How Inbound Marketing and Web Design go hand in hand
With marketing being the driving force for your inbound traffic and landing pages a key factor in collecting data, marketing consultants should be the lead on any new website project you undertake. The fact that the old flow would mean you approaching a website designer to create a pretty website and then you approaching a marketing consultancy or agency to help you drive traffic to that site has simply become defunct.
Most consultants or agencies will have particular website designers they work with either in house or freelance but will be able to direct those people on how to deliver the correct landing pages, user journey and drive forward with strategically placed calls to action. Your inbound marketer can then optimise those pages with content.
As we were previously a Hubspot partner agency, and we provide both inbound marketing and web design services, we’re often asked how the disciplines relate to each other. To us, the practice of marketing is much easier to do when our clients have a good website and it’s easier to design an effective website when you plan it around your inbound strategy.
Understanding how they both work together
Understanding how inbound marketing and web design go hand-in-hand means first understanding the difference between the two. Essentially, great web design comes first and works to entice customers, while inbound marketing follows, and pushes out the company’s message and expertise with the end goal of landing more sales. You can read more on inbound marketing and how it works here. Attracting customers by creating a visually appealing and organised website that is easy to navigate is a vital part of a good inbound marketing strategy.
Pull and push: great content needs great presentation
Web design will ensure that all your site content is presented to people in an effective way. The site layout should change appropriately depending on the type of device that people are using, be it a computer, tablet or smartphone. This is why we only make responsive websites because so many people will be likely to access your site on a mobile device, (stats), it seems an oversight and counterproductive to invest time and money in a design that doesn’t adapt to the users’ viewing requirements. A good design will successfully help to pull in visitors. This means that navigation should be instinctive, the content will be ordered in a structured way and the user is blissfully unaware of the ‘design’ as I said when discussing design in the digital realm. Design agencies will often refer to crafting digital ‘experiences’ and that’s exactly what a website is. A good one should be an experience and a particularly terrible site will always be an experience, albeit a negative one.
Inbound works to push your message to people at every stage of the buyer’s journey. It’s important that the content you produce, be it a white paper, a free assessment, blog posts or videos etc. cater to people in all stages of this journey. There has to be a good balance of educational content for potential customers, as there is content that directs visitors to buy. No one likes to feel that they’re being hassled to buy.
The buyer’s journey
A key area where web design and inbound meet is search engine optimisation, otherwise known as SEO. A well put together website will appear in relevant searches and inbound marketing relies on good SEO in order to make it easier for visitors to discover your content. When we post content, we’re always ensuring that every new post is properly optimised with the correct long form keywords and can be found easily.
Once visitors are on your site it is crucial that you can offer content that is relevant to all stages of the buyer’s journey. What is the buyer’s journey you ask? Whether they’re just browsing to find more information out about their problem, they’re considering solutions or they have decided that they want to purchase your solution; they need to be directed appropriately.
A perfectly designed website will have fully considered the customer journey when it was being designed, however that customer journey needs an endpoint. There needs to be a clear focus on why your website is designed the way it is. Web designers and inbound marketers need to work together to ensure landing pages are properly handled.
A website as an extension of your brand
A website is an element of your brand and should reflect the company. Not just visually either. The entire tone of the copy and layout will be communicating with users, as I have touched on previously when discussing consistency in branding. A bank needs a website that builds confidence, is secure, and has an authoritative tone. Just because something is on a screen doesn’t mean that the message should change.
People are far more likely to be converted into leads on a site that is well designed as this helps to create a sense of trust. A company with a good product to sell should have a good website that reflects the quality and values of that brand. When the internet is usually our first port of call to find information out, a bad website makes you look unprofessional and makes creates doubts about the quality of the product and customer service. Positive user experience is vital to delighting your customers and turning them into advocates of your company.
Websites drive leads and sales
In closing, both web design and inbound marketing work together to create a positive experience for potential customers visiting your website. Web design focuses on ease of use, delivery of information and directing the customer journey. Inbound marketing is focused on creating enticing content that informs, entertains or enlightens, and converting visitors into leads and, hopefully, customers. Websites are the digital face of your company, and good ones are vital to driving up your leads coming in. More leads equal more end sales.
A good website without engaging content will cut down return visits, and conversely, engaging content needs to be delivered well and easily discoverable. This is why both web design and inbound marketing go hand in hand with one another.
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