March Comms: Good UX and Website Design

Today marks 4 months and 12 days since I began my digital strategy journey here.

What I’ve learned in my short time here — aside from how truly fascinating virtual reality and robots are — is that good User Experience (UX) can make or break a PR program, no matter how compelling the product, technology, or thought leader.

Like many agencies, my company has become increasingly aware of just how important integration is for a strategy. We offer services like social media amplification, optimized content marketing, video blogs, and PR programs that all align to elevate a company’s branding mission and drive qualified leads forward.

But, no matter how seamlessly integrated a strategy or campaign is: If a company’s website lacks good UX — and, a potential customer or media interest “bounces” after being directed there – then what’s the point?

In a time where PR subsists on website functionality, here are 5 UX recommendations to help support your media strategy:

1. Be mobile-friendly

According to a recent study conducted by The Globe and Mail, “about 70 percent of news readers – of magazines and newspapers – now read on a mobile device at some point, as the dominance of digital platforms continues to grow.” This means that if your press release, byline, or target publication links back to your website and it lacks responsiveness, the likelihood of a mobile reader coming to it and immediately exiting increases. The good news: Many open-source website platforms now offer a mobile preview so you can see how your site looks from a mobile device or tablet. Additionally, free tools like mobiReady can help give you a mobile performance score — based on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Images — to show how your site fares across different devices.

2. Be navigable

It is important for both desktop and mobile versions of your site to be designed around obvious, easy-to-use navigation. This means: making navigation available as a breadcrumb structure at the top of an article page so that an end user can effortlessly return to their previous page; the inclusion of arrows at the bottom of the page so a visitor can move forward in their journey; embedding internal site links throughout web copy so that a reader can navigate between site pages with ease. Remember: You have no more than 15 seconds to capture the attention and affections of your lead (and, a measly 8 seconds if they’re a millennial), so that means if they have to refresh, hit a back arrow, or can’t find what they’re looking for – you’re going to lose them (and, by them I mean that potential new customer or interview opportunity).

3. Be searchable

Try as you might, you can’t possibly answer every end user’s query or guess how they’ll navigate your site once they’re there. Truth is, having a search bar anchored at the top of the site or in the margin helps mitigate the risk of a lead leaving because they can’t find what it is they’re looking for. More importantly, it gives you the opportunity to search your own site and make sure it’s optimized to direct media and qualified leads to exactly where they need to go based on keyword search.

4. Be convertible

CTAs (Calls to Action) are essential for end user conversion on your website. If you’re pitching or promoting a product or a thought leader, guiding an interested reader to a site page with relevant information on the product or industry expert is pertinent. To support the end user journey and content, having a topically parallel CTA in the form of a gated asset or subscription will help capture information, allowing you to send a follow-up email with an interested journalist or launch a nurture campaign with a target customer.

5. Be shareable

I once attended a panel discussion where the moderator stated, “Social media marketing is word of mouth marketing. The best PR comes from the mouths (or, Twitter handles) of those that follow and engage with your company.” So, for that reason, get rid of the comments section on your blog and add “share buttons” to social platforms so that readers can begin the conversation on their own channels, increase your company’s visibility, and elevate your PR strategy.

 


Evolution of Content Marketing, PR and BloggingIn The Evolution of PR, Content Marketing and Blogging, we cover:

  • The ongoing changes in the world of PR
  • The principles of content marketing for tech companies
  • Important blogging strategies
  • How to use press releases for more than just brand-building

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