The Impact of Web Design on Content Marketing Strategy
Having a killer website is a key factor in attracting the right people to your business. A well-designed website improves the user experience, reinforces your branding, and showcases your content effectively.
How many times have you gone to a website that isn’t visually appealing or easy to navigate and gotten frustrated and left? You probably also immediately judge the brand or write them off as not being that great. Yeah, us too! If it looks and functions like a hot mess, it’s only natural to suspect that the product will also be. By optimizing your web design, your chances of keeping your audience’s attention drastically increase.
The Importance of Web Design in Content Marketing
A poorly designed website can cause users to become frustrated and leave. This is especially true for users on mobile devices, which is where most people view websites nowadays.
The goal is to provide a meaningful user experience – you want to effectively showcase your product or service in a way that is useful and provides value in the lives of your audience.
It’s also crucial to ensure your branding is consistent across all platforms, including your website, and accurately represents your identity. This shows your audience you know exactly who you are.
Not only does great web design attract and keep the right people on your site, but it also makes you look good in the eyes of search engines. A difficult, complex site that doesn’t have a clear message of what they’re about will not get ranked well. Search engines use algorithms to evaluate websites and factors like speed, mobile-friendliness, and structure all come into play.
If you are currently looking at your website and seeing all the ways it’s not catering to users or search engines, fear not! We’ll provide some simple ways to optimize your web design in a way that aligns with your content marketing strategy.
How Web Design Can Impact User Experience
A positive user experience can make your audience fall in love and immediately become a fan of your brand. First impressions mean a lot when it comes to showing who you are.
When you show that you’re a brand that knows what they’re looking for and lays out your website with easy-to-navigate content, you capture their hearts.
On the other hand, when you have a poorly designed, confusing to navigate, slow-loading website, it can cause people to become frustrated and leave. This will reflect poorly on your company in the eyes of potential consumers and search engines who notice when people aren’t spending much time on your page.
Improving User Experience with Mobile Optimization
The amount of total web traffic coming from mobile users versus people on desktops has exploded in the last few years. Having a stellar, user-friendly mobile design is key in this day and age!
Here are some of the ways you can optimize your web design to create a great user experience on mobile devices:
Responsive Design: Your website must be able to fit any screen that it is viewed on. Users should not have to zoom in or scroll horizontally to be able to view your content.
Navigation: People behave differently on mobile devices than on desktops. When you provide a clean, clear navigation menu and search option, it allows users to quickly find what they are looking for.
Task-Based: Another option for easy navigation that you will notice many more sites are implementing is a task-based design. Pick the top 3 or 4 things that matter most to your customer and feature them in an easily accessible location.
Enhancing Content Creation with Web Design
Content marketing is one of the biggest pieces of a digital marketing strategy. By having compelling, visually appealing content, your audience will be drawn to engage. The way you design your website can feature the content in a way that increases people’s willingness to read more about what’s on the page.
Humans are visual creatures and having content that appeals to these senses, helps your audience’s brain better understand the message you’re trying to send. You can use your website design to positively impact your content by:
Layout: Too much noise and a wall of text can immediately make people want to jump ship and head to your competition’s site. Design your website in a way that has a beautifully designed layout and easy-to-follow formatting to display your content. Utilizing appropriate headings, subheadings and bullet points for text will make your site scannable. This makes it easy for users on your site to find the information they need.
Branding: Having appealing fonts and colors and a tone of voice that suits your brand can present your brand in the light you need it to. Whether that is fun, professional, informative, or quirky, the perfect branding will reinforce your identity and message.
Visual Elements: Images, videos, infographics, ebooks, how-to guides, case studies, stories, and resources are all considered visual elements. Placing these in a well-structured way throughout your website can help your audience as they progress through the buyer’s journey.
Written Elements: People like feeling they are connecting on a human level, so no matter the tone you use, talk to them like a friend. Being friendly, helpful, and educational while also entertaining is a great approach to follow when creating written content for your site.
Optimizing Web Design for Search Engine Optimization
Along with everything we’ve covered on how to make your website an enjoyable space for human audiences, you need to cater to the robots as well! Search engine optimization plays a huge part in getting you the rankings you desire on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
By ensuring your website design encompasses a good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy, you will be more likely to pop up on the first page of the search results (which is where you want to be since only 0.63% of people click through to page two!).
SEO is a long-term game, you will not see results overnight. However, it compounds as more elements are added and over time your rankings will improve. It just takes a while for search engines to recognize what your business is all about.
Some of the main ranking factors for SEO that will help boost your site in the eyes of search engines are:
Keywords: Keywords are the words that users are typing into search engines to find answers to something. Once you research these keywords, you can use them on your site in a way that provides the answers that people are looking for.
HTML Tags: All of the HTML tags on your site, such as title tags, heading tags (H1, H2, H3), and meta descriptions should be clear and descriptive of the content that is on your website. All of your URLs should also be easy to read. Search engines love it!
