The right website is one of your most effective business marketing tools but, only if it quickly:

  1. Surfaces early in searches. 
  2. Conveys the problem you solve or opportunity you create for a prospect. 
  3. Establishes your relevance and credibility. 

marketing, digital marketing, design, webpage, seo, customers, clients,

Imagine you are sitting at your desk, searching for a new website developer. You might not be happy with your current SEO rankings and/or conversion rate, or your website is outdated, e.g., it needs a modern design and increased mobile-friendliness, and/or it Is no longer aligned with your company brand, or your latest product offerings. You land on a high-ranked website and start clicking and reading. It’s well designed and visually appealing, but your attention quickly fades. It doesn’t pull you in by speaking to the business problem(s) you’re trying to solve. Nor does it provide you with the confidence you need to move forward in your buying journey.  

What happens next? You bounce. You are onto another website in the sea of results. High SEO rankings and a visually appealing website failed to achieve the most important website goal: conversion. 

Yes, I Want My Growth Idea

 

Even To Achieve the Highest ROI of a Website Project, it Must be Aligned with Your Marketing Mission

For any marketing media to be effective, it must be cohesive with the marketing mission you have outlined for the company. Per the scenario above, pretty graphics and fonts may be important for your brand image, but they can only get you so far towards having a high converting website.  

The start of any website creation/refresh project needs to begin with your unique value proposition, positioning, clarity around your customer journey, messaging, and marketing pan. Once these elements are solid you can better communicate your requirements to your chosen website development services firm. This enables them to ensure the website design is driving toward these goals. 

3 Ways to Align Your Website Design with Marketing

These are the three steps through which we guide our customers in every website project: 

  1. define your website content around your customer personas.
  2. prioritize your sitemap and navigation.
  3. highlight your most impactful call-to-action.

 

Define Your Website Content Around Your Customer Personas

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If you don’t yet have your customer personas ready, take a pause. Every business has at least one well-defined key persona and understands what best motivates that customer.  

Your ideal customer might be motivated to choose your solution because it fixes a common problem that costs them a lot of time and stress. In this case, price may not be a primary buying criteria. In this case, the website copy needs to focus headings, subheadings, and key visual elements around describing the ability to solve the time and stress problem. It would probably be a waste of energy to create bold graphics that shout out the best pricing deals. And maybe a price comparison page is not necessary. 

When designing the flow of the homepage content, think about what solutions best alleviate the customer’s pain. Try to align your page title, and the other major subheadings, with phrases that give prospects confidence that you understand their issues and that you are experienced and ready to resolve them. This copy is more likely to grab the attention of a visitor and keep them engaged to learn a little more. 

Here are some examples of completely different types of motivations of a website visitor, which would result in a different direction of the website design and content. 

The prospect could be looking for: 

  • a better-quality and easier-to-use solution to replace the mediocre solutions currently available on the market 
  • the best price on a product or service 
  • a business with similar values and a positive community impact 
  • a local business 
  • ways to save money or make more money 
  • ways to save time
  • a new solution they can onboard as quickly as possible 
  • peace of mind 

 

Prioritize Your Sitemap and Navigation

relevant measures metrics kpis mission meaningful

One of the first things we do when designing a new website is to plan out the sitemap. This starts with a simple outline of the primary pages in the website, including the top tier sections you expect to be on the main navigation menu, and the sub-pages under each. 

Ninety-nine percent of the time, the first link listed on the outline is “Homepage”. And let’s assume in most modern website designs, the homepage is linked with the brand logo, and not actually a “Home” link in the menu. But what’s next? 

It’s OK to list all of the pages that you think are most important to get things started. But you need to review your list again with the customer in mind. Prioritize the pages in an order that should matter to them, in a way that will give the most visibility to things that impact your user engagement. 

For example, an e-commerce site might place the Order link (the link to the shopping cart) as the first link in the top tier, and Special Offers as the second link. They do this knowing that the visitor is ready to buy something and doesn’t want to waste time hunting for those options. They also know that receiving customer support is important to the customer and drives their ability to upsell, so they make the Customer Service link very bold in the main navigation as well. 

There are some trends that will influence the placement of a link, such as Contact Us. Internet users are accustomed to seeing this link in the top right of a website. However, companies that want to serve their customers in a different way may elect to omit a Contact Us page, and instead implement a direct phone number and/or chatbot.     

Also consider your footer navigation. It is usually best to include subsidiary links in the footer (such as Privacy Policy) and a few quick links to other important pages. We don’t recommend repeating the exact same top navigation in the footer, especially if it is a lengthy menu. 

Highlight Your Most Motivating Impactful Call-to-Action in the Website Design

We often hear business leaders say, “I want the website to convert.” But this doesn’t really define a clear path for the customer journey. What specific call-to-action do you want the visitor to take? What specific thing do you want to measure? 

Here are some possibilities if you want more people to: 

  • recognize your brand as an industry leader, create valuable blog content and helpful white papers, and emphasize links to these resources in your other web copy. 
  • talk to your sales director, integrate an easy appointment booking form and a click-to-call phone number. 
  • see a demo of your product, because you know it will get them over that hill, add a “quick demo” form that collects basic information before showing a video recording demonstration on the confirmation page. 
  • Subscribe to your mailing list, make your “subscribe” button prominent in the header navigation, and include subscribe links in your most visited landing pages. 

Work with your copywriter and marketing team to determine the best wording for these prompts.   

In summary, your marketing team will feel more confident in the effort and time being put into your website if it aligns well with the marketing mission they defined for the business. And your web designer will be happier too because they will know their work has contributed to your bottom line. 

 

About the Author:

Jackie's headshot, about the author

Jacqueline Sinex is Managing Director at WEBii, an Austin-based website development and SEO company. With beginnings in fine arts, she entered web development in the 90’s, and has enjoyed a long career that bridges creative and tech. She writes on topics in custom web development, website administration, project management, and communications.

 

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