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How Site Design Brings Inbound Marketing to Life

How Site Design Brings Inbound Marketing to Life

site_design.pngIn the world of content, books aren’t the only formats judged by their covers. Your website and how you present your content has the power to immediately compel visitors to read more or turn them off entirely — and if you want your audience to consume the content you’ve put so much effort into creating, youd better make sure it lives on an engaging website. 

Nielsen Norman Group reported that visitors will make a decision to stay or leave your site within the first 10 to 20 seconds, meaning you have a limited amount of time to make the right first impression.

It doesnt matter how amazing your content is if no one in your audience sees it. While you can use a number of editing tools to create solid content and distribution tools to help your audience find it, your efforts wont mean much if visitors leave your (poorly designed) site after a few seconds.

The Look, the Feel, and the Little Touches

When asked to describe what exactly causes them to distrust a website, a whopping 94 percent of people cited bad design elements. In addition, 77 percent of major marketing agencies believe that a poor website user experience is one of the most significant weaknesses in marketing and branding.

Now, beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but inbound traffic, retention, and conversions do have some rules of engagement:

  • Make headlines bold. It should be easy for site visitors to know exactly what page they’re on and what they’re reading. Keep your headlines between 50 and 60 characters, and make them easy to find and scan.
  • Do your research. Study website-building tools, and research your options for unique sites with templated designs. Sites like Best 10 Website Builders provide reviews, articles, and best practices for building your website. Be choosy about which styles, forms, and functions are best for your brand as you begin to create your new design or audit an existing one.
  • Choose a typeface that’s simple to read. You don’t want to risk people squinting to read it. Or worse, you don’t want to risk coming across like an amateur. Use a sans-serif font, and you’ll keep more eyes on the prize.
  • Stick to a three-color palette. Your website isn’t the Sistine Chapel, and a bevy of colors splashed around is distracting. Experts suggest choosing two neutral colors and one bold accent as the base for your site’s palette. If you’re unsure which colors to use, Adobe’s Color CC tool can help you choose.
  • Optimize your images, and make sure they stand out. The web is pixel-based, and unfortunately, way too many images don’t account for this. Image sizing and placement are paramount in a professional site’s UX. Further, content with relevant images gets 94 percent more views than content without images. Select the right images to complement your content, and optimize them for the best results.
If there’s a golden rule in design, it’s to stick to your look and give your structure space. Cluttered, mismatched images, borders, or wireframes make for a messy site, and too many colors, typefaces, and hard-to-read formats make it worse.

Why Function Is as Important as Form

We’ve covered the basics of form and feel, but for a winning design that enables your inbound marketing, functionality is just as important. Think about it. If you’re shopping for a new car and a salesperson shows you the most beautiful car you’ve ever seen, you’d want to take it for a test drive, and you’d expect it to handle as beautifully as it looks. If it didnt — if all the right pieces were there and looked great but none of them actually worked together — you wouldnt buy the car.

That’s essentially the same as a beautiful website with high-quality content that isn’t accessible, functional, or easy to navigate. Upon first glance, your audience may want to take it for a test drive, but when they realize none of the pieces work together, they won’t buy.

To ensure you’ve mastered the basics of function, always remember:

  • Mobile-friendly design. Designing for mobile can no longer remain an afterthought. Audiences in the U.S. spend more time consuming mobile media than media via desktop, laptop, or other connected devices, and this trend isn’t slowing down. You will suffocate your business if you don’t optimize your site design for mobile users.
  • Load time. Your load time can cost you customers. The slower your page response time, the greater the chance that your visitors will abandon your page and your conversion rates will suffer. Monitor your performance, and test ways to improve your time.
  • Navigation structure. Research shows that visitors almost universally view websites in an F-shaped pattern, meaning their eyes are drawn to the left side and site hero first. They are then drawn to bold words, followed by the first two paragraphs above the fold. So as nifty as some out-of-the-box ideas may seem at first, try to find a way to sew creative vision into visitor trends.

There will always be a learning curve when it comes to building or improving your website design, yet some qualities of good design will stay the same. While visitors will likely remain quick to judge your site by its cover, you can ensure its first impression is a good one by following these principles.

To learn more about how to get your content in front of the right people and lead them back to your beautifully designed website, download our free template below:

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About Nik Donovic

Nik Donovic enjoys the business world and has worked in startups, entrepreneurial endeavors, and small businesses his entire post-college career. Online marketing, including a focus in inbound marketing is the core of his expertise.


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