In a competitive, digital-driven market, marketing departments have no shortage of options for where to spend their budget. Facing ambitious sales goals while managing a tight budget, you can dedicate countless hours perfecting your messaging, SEO practices, and audience research. Then, an assortment of channels such as social media, TV, and print provide further opportunities to extend your brand’s reach and attract new users.
However, driving traffic to your site serves only the first part of your sales funnel. For all the traffic-driving options available through expensive ad placements and third-party vendors, your company’s website remains the central hub for your business. To ensure an effective return on investment from your digital marketing, you have to ensure your website is every bit as optimized as your advertising efforts. If your site visitor numbers don’t translate to actionable conversions, every click your business attracts is simply going to waste.
Here are 3 tips that will help ensure your website is operating at its best to serve this critical role for your business.
Make Your Website Your First Priority in Digital Marketing
On every level, it’s much easier to run a new ad campaign than redesign a website – especially if you’re on a tight budget. But for as cost-effective as a new campaign may seem, it’s a waste of money if your website doesn’t deliver on the new traffic.
A campaign that delivers impressions but fails to move the needle in conversions should be considered a red flag for your business. While you could always go back to the drawing board, your common denominator is an underperforming website. Just as you wouldn’t spend money driving foot traffic to a storefront with broken windows, your website must be designed to function for your business needs. Whether your business is driven by the completion of a purchase or completing a contact form, your website’s most critical metric isn’t found in traffic totals. It’s the ability to effectively deliver your business needs.
At the broadest level, your website must reflect the strategic vision of your business. If a given product or service is a high priority for your goals, your website should be structured to reflect those needs. But you also must remain attentive to micro-optimizations across every page to ensure your design is functioning properly. A thoughtful UX and UI design maximizes your site’s ability to serve its users and your business. From the color of a button to its placement, there are a variety of ways to improve the effectiveness of a landing page or your website content.
If your website has a flexible CMS, then your internal teams can quickly layout multiple versions of a landing page to compare variations in UX design. Through A/B testing of your pages using a variety of online tools, your marketing team can gain insights into how well they are facilitating interaction with site visitors. User testing offers another way to evaluate how well your conversion funnel is working. However, as you’re thinking about shifting details of your website design, you must also remain consistent with your brand’s broader ecosystem.
Keep Your Website and Creative Aligned With Your Broader Brand Experience
Providing a congruent experience for your customers runs much deeper than aligning graphics and copy. Every design element of an ad campaign or website should function in harmony with your brand identity and be consistent across your entire digital ecosystem. No matter what channel your business uses, every visitor should recognize where they are and what your brand is about.
Sometimes, your business can be too focused on its goals to think about the feeling your company hopes to evoke. But if you really want to leave an impact, you need to think about the core tenets of your brand. A logo, font choice, or color palette doesn’t deliver a brand experience; it ultimately comes down to reputation.
Without a foundation based on your company’s vision, core values, and value proposition, design decisions feel like grasping for straws. However, once you recognize your brand’s identity, those goals inform your approach across every channel. From the choices in your ads to the look and feel of your website, your brand’s ecosystem should all be in alignment.
Marketing teams must frequently do more with less with website resources while more of your budget is dedicated to ad expenditures. With that kind of flexibility, you can design the flashiest, most eye-catching campaign to bring your business the impressions it needs. But if your website doesn’t offer an experience that’s aligned with your campaign, engagement numbers will tank.
Optimize Your Website Continuously
Bringing your website up-to-speed with your marketing campaign isn’t a one-and-done process. Just as campaign plans can shift depending on your audience and business needs, your website should do the same thing.
Such an undertaking may sound expensive and time consuming, but it really doesn’t have to be. A well-designed website and CMS offers built-in flexibility to align with your marketing campaigns. Even if your current website looks good and performs well, it must be able to keep pace with your business. If your site requires a sizable investment to update, you have to consider how well it really supports your goals.
No question, contacting a developer every time you need to test a new landing page can get very expensive. But if you have the capability to update, test, and launch a customized template in your CMS, your investment is far lower. Updating your website should be a continuous process that accommodates changes to your organization’s strategy, product offerings, and market conditions. Your process should also be agile enough to react to the real-time feedback you receive from your website users.
If your website lags behind the growth of your business or doesn’t effectively respond to what your analytics tell you about its users, you’ll find yourself in an expensive redesign cycle every three to five years. However, by ensuring your website remains consistent with the larger digital ecosystem of your brand, you’ll see greater return on investment from its design. When your website functions at its peak, it will allow your marketing initiatives to flourish.