One of the most important foundational elements of your brand is your website. Among assets like your social properties, apps and other owned channels, your website is a primary representative of your organization. In order to make the right impression, it’s important your site is functioning at its best. Not only does it need to perform the functions of your users, look good, and communicate key messages, but it needs to support your marketing efforts as well. Many organizations and web design firms overlook the importance of a marketing optimized website. Here’s why that’s a big mistake.
The value of an optimized site
Ensuring your website is designed with marketing in mind can have big impacts for your bottom line and conversion rate. Things like metadata, accessibility, and the length of your forms can make a difference in business outcomes. Even something as simple as landing page copy can affect the success and cost of your campaigns. Because of this, the ability to add and edit relevant pages becomes valuable. Essentially, these types of optimizations bridge the gap between user experience and business results. Answering the question, “how can we design our website so that the user can easily and happily take the desired action, and we can effectively track it?”
What does having a marketing optimized website entail?
A marketing optimized website includes all the elements to support not only the intended website users, but also the marketing team. Things like a great content management system, the ability to track and measure website activities, high quality imagery and great metadata are all things that support the cause. We like to think we can group these opportunities into a few categories.
- Technical Soundness
There are hundreds of technical considerations when designing a website. Some of the ones marketers care about most, are the ones that contribute to SEO, accessibility and social sharing. Ensuring alt-tags are optimized can make a world of a difference for users with impaired vision (and your SEO). Utilizing images that are over 600px wide means that we don’t need to replace them when sharing on social media (or when a user decides to share on their own). Making sure the foundation is ready to support what we need it for, goes a long way toward marketing success.
- Accessibility + Responsiveness
In addition to technical accessibility requirements, the site should adhere to visual accessibility standards. You need to mind font sizes, contrast, color choice and other factors to support all users in accessing the site and what you have to offer. Further, responsive design is 100% necessary. A large percentage–perhaps even the majority–of visitors are accessing your site via mobile. We need to ensure they’re able to interact with the site as intended.
- Data Capture + Conversion Optimization
Your site should be ready to be tracked and analyzed. Adding Google Analytics is a must, and tools like Google Tag Manager or Marketing Automation Software are great ways to learn even more about your audience. The more we can track their behavior on a site, the better we’re able to optimize how we’re attracting users, and help make sure they’re satisfied once they arrive. Even more? We want to make sure we give users a great way to take the actions we want them to. Not only are we looking for a conversion form, we’re looking for forms that aren’t too long, but that acquire enough information.
Ever followed one of those brands on social media that just keeps reposting the same white paper over and over? We want to avoid that as much as humanly possible. Content that adds value to customers and supports integrated marketing tactics, like email and social media, is imperative for a great site. Downloadable resources, case studies, news, blog content, all of this aids in nurturing prospects, and their discovery phase. We can’t express enough just how valuable good content can be.
Of course, these are just a summary of the many ways you can update your site with marketing best practices in mind. Small changes can make a large impact in the way we’re able to understand how users are utilizing the site. Understanding the importance of a marketing optimized website can save time, money, and improve customer satisfaction. What else could you want?
is the Director of Digital Marketing Services and is completely obsessed with the ups, downs, ins and outs of the digital landscape. You’ll know it’s her by her “irresistible” fake British accent and steady stream of quips. Remember, if you didn’t ‘gram it, it didn’t happen. Follow her on Twitter @SJohnsonRI.