Is Web Design Making or Breaking Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Thursday, 5 September 2019  |  Posted in: Articles  |  7min read

In this interconnected digital age, consumers are empowered by access to information. Before buying a product, it’s common for consumers to shop around online, read reviews, compare solutions, and search for alternatives.

Content marketing is used to meet consumers at this stage. By giving them the information they are looking for, you can successfully reach qualified leads and increase awareness of your brand.


Your web design will make or break content marketing

If content is your online version of speech, then web design is like your body language. It can either support what you say about your brand or offer, or it can send an entirely different message.

Your web design is the basis of your audience’s first impression and experience. It sets their expectations and communicates what sort of value your content will provide.

If your website’s audience has a good first impression of your site, confirmation bias predicts that they will have a greater positive reaction to your content.

This will give your users confidence and increase the likelihood that they will stop to read your content.



How web design can support your content marketing strategy

When you’ve spent the time to come up with a content marketing strategy, you want to make sure it has every chance of success possible. We’ve come up with a list of 6 key things to keep in mind for how your web design can support your content marketing.


1. Create the right appearance

Web designers are experts on creating the right appearance for brands online. In content sections of websites, they use all the techniques at their disposal to give your website visitors confidence that you are a valuable source of information.

To determine the messaging you want your website’s visual appearance to convey, it is crucial to conduct market research and create target audience profiles. Your web design should then be aligned with these findings, to design with the end result in mind.


2. Design for readability

It’s no secret that people don’t read word-for-word on the web.

There are two main scanning patterns website users use to find the information they want. The layout of your content, and its positioning in your website interface, should be designed with this in mind to enhance your user experience.

Techniques we recommend to enhance readability include:

  • Layout following a Z or F scanning pattern
  • Content split into short paragraphs
  • Subheadings (with correct mark-up for accessibility)
  • Bullet points and numbered lists
  • Images to break up text and add value to your content



3. Implement an interface with great UX

Designing for UX is essential if you want your visitor to even consider navigating through your content. If it’s hard for them to browse your website, you can be sure they’ll go elsewhere to find the information they want.

There are a number of UX considerations when designing websites to support content marketing. Here are a few critical factors of good UX for a content strategy:


Responsive design is key

Firstly, website responsivity is paramount. Now that there are so many different device types users access your website from, the need for responsive design goes without saying.

Depending on your business, you may even want your website optimised specifically for mobile. Adaptive content is another potentially useful feature that allows you to tailor the content shown to users on desktop and mobile devices.


Optimise page loading speeds

Loading speeds also play a part of your UX. If your content takes too long to load, the back arrow away from your website is only a click away.

Fast loading pages play a key part in your website’s SEO strategy, increasing the reach of your content.


Use pop-ups wisely

Lastly, remember to keep pop-ups to a minimum! Given their high conversion rates, we know it’s tempting to show a pop up to every new visitor. But this approach could be doing more harm than good.

Someone who hasn’t been on your blog before isn’t likely to subscribe to your newsletter. In fact, it could put them off entirely.

To ensure good UX for all your users, we suggest that you implement pop-ups as part of your personalisation strategy. This involves using marketing automation software to track website visitors and tailor content displayed (such as pop-ups) to users in the right stage of your marketing funnel.


4. Keep it accessible

Making your content easy to find and easy to navigate is another way web design can support your content marketing strategy. This is especially important if your website contains lots of valuable information. Your content is of no use to anyone if they can’t find or read it!

The three-click rule is good to keep in mind when planning for accessibility. This means ensuring a user can complete their desired action (such as reading a particular piece of content) within three clicks from anywhere on your site.

Depending on your website and the volume of information you have, it may be worthwhile implementing a search bar or filter options to keep your content accessible.

To ensure accessibility for all users of the web, we recommend following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. This set of internationally recognised standards focusses on designing for people with certain disabilities that affect the way they use the web.

Find out how to achieve accessible web design in this article. 5 steps we recommend taking are:

  • Use colour contrast for greater readability
  • Give visual cues to convey information
  • Label form fields
  • Design focus states for interactive elements
  • Correctly structure header tags in your content


5. Link with key channels and automate

No doubt, your website is a key part of your content marketing strategy. But it’s not the only useful channel.

Depending on your business, you may use social media, email direct marketing, an app, or guest blogging (did we miss anything?) all as part of your content marketing strategy.

When planned out carefully, you can use your channels together to support a comprehensive digital business transformation strategy. This strategy should be designed to lead your consumer down the sales funnel, serving them the right content at the right time.

A great way to support your content marketing strategy is to integrate with your internal systems, such as your CRM. This ensures you can capture leads from your website and extend your communication with them, for example through email content.

We highly recommend that you implement marketing automation software if you want to get the most out of your content strategy. This will allow you to integrate your different channels and create a truly world-class experience with your brand.

You can read more about achieving practical and useful marketing automation with the Kentico CMS in this article.


Always keep your users in mind

Web design may not be the first thing you think of when planning your content marketing strategy, but you can be sure that it’s important for your website visitors.

The key thing to remember is to design with your users in mind. By paying attention to your website’s visual appearance, readability, UX, accessibility, integrations and automation, you make sure your web design supports and enhances your content marketing strategy.

Talk to a Digital Expert today to start supporting your content strategy.

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