The saying goes that first impressions are the last impressions, and that’s why web design is so crucial to your marketing strategy.
Your site will be many customers’ first point of contact with your brand, and that initial experience can make or break your businessman profile and chances of generating conversions.
Web design sets the tone for the whole user experience on your site, so it’s vital to ensure that users enjoy a smooth ride. Furthermore, web design can also help you communicate the values of your business and better engage customers with your products.
We all have experience of using websites to buy stuff with clumsy interfaces and difficult navigation. So what do most of us do? Go to a competitor who takes our time seriously enough to offer a browsing experience designed to help us easily meet our needs.
That’s why it pays to put in the effort to ensure you’re leveraging the appropriate design elements to ensure customers will want to proceed with your brand journey.
For all that, web design and development doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it should be one part of your broader marketing plan to be at its most effective. So let’s look at the different aspects of website design and how they can contribute to the success of your website marketing.
What is a Good Web Design?
Effective website design should succeed in bringing different visual elements together in order to create a visually pleasant and intuitive experience for users. Standard design elements that need to be considered include the use of:
- Colors: Different colors create different emotions in audiences. Warm colors like reds and yellows are great for establishing a mellow tone. Colors like blue and black are better for conveying a professional voice and assuring audiences over matters that carry more gravity. Your colors should suit the tone of your marketplace and be consistent throughout your site. You can also incorporate the colors of your business logo to help sell your brand.
- Shapes: Shapes and geometry also inform audiences’ visual experience. Clean, sharp lines help put your products front and center on your website. Conversely, softer shapes can help create a more casual and intimate browsing experience. The level of graphic detail you want throughout your site should be tailored to suit your products: detail can definitely help draw the eye. But overdoing it with intricate visual elements can muddle the page and confuse audiences instead of drawing them in.
- Font: Font might seem like a small detail, but it’s an element of graphic design that will have an impact on every sentence written on your website. You might be surprised about how passionate people are about fonts, and different typography styles have their fans and detractors. That’s because the right font can set the tone just as much as any other page element. A strong, serious font can grab your audience’s attention, while a more whimsical typeface could arouse their curiosity. Take some time to find a font that fits your site perfectly.
- Layout: Layout is arguably the most important element of effective web design. You have to be able to know how to arrange the elements on your page for maximum impact. Furthermore, how you arrange the order of the elements will change how they are perceived. For example, where are you putting your purchase button? If customers have to scroll through to the bottom of the page to find your purchasing link, you’re going to make them feel like purchasing from your website is a chore. Reverse the situation and put the button at the top, and it’ll be the first thing they see when they hit the page. The idea is to remove as many steps as possible between the customer and the conversion. After all, there’s a reason that terms, conditions and other small print are always the last things in a sales pitch.
These concerns are all critical to any form of graphic design. However, other concerns emerge for custom web design specifically, such as:
- Are menus easy to navigate?: Poor web design results in tangled site maps that perform poorly. If your web design results in a site that doesn’t quickly and effectively meet your customers needs, they will probably look elsewhere. Your site map needs to be coherent and easy to navigate, without bogging down customers with too many options at once. That’s why good web design needs to be intuitive and useful. Responsive menus that stack properly and are well categorized can offer benefits to you and your customers. A user shouldn’t be having to look through every single product or service that you’re offering to find the page that they really want.
- Are media elements like images and video effective on the page? Cluttered pages are a big pitfall with web design. Users don’t want to be bombarded with media elements in sidebars and headers that don’t enhance their experience or offer any kind of value. Nor will they be all that excited about promotional video content that has no bearing on what brought them to your page in the first place. To top it off, cluttered pages can also directly hurt your business’ SEO, as Google penalizes sites with poor loading times in its rankings. That’s not to say that quality video and image media isn’t very effective when used correctly. Far from it, infact! But said media has to feature great targeted content that enhances the user experience and offers real value to your audiences.
- Are your visual tone and branding consistent across the site? Audiences enjoy consistency from their browsing experiences. Consistency holds their attention from page to page and gives your brand a voice. Most people, however, do not want to be surprised, especially when they’re considering parting with their money or personal information. Users find inconsistencies in web design jarring, if not downright alarming. You need to make sure that there’s an editorial voice across your whole website whether it’s font, color palette, menu structure or page layout. Having a mishmash of styles will only confuse audiences and raise questions about your website. Coherent and consistent web design does the opposite. It reassures users and exudes confidence, making them feel in control at all times. It also helps you strengthen the brand voyage you offer and enhances the power of your value propositions.
