Does design matter? Your website strategy


Just a couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a client about refreshing their website.

This particular client is very “hands-on” with his business’ sales and marketing strategies.

And he had a great question to ask: “Should we completely overhaul our website and change to a more content-heavy approach?”

Discussions on this subject are becoming increasingly common among business owners and marketing teams.

The sheer amount of daily content impressing the importance of… “content“… is staggering.

And it’s causing many business owners to question whether their beautifully designed, content light, brochure style websites are missing the mark…

Design vs Content

Some designers insist on throwing everything at a website. Heavily influenced by trends, they proceed to throw all the trickery they can muster at a website and business that stands to achieve little in showcasing innovative techniques and graphics.

One of the main challenges with marketing a graphics biased website is that they can complicate the process of search engine optimisation.

A website that focuses on educating its customers solely via clever and quirky graphics and short, snappy content, inherently weakens its chances of search engine success.

And this is no more clearly illustrated than with mobile browsing.

Striking the right balance between client expectations and the effective interplay of design and content can often prove tricky.

But it’s worth the effort.

Does it have to be one without the other?

We are in no doubt that if you currently have a brochure style website (think an online version of a brochure you’d hand a customer), you’ll improve your return by at least focusing on producing regular, informative content.

But does that mean that good design is no longer important?

No. We’d argue it’s actually more important than ever before.

You see, it’s incredibly easy to underestimate the difficulty and subtlety required in marrying quality design with a content focused website.

The best design will influence your perception of a business or concept before you’ve even read a single word. How you feel about something is directly influenced by design, and therefore so is the likelihood of you buying.

The greatest marketing strategies in the world will count for little if your customers land on your site and the design fails to enhance – or worse – detracts from their experience.

Responsive Website Design

Mobile browsing is increasing at a tremendous rate. Even if you’re completely happy with a brochure-style website and have no intention of churning out regular content, you’d be making a huge mistake in not making sure your site is perfectly optimised for desktop, tablet and smartphone.

Like it or not, content – good and bad – is going to continue to directly influence search results and divert eyeballs around the web; either to your website or that of a competitor.

And it’ll be the design that optimises the experience when they land.

Be honest: Does your site harness the power of search-friendly content coupled with brilliant responsive website design?

If the answer is “No”, then you have a big problem. You are, most likely, missing out on organic traffic.

About the author

Alex Thomas

I've been involved in digital marketing for over 10 years and have worked with global and local companies on large scale SEO and PR campaigns. In my current role at Breakline, I'm responsible for winning new business, creating, implementing and overseeing SEO campaigns, social communications, online and offline media relations.

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By Alex Thomas
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