That was a hard title for me to write. Successful web marketing hinges on so many things, it’s nearly impossible to narrow it down to just one MUST have thing.
Think about this: If I asked you to name the one thing needed to make a television advertising campaign successful, what would you say? A great television commercial? Yup, that’s true, but you also need for that commercial to air in the right markets. And not just that, the commercial has to air at the times that your target audience is most likely watching. So you can’t just have the right markets. You can’t just have the right air time. And you can’t just have the right commercial. They all have to go together.
And that’s how web marketing is. You can’t just pick the right keywords, because they have to be optimized. You can’t just get links or run a great social campaign because you’re sending people to a lackluster website. You can’t just do on-page optimization because you need the links to increase authority.
Focusing on just one of those areas is rarely going to bring you true success.
But, but, but… If I truly had to narrow it down to just one thing that all web marketing hinges on, I would say it’s the architecture of the site itself.
Website Architecture is the engine for which the performance of your website is built.
But here’s the catch: While SEOs spend a great deal of their time focusing on website architecture, they do so only as mechanics fixing mistakes. Website architecture issues are best addressed while the engine itself is being built. Yeah, I’m talking to you web developers!
Website design and development covers both visual design and the coding of your website. Many developers, however, just implement code that “works” without thinking at all about its performance, or how it might affect the marketing of the website as a whole. Poorly implemented code can have a profound impact on how search engines access key pages of the site as well as their ability to analyze the content properly.
Bad site architecture can also have a severe impact on the user experience. Bloated code, excessive links, broken links, URL redirection problems and even navigational layout affect how visitors are able to use the site and find needed information. Any one of these can cause severe performance issues overall.
Yes, it’s the web marketer’s job to find and fix these issues, but why pay the mechanic to fix what the builder didn’t do correctly to begin with? If you’re already past the design phase, by all means, pass this job on to the mechanic to can make it right. But if you’re still developing a new website, make sure building a proper architecture is a priority. Otherwise you’re just throwing away time and money, both of which are are extremely valuable.
Note: If you want to know more about successful website architecture, check out my free web marketing cheat sheet.