The design choices a company makes broadly impact how potential customers perceive it. And with the market for content marketing constantly expanding, businesses are feeling the pressure to provide a cohesive experience in order to compete for prospects’ attention.
A lackluster web design with poor aesthetics and limited usability favors your competitors and hurts your SEO results. On the other hand, a stunning web design has the power to engage visitors, thus accelerating your content marketing results.
Content marketing has become a thriving market, with 90% of B2B companies and 86% of B2C companies employing the latest strategies to widen their reach. However, a successful content marketing strategy needs to complement the right website design. That’s why in today’s article, our web design agency in Chicago reveals how web design impacts content marketing strategy. Let’s dive in.
The goal of content marketing
In the words of Doug Kessler:
Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them.
Content marketing is the practice of publishing content that, instead of advertising a brand or a product, sparks audience interest by providing relevant and helpful info and is one of the most critical sub-strategies of SEO. Successful content marketing drives profitable consumer actions by expanding brand awareness, demand, and revenue.
How web design impacts content marketing?
Various research studies have confirmed that about 95% of first-time visitors notice a web design. Furthermore, 70% of users stated that they would rather learn about a company through a blog post than traditional marketing channels.
There are multiple ways a poorly designed website can negatively impact content marketing:
- Your visitors won’t recognize the value of your content
- They will have a hard time finding the information they need
- An overly complex web design reduces user engagement
- Poorly coded websites load slowly
- Slow websites reduce user experience as well as SERP rankings
So, if you wish to impress your visitors with appealing content, your website design needs to serve as a strong calling card. Professional and attractive are the standards that your design must cater to. Just by its looks, your website visitors will decide whether or not you are a reliable resource. Let’s explore the ways to turn the tide in your favor.
Here is how web design impacts content marketing:
Experienced web designers can communicate your brand’s message through their work. A thoughtful web design is more than using cool fonts and flashy colors. The typography, imagery, colors, and other visual elements of your website should all serve the purpose of conveying your brand message. Your web design choices need to reflect your brand’s essence.
Though your target audience should largely influence the branding and style of your website, a professional web designer needs to be able to convey your core values through simplicity rather than complexity.
Web design makes content more accessible
Regardless of the quality of your content, it won’t do your business much if your audience can’t find and access it. That is where web design steps in, allowing your users to navigate your website with ease.
Having an intuitive web design makes it possible for your users to naturally and seamlessly reach pages of their interest. With the modern-day human attention span dropping to only 8 seconds, your visitors are not that likely to go through pages and pages until they finally reach the one that can eventually make them convert. Making them undergo this laborious task would be a foolproof way of boosting your competitors’ content strategy and conversion rates instead of yours.
These are the website elements you need to make prominent in order to improve navigation:
- Menu bar
- Search bar
- Archives page or button
- About us page
- Contact us page
As an agency that offers web design services, we often stress the importance of providing a great user experience to clients. The best way to do so is to design and organize your website according to how your target audience behaves. Think about the way they perceive your UI. If you were to land on a random page of your website, would you quickly find your way around and navigate to the desired page?
Note: Breadcrumbs are very useful for guiding visitors through your website.
Here are several factors you should pay attention to when designing your website with UX in mind:
- Include multiple categories and segments so you would have a chance to create more content for your visitors.
- Provide browsing availability at the top of your design to make it simpler for your users to find the information of their interest without having to visit multiple pages.
- Space your written content well to ensure legibility.
- Provide all the info in a logical way.
Web design makes content more appealing
Low-quality web design reduces the content and brand value. Let us elaborate. You could create a state-of-the-art piece of content. However, if the setting around it doesn’t match the quality standard of the content itself, people won’t be compelled to read it, thus reducing its value (not quality).
Due to virtually countless choices available online, internet users have become extremely picky about what they want to read. They are ready to judge the book by its cover, so how you design that cover enormously impacts their first impression. Users form first impressions in less than 50 milliseconds, and 40% of them leave a website if they don’t find the layout alluring. Therefore, it is essential that your website design stands out from the crowd and looks engaging.
Everything from the theme, fonts, and colors to the background and alignment needs to provide a cohesive experience. Another thing to ensure is that your text doesn’t look cramped by smart use of white space that gives your readers the chance to rest their eyes and recollect their thoughts.
Exercise simplicity by drawing user attention to important parts of the content in a way that entices them to continue reading. According to eye-tracking research, website visitors tend to follow the F-shaped pattern when reading web content which is characterized by multiple fixations concentrated at the top and the left side of the page.
They usually start reading in a horizontal movement across the upper part of the content area, thus forming the top bar of the letter F. Then they move sightly down the page and read across in a second horizontal movement that is usually shorter than the previous one, forming the letter F’s shorter bar. After that, users make a vertical eye movement by scanning the content’s left side and forming the F-shaped pattern. This last scan can sometimes be slow and systematic, while other times, users may move their eyes faster.
You can use this behavior when deciding where to place the most important parts of your content.
Web design enhances readability and user experience
Many factors determine readability, with the most prominent being:
- Typography in UX design
The more readable your website content is, the higher the chance to enjoy better conversion rates. As we have already mentioned, your visitors will not waste their time on a page that doesn’t appeal to them. They are looking for instant access to data or information of their interest. That’s why your content needs to be on point, and your design has to allow readers to digest the content easily.
Readability is not limited to blog posts. It applies to the entire website copy, including service pages, landing pages, and pricing pages. You can use online tools such as Hemingway Editor to evaluate the reading level of your content based on the grade level. The tool also provides tips on improving the readability of your content.
Here are a few suggestions on how to improve readability:
- Use larger fonts, ideally between 16px and 18px
- Set the line height to 100% of the font size used
- Choose color contrast that allows all text to be visible
- Use headers and bullet points, and don’t exaggerate the sentence length
Another way to provide an outstanding user experience is to ensure that your website content loads fast by using highly optimized themes such as the Sage WordPress theme. It is also extremely important to implement mobile-first web design in order to cater to the needs of over half of internet users.
Web design boosts user engagement
Moving on with our take on how web design impacts content marketing, let’s talk about user engagement. While your content marketing efforts serve to bring visitors to your website, elements such as images, animations, infographics, videos, GIFs, and forms have the power to boost user engagement on the page itself.
Visual elements allow your users to enjoy and easily digest your content. However, you should always be careful about the loading time and ensure that the design doesn’t shift as the content loads.
Web design provides pictorial enticement
Online consumers tend to focus on visuals and visual enticement. Around 55% of internet users prefer watching videos created by the brands they support. So, one of the best ways to promote your business is to provide pictures and video content. This way, your future customers will have a clearer picture of your products or services.
Everyone has their own way of learning, and visuals can streamline the conception of the information. It is an excellent idea to combine them with the written content in order to fine-tune your message.
Web design evokes emotions
Research conducted by Reboot showed that a signature color could increase brand recognition by 80%. Furthermore, 92.6% of shoppers stated that the visual dimension is a significant factor that drives their purchase decisions.
Gaining insight into how your ideal customer feels at different sales funnel stages can help you create a website that evokes positive emotions and encourages customers to take the next step.
This concludes our take on how web design impacts content marketing. As a final piece of advice, we suggest you look at your website as a personal project in which various web design elements come together to create an encompassing informative experience. It is good to tap into your own preferences when browsing web pages. We find it highly probable that some of your favorite websites follow the guidelines outlined in this article. Furthermore, that’s probably one of the reasons why you enjoy them so much. Keep your readers in mind, design around their needs, and you are sure to grow your brand as a whole. By checking our design QA checklist often, you’ll ensure that you always stay on the right track.