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9 Web Design Essentials for Marketing Your Business Online

Posted by: Alexandra Heseltine - Friday, May 08, 2015
 
 

If a new website is on the horizon for your business, you may be surprised to learn that that web design and online marketing have changed dramatically over the past couple of years.

Today’s web design is strongly impacted by customers who are increasingly using their mobile devices (cell phones and tablets) to browse, read news, receive emails, stay connected through social media and to make purchasing decisions.

To reach customers where they are looking for your message, new websites need to possess some essential features and functions. Here are the critical web design features we encourage our potential customers to consider:

Responsive Web Design

This is an absolute must! Responsive websites adjust to the device being used by the website visitor. This new generation of websites is much more complex than classic websites but is worth every penny as they help businesses reach their customer on any device.

Content Management

It’s critical that business be able to update their website content to quickly respond to customers with time-sensitive messages or rapid changes in the marketplace. Content management systems vary so select one that easily allows you to update page content as well as special features, photos, downloads and more.

Dynamic Homepage

The homepage design needs to engage the visitor immediately with outstanding graphics, slide shows and great Calls to Action. Navigation has changed too and shows up in the header, footer and in buttons disguised as graphics.

Embedded Blog/Forum

A blog embedded into your website is critical and can help drive traffic to your website by sharing the link on social media sites. Blog posts placed on content websites create valuable backlinks to your website. Blogs also add pages to your website and increase organic search.

Social Media Integration

If a business’ new website does not include integration with social media, then they are out of touch with many of their customers. Social media integration may include share and follow buttons, feeds, likes, and more. Buttons can be customized to blend in with the theme of the website.

Integrated CRM and Forms

Select a web platform that includes integrated forms and CRM so you can create an online sales funnel, manage your customers and sales opportunities. Ideally the CRM and forms should link directly to the email marketing software as part of a lead generation strategy.

Email Marketing

This is a classic marketing tool and still a great way to stay in front of customers. Email marketing features should integrate with website modules, CRM, forms and great analytics. If done well, email marketing can drive traffic to your website.

Auto-Responders

Deliver outstanding customer service with automated email messages sent to the customer and business when a customer fills out a form, makes a purchase or takes action on the website. 

Web Platform Built for Growth

Some web platforms become outdated over time or require constant upgrading by a web professional. Select a web platform that is automatically updated by the software company. The platform should be robust enough to enable rebranding or retooling without requiring a new website be built from scratch.

As you develop your new website, consider your online marketing objectives and how you can incorporate the above web features to effectively reach your customers online. A well planned website can will not only reach your current customers but can be easily modified to adjust to marketplace changes. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about web design platforms.


 Alexandra Heseltine | Marketing pro and creative director with over 25 years experience working with mid-sized to larger businesses and non-profits with experience in the construction, legal, banking and B2B sectors.
 
 

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