Graphic depicting value which we can be generated through online presence

Sometimes it is hard for business owners to understand the value of utilising a marketing professional to assist them.  Today we are going to look at just one area of a company’s marketing communications.  We are going to look at the website and demonstrate the impact a marketing professional can have on its performance.

In the modern age, a website tends to be the central hub through which most marketing activity is directed.  It is a tool which can gather an interested audience, provide them with information and then convert them into clients or hot prospects.  The trouble is, in order to do this effectively, you need to understand a number of different elements of online marketing.

The Build

The earlier a marketing professional can be involved in the process, the better.  The build of the website is so important.  So many smaller website designers and builders are not up to speed with the latest SEO best practice.  It is critical that your site is coded cleanly, with a clear heading structure, compressed imagery for optimising site speed and all of the necessary tagging to ensure the site is as friendly, from a technical aspect, to as many people as possible. The URL structure of the site also needs to be carefully considered to optimise search visibility.  Any marketing professional worth their salt should be able to provide enough guidance at the start of the project to avoid any major errors here.  Please note the experience of web developers in this area fluctuates greatly (make sure you probe them before appointing).

Content

With absolute clarity over who your audience is and how they behave, and the SEO keyword terminology that will drive relevant traffic to your site, you can start to map out your required content.  Note, the keyword strategy may not always be as obvious as you think.  With this in mind a good marketing professional can give you insights into search volumes.  What’s more is that they can look into competitiveness of terms so you can find the right balance.  With clarity over the strategy, then content needs to be created to maximise visibility for those terms.  Remember though, this content needs to also be user-friendly and engaging.  With this is mind it is always better to be guided by a marketing consultant, or a specialist copywriter than carrying this out in-house.  There is a skill in writing for the web and 95% of the time it is waiting on client content which creates the bottleneck in a website project.

Design & Feel

Whereas the first two areas really help improve your website from a visibility and usability perspective, the design is as equally important.  The design and feel of the website is what will represent your brand, and position you in the mind of the user.  What’s more, once a browser has landed on the site, it is the design and feel of it which will ultimately lead to them sticking around. If you hit the wrong notes with the design and feel they could be off as quick as they arrived.  This infographic (snippet below) from https://www.mybizniche.com/ is great overview of the power that colour plays in online design.  A well-designed site which represents your brand in the best light should lead to a higher visitor conversion rate.  Again, a good marketing professional should be able to ensure that your web build stays on track and adheres to your brand guidelines.

Infographic explaining the psychology of colour with respect to website design

Usability

The usability of the site goes hand in glove with the design and feel.  It is great attracting traffic, and if the site looks good they will want to stick around.  However, if the usability of the site is not good, they will soon get frustrated and go looking for a competitor which is an easier experience.  Within usability a marketing professional should guide you through areas such as page loading speeds, intuitive navigation (getting deep within the site within a couple of clicks) and finding information easily.  Also, worth consideration is how easy it is to get back to a page you were just on, can you easily make an enquiry, or get a question answered?

Calls to Action (CTA’s)

Call to action word with megaphone, 3d rendering

If the purpose of your website is to get the browser to do s