Optimize Images and Videos: You need to make sure you use the correct image and video file types. It’s recommended to serve your images in WebP format as this allows for much smaller file sizes but with near-idential image quality. Similarly, serving your videos in WebM format will provide the same benefits.
While GIFs are fun and great to look at, they slow down your site tremendously so it is best to avoid them.
Every image on your site should have alt-text to describe what they show. Alt-text is short for “alternative text” and is read out loud by screen readers to people who are visually impaired. Google also uses this to identify the pictures on your page.
Just remember to make sure your images and videos are appearing as expected on mobile devices before you launch!
Have a Sitemap: A sitemap is a file that lists all of the important pages on your website. If you’re not sure where or how this appears, ask your web developer. You can submit this to Google to let it know what pages are on your site and where they can be found.
Page Speed: A slow website frustrates users and search engines like Google recognize this. They will penalize you for not having a fast page speed by keeping your website on the back pages. A great tool to help make sure your page is loading quickly across all devices is Google PageSpeed Insights. This is a website speed-testing tool that will score your site and provide recommendations on how to improve your score.
The Impact of Web Design on Branding and Online Presence
Since a website is often one of the first places potential customers land, it is important to have a good aesthetic. A smartly designed website can create a lasting positive first impression of your brand, while a poorly designed one can have the opposite effect.
Having all of your branding components in alignment is crucial in order to create a consistent brand identity. By having set standards in place for your logo, colors, and typography throughout all of your online channels, you begin to create a brand that fosters trust. The aesthetic should not just be limited to your website, your brand guide should cover:
- Social Media Channels
- E-Mail Marketing
- Print Materials
- Digital Assets
- Ad Campaigns
If you have a branding agency that has created your brand, they should provide you with a brand guideline book that lists the colors, typography, and tone of voice that should be used throughout all of your marketing efforts. If you don’t have one, follow these branding tips to improve your website design in a way that will appeal to audiences:
Consistency: Use consistent branding elements throughout the website. Create your own guide defining the logos, colors, and typography that your team should use, and don’t stray from this.
Clean: Ensure that your website is visually appealing, straightforward, and easy for customers to navigate.
Content: Don’t just have filler and fluff on your website. Provide thoughtful, relatable content that really speaks to and resonates with your audiences.
Using Web Design to Enhance Digital Marketing
Any type of online marketing effort in which you’re promoting your brand to connect with potential customers is considered digital marketing. This includes SEO, PPC (pay-per-click) Ads, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing and Email Marketing.
The goal of the campaigns you run on each of these channels is always the same: to drive traffic to your website and convert them into leads or make sales. If you have a well-designed website, your visitors will be engaged and you can walk them through steps that encourage them to take action.
Some of the ways you can use web design to enhance your digital marketing efforts are:
Call to Action: By having a CTA (call to action) on your site, it tells visitors exactly what you are expecting of them. This could be anything from a download to booking a consultation to simply just purchasing your product. Your CTA should stand out from the rest of the page and tell people exactly what to do. Using buttons that state “Download Free PDF”, “Book A Call” or “Buy Now”, provide the users with clear instructions on what to do.
Forms: By having a form on your website that encourages your audience to sign up for a newsletter, or download an ebook, you are providing them with something in exchange for their information.
Landing Pages: Landing pages are specific pages designed for audiences who find your page as a result of ads or other online campaigns. Typically these are tailored to a specific product or service and the page should reflect and provide information about only that subject. Since that is the reason they are on your site, you do not want to direct them to a generic homepage to sift through your site to find what they’re looking for.
Tips for Improving Web Design for Content Marketing
Having a great web design that provides a great user experience while fulfilling the needs of your audience is a must. By anticipating how your audience reacts once they land on your site, you will be able to create a site that guides them through the buyer’s journey, making them more likely to take the desired action you are looking for.
Here are some tips to improve your web design for content marketing:
Create a Clear and Simple Design: A cluttered and confusing website can drive visitors away. Use a clean and straightforward design that makes it easy for users to find what they are looking for.
Optimize for Mobile Devices: With the majority of web traffic coming from mobile devices, it is crucial to ensure your website is optimized for mobile. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and loads quickly on smartphones and tablets.
Use High-Quality Images: Images are a vital part of content marketing. High-quality images can improve the overall look of your website and increase engagement.
Make Use of White Space: White space can help your website look more elegant and professional. Use it wisely to make your content stand out.
Keep the Navigation Simple: A simple and easy-to-use navigation menu can help visitors find what they are looking for quickly. Make sure your navigation is easy to understand and use.
Web design plays a crucial role in the success of a content marketing strategy. A well-designed website can attract and engage visitors, encourage them to explore your content, and ultimately drive conversions. On the other hand, a poorly designed website can turn potential customers away, resulting in lost opportunities.
It is essential to invest in web design and ensure that your website is visually appealing, user-friendly, and optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. By doing so, you can create a positive user experience and increase the chances of visitors becoming customers.