What’s the most important part of your company’s website? Web designers would naturally argue it’s the design, while marketers would insist that it’s the content. The real question is, what would users say?
Inbound marketing means getting your website to the top of search results through SEO and content creation. The first target is to bring prospects to your website, but what happens when they get there? Your inbound marketing content should be designed to engage users and lead them towards conversion points like landing pages and contact forms.
But you can’t rely on content alone. Getting your website to the top of page one on Google and creating compelling content is only half the battle. People have to want to use the website once they get there. The Internet contains everything in the world, ever; so there’s always another site and another expert waiting to offer their own advice.
So when you get someone to your site, the last thing you want to do is scare them off. Let’s have a look at the ways your website might be killing your inbound marketing.
Websites You can Read
Inbound marketing is all about reading. It’s about creating content to be read by both search engines and users. But users read more than text on a website. They read design too. The online world has a basic design language that most websites and users speak. When you visit a website for the first time, there are certain things you expect to be in certain places. Important menus are at the top or on the left. The company logo is at or near the top of the page. The most important content is left of centre.
This language is built in to every user. We expect websites to work a certain way. If they don’t, many of us will just leave and visit a site that works the way we want. If your website doesn’t follow basic rules of navigation, users will go somewhere else. No matter how good the design, inbound marketing relies on people actually reading the content. If they can’t read your website navigation, they may never get to the content.
Most people follow similar patterns when they visit websites. The first thing they do, either on arrival or after reading content, is click ‘About’. They want to know who or what they’re dealing with. About is one of the most important, and most neglected, pages on the Internet. People create the page, throw in a brief description of the company and then forget it ever existed.
Your About page is where your prospect finds out about your company. If it’s badly written, badly designed, too vague or just too short, why would someone want to do business with you? Inbound marketing is about bringing prospects to your site. About page is vital in making sure they want to work with you once they get there.
Too Flashy (Or HTML 5-ey)
Bad design or a bad About page can make people decide to leave, but there are other mistakes that will send them running. If you have audio, video or ads that automatically play when a prospect visits your site, you’re taking a big risk. Think about your prospects, where are they when they visit your site? They’re most likely at work, usually in a quiet office. How will they react when your audio unexpectedly fills their office? They’ll try and stop it. If you’re lucky that means they’ll hit mute. If not, they’re closing they’re browser and going somewhere else. Why spend hours doing inbound marketing work to have a noise ruin it in seconds?
Other pieces of media, like flashy menus or big bold pictures can effect load times or distract from the text content. Unless the content is designed to help your business, it’s just a distraction.
Inbound marketing is vital in drawing prospects to your website and design is vital in keeping them there. What’s most important? The answer is both.
I also click off websites that take too long to load. That signals me that they have too much on their site and I won’t be able to read it all. So, I’ll click off.
Great Point Carol… You can check your website speed Alexa