Web design and Digital Marketing – Separating myths from reality

Jun 03, 2017
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Business leaders often forget that websites have a function to perform. Most of the time leaders focus on the aesthetics of the website, the colouring , images and the home page.  Nothing is wrong in expecting your website to look good, in fact websites affect your brand image more than ever today.

If you expect your website to help you in generating business, your approach needs to change. Digital marketing companies have a mandate of generating enquiries or sales at the lowest possible cost. There is no doubt that an awful looking website will drive away traffic and business, but an excellent looking website doesn’t guarantee increased business unless it follows certain rules.

Web design is one of the most sought after services of the digital age simply because the market is huge. There are millions of websites in the internet, this gives jobs to millions of web designers too. Problem is that only a fraction of these web designers have the skills to generate business for you. This is because web design is a technical skill, marketing is more of a business skill, add to that the artistic skills he needs to make it look good, Now you can see the logic behind why  a good web designer is a lot rarer than most people can fathom.

Know your customer

A good web designer needs to design for your potential customers only.  If your potential customer doesn’t appreciate good appearances, your website simply doesn’t need to look good. Customers’ taste differs widely based on their culture, personality, financial habits and several other factors.  If you are a busy individual, your browsing habits will be very different from a leisurely gentleman.  If you are busy, you want to get straight to the point. If you are good in marketing, you know that most people who can pay high prices are very very busy. That is why your web designer needs to get to the point very quickly.

There are several aspects he needs to consider such as coloring , font size, use of animations, images etc depending on the demographics of your customer base. For examples, elderly customers need enhanced readability, most businessmen prefer conservative coloring, the younger generation is far less patient and prefers brighter colors, Men and women have different browsing habits, the list goes on and on. The user interface will have to adapt to the business the website represents. An entertainment business can have a colorful and playful website. A construction company mostly prefers blue or grey color tones.

The Indian weakness

Web designers in kerala often succumb to the the subcontinent’s cultural weaknesses. For instance, we have a habit of elaborating first and summarising later or never. If you need to capture someone’s attention, you need to first summarise and only later elaborate. This helps the listener to decide whether he wants to pay attention.

As the saying goes, Images are far more powerful than a 100 words in communicating. Human brains can intuitively connect to images, it struggles to read through even simple text if it runs into paragraphs. Use of animations saves a lot of time as it conveys many pictures in a few seconds. Use of animations and images if done appropriately can improve the effectiveness of your website at least 10 times.  Recent research has concluded that attention span of an average web surfer has reduced from 8 seconds to 4 seconds in just two years. As a consequence, web designers have to get better and better at conveying your sales pitch at the least number of seconds.

What is your story ?

Think of yourself as a storyteller. You need to tell people your story, this helps them connect to you much better. Why do you exist ? Will the user connect to you emotionally ? If you have never thought about these aspects of your website, it is quite possible that your website will fail to engage with your customers. The best web designers are great storytellers. They use timing suspense and mystery to a great advantage.

Do not forget that you are trying to sell something. When somebody wants to invest his time or money on your product or service you have to be reassuring. Be forthcoming when it comes to your terms and conditions. Make it easy for the customer to find out whether your pricing will suit him. Digital businesses have revolutionised price negotiations to the extent that the best web services are free. The good business is so transparent that the display their pricing in their homepage. But let’s be practical not every business can publish their pricing in the website. In such cases reduce the effort it takes for the potential customer find out your pricing.  Providing chat support adds the human touch to your website, if your customer support person has the necessary skills, browsing your website can become a truly pleasant experience for the customer.

Building credibility is very critical in sales. Customer needs to trust your business with his money and reputation. There are several ways to gain trust. Do you have an awesome portfolio? Flaunt it. Use influencers, Do you have celebrity customers will they provide testimonials to you. When famous people vouch for you your credibility increases tremendously.

The difficult salesman

The great tragedy of web design is that is that very often, a customer is convinced with your sales pitch, but struggles to make a purchase. He believes you, He is willing to pay your price but he doesn’t know how to buy from you. Do you have contact details using which which they can contact you. Do you international customers spend a lot of money to call your number can you afford at toll-free number. Do you promised a call back if the register their phone number in your website. Is it possible to pay online and get the products or services. Do you have a refund policy? The more difficulty you create for your purchasers, lesser will be your sales.

Now that you have an awesome website your cash register should start when you write start ringing right? Wrong! Even the greatest website cannot generate sales unless relevant traffic is directed to the website.Professional digital marketing companies can help you bring traffic into your website. There are several techniques employed by digital marketers  to bring in traffic. You can use Search Engine Optimisation,  Search Engine Marketing,  Social Media Advertising , Social Media Optimisation or Content Marketing.This is not an exhaustive list of techniques, but the most popular and effective ones.  Search engine optimisation is a very effective technique to bring in quality traffic. The problem with this technique is that it takes some time to generate results. For immediate results you may use advertising techniques in search engine social media or other Internet service providers. You need to be very careful before you pay anything to a so-called Internet advertiser. if you have a credit card you can easily place advertisement on most of the leading Internet service providers all by yourself. Problem with advertising yourself is that you need to learn about digital marketing before starting. It is difficult to target your potential customers even with the best Internet advertising services as advertising to the wrong customer base will surely bring new traffic but it will  not necessarily bring in customers.

Are we there yet ?

Once you have started advertising you need to start measuring whether your efforts are in the right direction. You may use traffic analytic services to measure , adjust and improve the performance of your advertisements.  If you are advertising to the right customers, they are likely to stay in your website longer. Higher bounce rates and lower time spent are sure indicators that you are going in the wrong direction.

Ultimately, the real test of your digital marketing campaign is the number of sales you generate and the cost you incur to bring in these sales. If you are able to sell at a lower cost compared to your existing channels, congratulations – you have become a digital marketer yourself!

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