If you are under the illusion that web design is a separate entity to your other marketing efforts, then you could be on a collision course with disaster.
In this day and age, it’s hard to believe that so many companies still view web design and marketing as two wholly isolated processes.
This viewpoint belongs to a by-gone era and adopting it into your marketing strategy can be very damaging to your revenue and ecommerce SEO efforts.
Of course, when you think of web design you probably think of aesthetic appeal, and while this is very important, it’s not, by any means, the only element you must be aware of.
SEO, conversion and traffic are already closely related, but your website design is the warming embrace that brings them all together; which should give you an idea of precisely how vital your site design is to your overall web presence.
The Importance of Asking the Right Questions
In this blog post, web designer Joseph Putnam began a debate on how important website design really is, with the overriding question: many businesses and professionals appreciate that web design is essential, but do they know why?
The post was written after Putnam was challenged with this question:
Just like most of us, he knew that is was an essential element, but couldn’t explain precisely why. So, he went away, did some research and made a few discoveries that would help him combat a similar question with more authority in the future.
The Consequence of Intelligent Web Design
The blog post then goes on to expand on the research he conducted which led to a study called Mistrust of Online Health Sites. The purpose of the study was to definitively confirm whether the various design and content basics do sway users intent when they visit a health website.
The section of the research that surprised most was the fact that design structure trumped content regarding the way people viewed the site.
94% of the comments were specifically related to the design, while the remaining observations focused on specific pieces of content.
While the study centred around health sites specifically, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest these principles would roll out in almost any industry.
The following points were the most commonly referenced:
- Overly complicated layouts.
- Pop-up and extravagant advertisements.
- Small text.
- Drab and dreary designs.
- Slow load speeds.
Content Still Reigns Supreme
Web design is the most critical element of a website, but that doesn’t mean that King Content is ready to give up the throne anytime soon. When the participants were asked to provide details as to why they trusted certain websites, content popped up in 83% of the responses.
They responded to websites that provided informative, relevant, innovative and balanced information, which often came in the form of FAQs.
Good Web Design Changes Everything…But So Does Bad Web Design
So, we’ve established that content and web design are the Beyoncé and Jay Z of the website world. Without top-notch design, visitors just won’t take the time to read the material you’ve poured your heart and soul in to.
Web design must take every factor of your business into consideration; otherwise, it falls flat on its face.
You must balance the aesthetic appeal with aspects of SEO, brand recognition and conversion – it’s an incredibly fine line and is especially important if you need an ecommerce website design build.
Web Design & SEO: The Hollywood Power Couple
We’ve already established that content and design run in the same circles, but how does that sit within the overall scope of SEO?
When planning web design with SEO in mind, it’s important to start from the bottom and look towards the future.
Trends come and go, think about how you laughed when you heard your parents’ ridiculous first dance song at their wedding – it hasn’t aged well has it?
The same applies here, if you look back at some of the websites we see as cutting edge today, in thirty years’ time, it will look tired and worn out. You need your brand to last much longer than a fleeting design trend, while trying not to ignore the latest styles.
Catch 22, indeed.
These days the parallax design seems to be quite popular.
Users enjoy the fact you can just scroll through all of the content at once, and in that sense, it’s much easier to keep users focused on what your website is trying to offer.
However, this is probably an example of a fleeting design trend. When you remove the traditional website structure, you’re essentially just asking for Google to come sniffing around, and if you get it wrong, you could be in for a world of pain.
Imagine taking one single URL on a website and jamming it full of every single one of your keywords, on a normal site you just wouldn’t do it – you wouldn’t even dream of it; but in essence that’s what happens with some parallax designs. It looks fantastic today, but the future looks bleak.
Now we’ve told you what not to do; it wouldn’t be fair to leave out what you should do.
The future of the internet is on mobile, we all know it. Google actively rewards sites that take the time to ensure their sites can be accessed from any device. This reduces any risks of penalties that could potentially be incurred by running two sites and can lower bounce rates.
These are just a few of the many, many examples of how website design directly correlates with SEO. But, you must be sure to implement any design structure very carefully as anything from menu structure to the colours on your blog can tamper with UX, which will send any good rankings into the depths.
Web Design vs Conversion: The Eternal Struggle
If the industry continues on its current trajectory the lines between marketing and design and conversion will fade and everything will come under the SEO umbrella. But for now, you should mainly focus on the following conversion aspects, which is super important when it comes to ecommerce.
Navigation: It’s not hard to see how navigation relates to conversion. Websites shouldn’t present a challenge to their visitors; they are trying to buy a product from you not get through the Crystal Maze.
Vocabulary: According to wordstream.com using certain words in your CTAs could be having a disastrous effect on your conversion.
Colour: Colours are a science all of their own. Big, bold red is great for headlines, while navy is excellent for CTAs because it curates a feeling of trust.
How Your Web Design Can Contribute to Your Branding…
It’s important to remember that your website is not your brand – it’s just a small part of the overall trust building jigsaw.
Placing efforts into branding early on will create more significant wins in the long-term. Brands are trust signals, what predetermined factors come to mind when you think of Nike…
A powerhouse designer making sports clothing for some of the most prominent athletes in the world?
Customers are more likely to buy from you if you’re a trusted source in your industry. If you can get to a place where your products are synonymous with quality, you’re on to an absolute winner. But, your website should reflect this, because of course, ‘web design must take every factor of your business into consideration; otherwise, it falls flat on its face.’
At POD Digital, our aim has always been to do things differently. When we work on an ecommerce website, we start from the bottom. Everything we do is focused on the future, as we believe it’s imperative to ensure that a website is set up with SEO in mind because it heightens chances of success in the days, months and years to come.
Check out some of our web-builds.
So, why not contact the ecommerce specialists today and let us create a gorgeous website that can get results for your business for years to come?