Designing a beautiful website is one thing, but adopting a business mindset while planning your site is quite another.
Marketing is an integral part of any business’s website, whether you’re freelancer designing a website for a client, or are working for a large company where design and marketing are separate. With the right approach, a good website can make it easy to share content and integrate other marketing efforts.
From the planning phases of a new website project to creating content and sharing, it’s important to think about how the structure and framework will work alongside marketing practices. This duo will be most effective only if and when the website and marketing campaign are built to work together.
Here’s what you can do with your website design to boost your marketing efforts.
How to design a website that’ll amplify your marketing efforts
Start with branding
Integrate the right copy
Create social media-friendly images
Focus on user journeys
Optimize for search
Design for mobile
1. Start with branding
A website is only as strong as the brand it connects to in terms of marketing. For example, the Coca-Cola website wouldn’t meet your expectations if the color scheme were anything other than red.
When a visitor gets to your website for the first time, there should be an immediate visual connection to the brand. Colors, fonts, imagery, and the tone of voice should match your brand identity. Anything else can create a disconnect that can cause people to feel lost or like the website is only posing as your brand.
A good website design will solidify brand identity and values. This can strengthen the relationship between your brand and a visitor, customer or follower.
To remain consistent with the rest of your materials and achieve an overall aesthetic that feels in line with your branding, cover the key brand elements using either a brand book or a design system, from logo to color palette to font choice, and all other graphic elements and written copy. Looking for website inspiration can help get your ideas going.
2. Integrate the right copy
Designers tend not to consider the use of language when creating a visual plan. But it’s an important part of the overall website building process.
The design should include copy from the start. If you don’t have website content before starting the design, how can you expect them to match?
Think about the main headline, for example: If one of the words is “communication,” the plan for a text treatment - such as font, size, or placement - might be a lot different than with the word “talking.” There’s a three-part reason for this:
Communication is a much longer word, impacting typography choices such as font and size.
Communication does not include descenders (letters that fall below the baseline), affecting the line spacing for other words potentially below it.
Fonts can work (or not) based on the word used. We’ve all had those moments where we typed out a word in a certain font, and the immediate reaction was “no.”
3. Create social media-friendly images
If one of the goals of your website project is to create shareable content, why not incorporate social media-friendly images into the overall design plan?
While you might feel that this can end up restricting the design, it can be a valuable option for projects where this is a priority. On top of SEO, social media is another valuable way to get your content out there and seen by your target audience.
By making featured images a size and shape that share well, you don’t have to worry about inadvertent offenses when sharing content because social media platforms will automatically – and not always in a flattering way – crop images to fit their specs.
Finally, avoid putting text on images before uploading them to the website. Not only can this render text unreadable in some responsive formats and sizes, but it can make a mess when shared socially.