a website that acts as an effective marketer and:
- Increases website traffic.
- Builds authority.
- Improves conversion rates and increases leads.
- Engages users.
#6 Is It Smart?
What do I mean by smart exactly? I mean website content that changes based on the interests or past behavior of visitors.
Your visitors want a personalized experience that speaks to them.
How does this work?
When a first-time visitor arrives at your website, content is defaulted and is considered not-targeted.
When that visitor returns, however, has filled out a form or is a customer of yours, the content becomes personalized based on his interests, industry or automation behavior.
This type of engagement is key to increasing leads and conversions.
Some ideal ways to increase your user experience via smart content include:
- Catering to buyer personas.
- Offering a first-time website visitor a unique experience.
- Adapting the content through various stages of a user’s buying behavior.
Below is an example of what smart content may look like to you!
Your Website Does More Than Just Bring In Traffic
It’s your primary marketing tool!
Every day, it accomplishes very important tasks.
It’s your first impression. Your perfect team player. Your best salesperson. In fact, it handles more tasks than any salesperson could in one day.
The two most important elements that make up your website is the content and design.
Without either, there is no website. No marketing tool!
If your company’s sales are lacking and you’re wondering what’s wrong — it may be time to look at your website’s design.
How is your website performing? Are you killing it or are you getting buried? What are your primary challenges?