While the main aim of your site will be to encourage conversions, you have to take all the elements of design into account to create pages that signify value to audiences in a positive way.
If you’re in any doubt about the importance of website design, your competitors certainly won’t be. So don’t delay in leveraging the form to help your marketing strategy reach its goal. Let’s look at the main ways in which web design can achieve this.
Imagine that you’re at a restaurant where the seating is cramped, service is slow and the music is too loud: no matter how good the food is, your overall experience will be clouded by other secondary factors.
Website usability is much the same: no matter how good your product is, audiences will be put off by a clunky site that doesn’t flow properly. Your website design should make it easy for customers to connect with your goods and services.
Additionally, the best web design will also make it easier for you to propose successful calls to action. These might include signing up for emails or creating membership accounts. As we know, these kinds of activities can be critical in returning valuable leads. And leads can turn into sales. If your website doesn’t help customers they will be far less likely to respond positively to these marketing prompts, so prioritize usability across your site.
Go to any web design classes and they’ll tell you that the best work should be useful as well as visually enticing. A great interface should make use of lots of category trees so that customers can quickly find the products they’re interested in without having to scroll through your entire inventory.
Conversely, if all your pages are flooded with links and other on-screen clutter, you’re putting up more barriers between yourself and a successful conversion. Therefore, use web design services that let customers effectively navigate your site. It’ll help market your company as a solutions-orientated operation and generate a lot of goodwill in audiences that lead to long-term customers.
Great web design helps you focus customers’ attention on what is most important to your business, i.e. conversions. Whether your call to action be for a purchase or signing up to a mailing list, your web design is integral in communicating positive interactions to your customers.
Take an online form, for example: a clean and responsive template that’s easy to fill out will encourage more people to volunteer valuable marketing data than a form that’s fiddly to complete.
Intuitive website design makes it easy for customers to complete actions helpful to your company. That’s why you need to use html & css: web design and build websites that will encourage conversions.
SEO is the backbone of website marketing and exerts a huge influence on your site traffic. While written copy has the biggest impact on your search engine rankings, website design also wields a direct influence on your on-page SEO performance.
Even if your site looks great on the surface, the nuts and bolts of your web design software might be holding you back. If your coding isn’t fluent, or the page is crammed with images that slow loading times, your rankings will take a hit. Make your website design lean and efficient, and your bounce rate is certain to go down.
Web design exerts a huge influence on how audiences view the credibility of your brand. Sleek, modern design makes your brand appear professional and trustworthy. Conversely, stale and ugly design will start ringing alarm bells right away and may compel potential customers to take their business to one of your competitors.
This is all pretty obvious, but some marketers still overlook the importance of brand consistency across your web design portfolio. Incorporating the color scheme of your brand’s logo across your site, for example, is a great way to leverage your brand recognition and assure customers that you’re running a quality business.
If you’re running pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns to drive traffic to your site, your web design has to be up to scratch to make your landing pages sing. Customers should be able to seamlessly segue between the ad and your site to make it as easy as possible to complete the desired action.
If the ad and your site have wildly different design styles, audiences will find it jarring and may begin questioning whether they should follow through. This is another example of the small but significant ways that website design has to support your wider marketing strategy.
Although subtle, the effects can make the difference between a conversion and a bounce.
Conclusion: Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Web Design?
The look of your website might be the only chance you get to encourage customers to engage further, so make it count.
People expect a high standard of websites from modern businesses, and they will judge you on your design before reading a single word of copy. When this helps support your marketing objectives, web design can generate leads and secure sales whilst ensuring that your brand value is enhanced.
Did you ever learn web design strategies that have positively impacted your marketing campaign? Let us know in the comments section below.
Emily Moore is an English & programming teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She believes that current exploration should be focused on preserving our planet’s resources. With satellites circling the orbit, it is easier to get relevant data on any environmental changes. This, in turn, should help people quickly address any challenges.