The internet has been around long enough that we’ve come to think of websites from its early days the way we think of our parents’ basements from the 1970s: We picture the wood paneling, and we cringe.
Inbound marketing’s goal is to get a prospect’s attention and bring them to your website. But a clunky late ‘90s-style website may have the opposite effect, chasing potential customers away from a business. It may be that the site just isn’t aesthetically pleasing, or it may just be too busy.
As our partners at Hubspot point out, “the arch-enemy of a good website is complexity. There are three reasons why:
- Readers can get confused by a website that has too much going on. This makes it hard for them to grasp the message you’re trying to convey.
- In the world of inbound marketing, a good website is one that converts visitors into leads. A complex website might have a call-to-action designed to get visitors to the next step to becoming customers. But if that call-to-action isn’t clear, it’s not doing you any good.
- Giving visitors too much to read can turn them off. If you can say something in a way that’s concise, take that route.
Now that we’ve looked at what doesn’t work, let’s take a look at a few hallmarks of good inbound marketing web design.
1. They Have A Plan
And by “plan,” we mean a content strategy, emphasis on the strategy. It’s not enough to just start writing blog posts and hoping to get new leads. You need to plot out the steps your potential buyer might follow – reading a blog post, downloading an e-book on a related topic, requesting a free demonstration, etc. – in order to turn readers into sales-ready leads.
2. They’re Made With Responsive Design
It’s one thing to have a mobile-friendly site, meaning that your site looks good on a mobile device. It’s even better to have a responsive website.
A responsive site is one that, well, responds to the different screens on which it appears, whether that’s a desktop, tablet, or smartphones. As you switch from device to device, the site will change with you. Both mobile-friendly and responsive sites will work for mobile users, but responsive sites are considered easier-to-use and more visually pleasing.
3. They Offer Opportunities For Conversions
Every page should give visitors a chance to become leads, and leads an opportunity to convert to customers. Give them a simple way to contact you, to learn more or to make a purchase through your calls to action, landing pages and forms.
4. They Connect To Social Media
Your company is likely on social media, whether it’s Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn. Does your website reflect that?
Make sure visitors can easily share your website content directly to their social media accounts through social sharing plug-ins. Remember that social media is a great tool for sharing content, and for establishing yourself as an authority in your field.
5. They Measure Their Results
By using analytical software, you can collect the data you need to measure the performance of your marketing efforts. When you have this data, you can learn what’s working and what isn’t, and plan future marketing campaigns accordingly.