Many people don’t realize this but web marketing doesn’t begin when website development ends. Too frequently companies finish their web design and then think about marketing the site on the web. That’s backward thinking!
If you don’t plan for marketing during your site’s development, you’ll be in for a rude awakening . You may find that your new site may be awfully good-looking but awful at supporting your web marketing efforts.
I’ve said it time and time again: Web design is NOT IT. Web design is web marketing. Here are just some of the web marketing issues you need to consider during (not after) the design process:
- Does the design resolve around the messaging?
- Are the domain name and url structure SEO-friendly?
- Is the navigation deep enough that visitors can find what they want without providing too many options that might confuse them?
- Are the layout and styling of the pages consistent?
- Is the design clean and clutter-free?
- Are there calls to action that lead the visitor through the conversion funnel?
- Does the coding help (rather than hinder) site performance, particularly when it comes to website speed?
- Do links accurately describe the page they link to?
- Do you have a custom 404 page?
- Is your phone number on the home page and all other contact information readily accessible?
- Are the font and paragraphs easily readable by all users?
- Does your site use contrasting colors and make sure important elements are indicated as such visually?
- Is your website unique?
- Does it meet your industry’s specific “best practices?”
- Can visitors immediately identify who you are, what you do and that you offer what they are looking for?
- Does your home page provide “trust symbols” such as a memberships, endorsements, testimonials, etc., to make visitors feel comfortable about doing business with you?
- Is the overall user experience easy and pleasant?
You can find a more comprehensive list in the Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period! The point is, when marketing is left out of the web design process, you may find that these and other important issues have not been addressed, requiring time-consuming and costly fixes after the fact. In extreme cases, you may even have to burn down the whole site and start over.
Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure your web marketing team (whether internal or external) is part of the web design process from the very beginning.