Today we’re going to go a little deeper, and list out 4 big picture marketing lessons that will help your online business grow immensely. Since they are big lessons, don’t try tackling all of them at once. Instead, read over them and consider them carefully. If you find that they resonate with you and your business then start taking steps to implement them.
Think of your website as flower garden; it’s something that requires constant water, sunlight, weeding and love to remain beautiful and eye catching. This means updating the content and the look of your website on a regular basis.
As much as I would like to say that web design is an art form. You can’t just create the design, perfect it, then frame and forget it. Businesses grow and shift over time and your website needs to reflect that.
Maintaining and updating your website is also the perfect opportunity to check if everything is working correctly. Maybe there was too much content packed into one area and it’s distracting the viewer. It’s important to avoid a perfectionist mentality when it comes to creating your website, but even the slightest problem can often discourage visitors from wanting to learn more about your business.
Design For Your Audience First, The Masses Second
We’ve all heard the saying: “There’s no second chance to make a first impression”. It’s true in the dating world, and it’s especially true on the web. Although in the dating world, you might get a second chance, on the web you won’t get a second chance if the first impression is bad.
Your home page is essentially a map to your website, it’s a top level overview of your website and it’s contents. You don’t want to make your visitors scroll too far to find the relevant information, and always try to keep the Three Click Rule in mind. It ideally shouldn’t take a user more than three clicks to find any piece of information on your website.
You want to be asking yourself “Does it support our businesses branding and help to communicate with our audience?” and “Will it improve on the websites user experience?”. As opposed to the biggest question you should never ask “Is it cool and popular?”
To create a website that is loved by Google, and by people, isn’t easy. You need your SEO to be approached, planned and executed as if it were a science and an art. On one hand, SEO is extremely scientific and runs off mathematics, statistics and predictive human behavior. On the other hand, SEO is an art form because mathematics and science can’t establish business goals or tell convincing stories to your visitors.
When planning out the SEO of your website, you need to optimize for traffic, but write for sales. Consider this: 35% of people on search engine sites will click the website that is in the #1 position, and an amazing 90% of people will click through to a website that is on the 1st page. So the art of SEO can’t be ignored, you need to first understand the needs of your visitors and then optimize your websites SEO to ensure they find your site first.
Nothing is more true in regards to the web than what famous graphic designer George Lois once said “The word comes first, then the visual”. Imagine how games, movies, and TV shows would turn out if they just started filming and wrote the content as they went. It would be a total mess! Why should web design be seen as any different?
It’s a massively flawed process to design the site before the content is written. The design end up looking fantastic but doesn’t account for a lot of small issues. The length of the headlines that end up spanning multiple lines, the content being too short or too long for an area… The problems add up quickly and often ruin the balance and aesthetic appeal of the site once it’s developed and taken live.
Whenever you ask a designer to design a website without the final content, you’re essentially asking an architect to design a house without telling them how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens will be needed.
Make no mistake, a website that is designed without any real content may look alright once its finished, but it will never be as impressive or amazing as a website that’s designed with the actual finished content.