3 Ways Inbound Marketing is Changing the Way You Should Design Your Website
As you may know, inbound marketing has the marketing industry all shook up (in the best way). While we’re pumped up about marketing that actually works, inbound is changing the way experts think about everything from sales meetings to web design.
Here’s what hasn’t changed:
Your website’s job. You need your website to attract and engage your audience, move people down the funnel (or through your flywheel), and provide a stellar user experience from start to finish.
Here’s what has changed:
How your website will attract and engage your audience, close more leads, and keep customers coming back for more. Since inbound marketing is successful due to its focus on human relationships, producing high-quality content, and attracting people rather than just generating website traffic, you need to design your website to:
Facilitate communication between your company and your visitors
Develop trust and establish your credibility
Educate users and offer valuable resources
Build relationships with folks who are engaging with your brand
How has inbound marketing changed website design?
1. Content is king.
Your site must have high-quality, valuable content for your audience to consume. As a matter of fact, great content is more likely to attract people to your website than stellar design alone, thanks to search engines, search engine optimization, and the rise of consumer research in our digital age. For your content to be effective, you need to strategically plan:
Content publication schedules for blogs and social media platforms (your site should feature both of these marketing avenues).
How content is organized across your site.
Where calls-to-action, special announcements, and user forms should be placed.
Your blog and social media are key players in bringing people to your site. Make sure you’re planning, creating, and curating appropriate content and publishing on a consistent schedule to keep users engaged and give your website a better shot at being found by search engines like Google and Bing.
2. Search engine optimization is changing the way people find your site.
Remember the last time you scrolled through multiple pages of the search engine results page (SERP) to find what you were looking for?
We don’t, either.
The vast majority of users won’t venture beyond the first page of the SERP before choosing a link or searching for a different phrase altogether. Hence, the importance of SEO. Solid SEO tactics can boost your site’s visibility by directing users to pages (read: the content on said pages) that are relevant to their search queries.
In other words, your homepage isn’t necessarily the most important page on your website anymore. Rather than navigating directly to your homepage and exploring the site from there, users are more likely to arrive at your site via a blog, landing page, or product page. This means that its vital for your header menu and menu items to be strategically placed and easy to navigate from any page on your website.
3. Your design might be beautiful on a desktop, but…
How’s it looking on mobile?
In today’s marketplace, your website design is only as good as it is mobile-friendly. As of 2018, over 60% of global internet usage is accessed via a mobile device. Think about it: how often do you quickly Google something on your phone or tablet instead of reaching for your laptop or desktop? This is particularly important for industries where customers might be researching a business on the fly, like:
Restaurants, bars, and delivery services
Retail stores (of both the online and brick-and-mortar varieties)
Salons, spas, and other personal care services
Mechanic, locksmith, and security services
And the list goes on.
From finding a phone number to making a purchase on the spot, mobile website access is on the up and up. But is your website design?
Pro tip: simplicity & transparency > flashy design.
Remember, website traffic isn’t the best indicator of interest or potential sales. It’s certainly correlated, but it doesn’t matter how many people are visiting your site if they don’t love what they see when they get there. People don’t come to your website looking for something flashy. They come to your website looking for a simple solution to a problem. It’s your website’s job to make that solution attractive and accessible. This doesn’t mean your site can’t be beautiful, unique, and bold, but that design should never undercut functionality.