We all know that design is important in the web world, whether we are designers, company owners, or marketing managers. However, there’s a lot more to design than wanting websites to look pretty. Good design is its very own branding tool that brings in leads.
We’ve broken down a few reasons why you should look at great design as part of your ROI (return on investment) strategy below. Let’s take a look at these and understand a bit more about how to use design to communicate effectively.
First impressions last – even on a website
When a user clicks through to your website, the first thing s/he sees is the most important. If you have stunning colour, typography and imagery, chances are that they will stay and scroll through a bit more. Your website needs to be clean and the communication should be crystal clear. Whatever message you send out initially, is the message that will stay with a user and define their next action. The design of your homepage will also show the user what type of brand you are, whether that’s funny, sophisticated, classy, or just professional. The key is to make a user’s first impression a lasting one.
Choice of style
The style of your website should depict the type of brand that you are. You should be asking yourself questions like who you are, and who you want to be. Why do you want users to come to your website? What do you want users to feel when they come to your website? These questions may seem feeble, but they help you understand what your brand should look and feel like. Consumers will soon start to understand you more clearly and connect with your brand easily.
Ease of use
This is one of the most important features of any website. Anyone should be able to navigate through and understand your brand’s purpose easily. This can be achieved through your web designer and web developer working well together to create small animations and visuals that showcase your content simply. HTML technology is generally used on modern websites, with fast load times and large images. These all help create delightful experiences for all users. More importantly, it encourages users to keep coming back.
Tell a story
Most companies think that their website should always be professional to all, showcasing all products and services as a priority. This isn’t necessarily true – your website should be able to tell a story to a user. Most high-end language is not impressive to users, it just confuses them. Ensure that you use simple and effective copy, and tell users your story that they will remember and tell others. That’s the most important thing.
Loyalty is the ultimate goal for any business. If your consumers can become advocates for your company without even knowing it – half your battle is won. And the design is the first step to this. Once you have a beautifully designed story, you will be able to achieve high marketing results.
Make Your Website a Core Content Marketing Platform
Content marketing is one of the most common buzzwords out there, and it sure shows up in every company marketing meeting. It includes a wide variety of media from videos to blog posts and articles posted on your website as well as on third party websites. You can even create infographics and mobile apps that all form part of your content marketing plan. However, it’s imperative to remember that these wonderful pieces of content should be housed on your website – a fundamental content hub.
So why is your website so important when it comes to content? Let’s look at that in more detail below.
It’s a centralised housing facility
People don’t make websites purely to say, ‘we have a company website so we’re in with the tech times.’ They make one because the internet is the place where you are most likely to be found by a potential B2B or B2C consumer. Your website should have a lot of content – all in different formats.
All this content is housed on this hub and then shared on to other platforms like social media platforms and third-party websites. Once the content is shared via an email or social channel, the content should redirect a reader to your website. All your products and/or services are housed there, which means that a consumer can read a lifestyle piece on Facebook, but buy the related product on your website.
Your website should be optimised for SEO (search engine optimisation), as the search engine giants like Google love to see great evolving content all the time. So, ensure that your content plan includes constant adding of articles and imagery to your site.
Think about UX
User experience, most commonly known as UX, is the core of all marketing. But what does it mean? Well, user experience allows a user to click through to your website and find what they want seamlessly. Content marketing should never be an add-on to a website. It is the most important part. If a user is not impressed within 3 seconds, they will bounce and not come back to your website until it is more user-friendly.
Great design and easy reading in pages like a blog help with this. Your resources should always be clearly labelled and downloadable. They should also be categorised and your email newsletters should link back to these so your reader gets told a story in the correct order. Remember that users often want to learn about your industry, not just your products. They want to know how things work which means you have the opportunity to create beautiful ‘how to’ content for them. This increases education and soon consumers will start to see you as a thought leader in your industry.
Your content marketing strategy is completely dependent on your website, and your website definitely needs a content marketing strategy to work. So, it is imperative to take the time to nurture your website and have an evolving plan for it. This will bring your readership and popularity up, as well as ensure sales increase – which is the ultimate goal for any business.
Trends to Incorporate into Your Next Web Development Project
In the internet age, we know that your website is something to be proud of. It is also one of the most important assets, along with your social media platforms. The idea of a company is on the web means that they have to keep customers engaged at all times. There is so much information across the internet that it becomes difficult to be seen – just like having your ad in the Reader’s Digest twenty years ago.
So, what do you need to do to ensure that users remember you? Well, your web developer can create some amazing features on your website to ensure that you pop when users see you. Let’s take a look at these now.
Search engine optimisation landing pages
Yes, SEO is around and it is definitely here to stay. Search engine giant, Google, believes in great content that is constantly developed and uploaded the correct way. Landing pages often give users a direct click into the exact article or video that they are interested in. This helps create a better user experience with more design and less heavy text. The user is sure to stay and engage with that content because they don’t have to search for it on your website.
Have a responsive website
Everything is about mobility in the twenty-first century. So, keep up with the times and ensure that you always have your website developed for mobile. Customers prefer mobile solutions, apps and commerce, so ensure you give them an easy mobile experience.
Use Google fonts
Not every web developer believes in the use of Google fonts, but if used, they can be very effective. They are also free which means that you can download them at any time and you can bring in over 100 languages to your very own website with ease. Showcase your brand’s personality with style and improve your load times with these fonts.
Bring in a video as a hero
Video has always been popular across the internet. However, in recent times it has become even more popular because of storytelling. Users love to hear stories, which is why TV series have become more popular than movies. So, use what they love and create beautiful videos that tell your brand’s story, in a creative way. Get your designers, photographers, and videographers involved here too. It is definitely worth the time and effort.
People love to see elements on a website that create interactive experiences. The Google dinosaur game is played so often when the internet goes down at the office. This shows that people are always looking to engage with others. So, add this to your design and create animations to let people connect with you while they moved down the sales funnel.
And there you have it. A short but punchy list of everything your web developer should add on to your website. These features are simple but very effective. Remember to always use minimalist design with an effective copy too. Your copy and imagery integrated with your web development tell your brand story, and this is what resonates with a user.