Website Design as a Marketing Tool

Posted by Christa Palm on February 26, 2011


Internet marketing is a complex, multi-faceted business, complete with techniques such as advertising, blogging, social networking, guest blogging, and social media advertising, to name a few. All of these techniques can increase search engine page rank to put your business near the top of your customers' internet searches -- bringing more visitors to your site.

Once customers are at your site, though, you want to keep them there long enough to at least peak their interest. Since one of the designs of internet marketing is to brand your business name into potential customers' thought processes, keeping these customers at your site for a few minutes will help them remember your business name when they are ready to purchase.

So, how can you keep customers interested in your site long enough to make an impact? One of the more important ways to intrigue a customer is to visually stimulate him through a beautifully designed and cohesive website. This does not mean overpowering the customer with bright colors but rather drawing a customer in through subtle design and easy navigation. Let's take a look at each of these ideas.

Subtle Design

Design is a personal reflection of your business ideals, so every webpage will be completely different. A law firm, for example, may lean toward an elegant design while a more creative firm, like a children's furniture design company, may wish to feature a bold design. In either case, though, the design should not overpower (or underwhelm) the viewer.

For example, the law firm may not wish to deviate from a plain design, and the webpage could be viewed as stale and boring by customers. This, of course, is not the desired effect. The firm could punch up the web design through some simple font changes, some added blocks of color, and some pictures of the firm.

On the other hand, the creative furniture company may have taken their website to the opposite extreme: overloading the site with too many colors, pictures, and font changes. In this example, customers may wish to exit the site as soon as possible because a neon green and busy patterns hurt their eyes. This is also not the company's intent.

So, how can each of these very different companies find a balance in their site designs? Both can use colors in the right combination -- three to four different colors can be used on the site, but the base color should not offend the viewer (neutrals like white, off-white, and tan are ideal). Font changes and pictures can also use the same rule -- no more than three to four different fonts and pictures per page.

Easy Navigation

The other place where customers will appreciate a well-planned design is in the navigation. A website with standard navigation ideas, like a task bar at top and contact information at the bottom, will help customers find the information they need.

For example, when sites display the contact information in creative places, customers looking to purchase an item or contact the company may leave the site before purchase. Simply displaying this information in the creative placement and at the bottom of the site will solve this conundrum.

Hopefully, a new website design that includes subtle design and easy navigation will increase your business sales, but additionally, the new design may make the site more appealing to search engines -- the changed metatags may be attractive to Google, for example. This potential increase in page rank is a bonus to the increased potential for branding and sales -- excellent for any business looking to boost internet advertising.

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