While the majority of business owners are aware of the importance of digital marketing, many lack the technical know-how to fully comprehend the extent to which a successful digital marketing strategy relies upon website design. A well-designed website is one that can be trusted, not just by customers, but by search engines too. Without this trust and navigability, the potential of any digital marketing campaign will be severely limited.
Why Web Design and Digital Marketing are Inextricably Linked
There seems to be an obvious answer to this question: customers won’t want to spend time on a poorly designed site. While this is true, there is much more to it. Awareness of the extent to which a website affects marketing comes from focusing on how a customer arrives at the site. Of course, a website design must facilitate an enjoyable customer experience, but in order for this to happen a website must be accessible, otherwise, all efforts are futile.
While there are some tweaks that can be performed in-house, consulting a website design company that specializes in marketing, such as The Gist, is the best way to ensure a site is fully optimized and complements your wider marketing strategy. Optimized design has a big impact on the website’s potential search engine rankings. The list below outlines some areas of focus.
Search engines are businesses looking to provide the best product to their users. This is particularly apparent when considering loading speeds. Take Google as an example: their research has shown that the average user expects a site to load in less than three seconds… otherwise they consider leaving.
Google has repeatedly stated the importance of loading speeds for high search engine rankings and they are set to continue prioritizing websites that have fast loading speeds. A good agency will know how to compress code, use the right images and make little tweaks to boost speed and retain users.
A study from the Stanford Technology Lab found 46.1% of participants judged a website’s credibility on factors such as visual design, layout, typography, font size, and color schemes. While the overall aesthetic of a website is very important, there is one particular aspect that is necessary to achieve a high search engine ranking: navigation.
Navigation links inform search engine crawlers which pages are the site’s most important and provide them with an easy way to access these pages. There are many different navigation tools available: drop-down menus, double navigation bars, and single navigation bars being the most common. Having descriptive titles a good robots.txt and a site navigation map will make a site more crawlable.
In the first quarter of 2020, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 52% of global website traffic, making mobile users an important market to cater to. Specifically tailoring a website for mobile devices can include cutting down long bodies of texts, simplifying the navigation system and reducing the size of images and videos to improve loading speeds.
Websites must have the human experience at the forefront; however, this needs to be carefully balanced with crawlability. Search Engines use bots to crawl websites as well as download and index information to determine if the site can be trusted and if they should recommend that site to their viewers. If a website’s architecture cannot be processed by the bot’s algorithm, then they will be automatically classified as suspicious and may be penalized.