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Why Understanding Digital Marketing Principles is Important for Web Developers and Designers

Once upon a time, web designers mostly had to be concerned about aesthetics and functionality. Now, with so much emphasis being placed on UX and content quality in marketing and Google search metrics, there's another consideration for web developers: marketing in design.

Why should developers and web designers concern themselves with marketing matters?

For one thing, design considerations affect company budgets. Taking elements like SEO and layout into consideration will save both you and your clients time and money. But, finance isn't the only reason you should understand marketing principles and how they apply to your design work.

Principles of Web Design and Marketing

Digital marketing is no longer something that's done as an afterthought or separate activity. These days, design is an intrinsic part of marketing and branding.

Whether you're building your own website or you're a professional developer, you should be aware that Google algorithms rank websites on a number of criteria. If the main goal of design and marketing is to get eyes on your web pages, keep them there longer, and make sure that they have a great experience while they're there, then design should incorporate the principles of marketing into overall design from the outset.

If you look at a list of basic digital marketing principles and web design principles, you'll see how several of these components overlap and support each other.

The main digital marketing principles include:

1. Content is King, so how it's constructed and presented to the audience matters.

2. K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid). When the layout is cluttered or unstructured, it makes websites more difficult to navigate, increases bounce rates, and contributes to lack of customer satisfaction.

3. Give the audience what it wants. Marketing is all about knowing the audience and their pain points and finding ways to address those needs.

4. Media tells the story. Branding is all about engaging your audience band creating loyal customers who are also brand advocates. Storytelling that connects on an emotional level drives brand awareness and engagement. This comes back to content quality and delivery.

5. Consistency and reliability are key. Customers need to know that the companies they do business with are reliable and secure. That relates to downtime and security in design.

Compare that to the main principles of web design/development. These are based upon design trends for 2020:

  • Simple layouts
  • Responsiveness
  • AI and machine learning
  • Interactive platforms, such as social media, push notifications, and email
  • Bright, unified colors and minimal text that's SEO oriented and scannable
  • Fast, hassle-free page loading
  • Optimized imagery and media

Now, let's take a deeper dive into specific digital marketing components and how they relate to design.

How Web Design Affects Marketing

In marketing, it's all about branding. That goes beyond creating a simple but memorable logo and many other design elements. Your brand revolves around how people feel when they hear about your business, their experience when they're engaged in business activity, and your perceived authority.

With marketing and design, keep these considerations in mind:

  • How to present a clear image of the business
  • Having a consistent message across all platforms and marketing channels
  • Motivating customers to act
  • Building awareness and trust
  • Maintaining loyalty

These objectives can be achieved by combining design and digital marketing best practices.

Creating a Better User Experience (UX)

Planning design and initiating an effective brand strategy aren't mutually exclusive. Both should be conducted with the ultimate user in mind. In addition to content quality and frequency, Google is evaluating websites on speed and uptime. Mobile responsiveness is also essential.

When constructing your website, make sure that:

  • All links are easy to find and that they work
  • The website loads fast and consistently; any load times higher than 8 seconds will result in higher bounce rates.
  • Your website is mobile friendly. In fact, design for mobile first.

Keep SEO in Mind at All Times

New SEO best practices appear all the time. However, there are some tried-and-true practices that will always contribute to user experience. While it's important to create a website that looks modern, it's more important to focus on functionality and UX than on fleeting trends like paralax.

Pay attention to how traffic finds your business online and combine both on-page and off-page SEO techniques.

These include:

  • Catchy, well-constructed headlines with good typography
  • Meta descriptions and alt tags for images
  • Building quality backlinks to relevant sources
  • Building social proof/sending social signals and engagement

Pay Attention to Conversion Optimization

SEO takes a lot of marketing bandwidth when discussing website creation, but converting traffic is what builds brands. That means it's just as important for web developers to pay attention to design elements that drive conversion rates.

The Big Four are:

Ease of navigation. Try for a seamless, intuitive structure that leads the visitor logically through the layout without hassle or frustration.

Color schemes. Use of color is a subconscious motivator that influences how people feel and behave. Make sure that the color scheme fits your brand and that it's unified across all platforms.

Wording and text layout. Much like colors, how you word things on your web pages has a huge impact on activity. Is your layout scannable, with plenty of white space? Is the typography readable and simple? Are you using action words and CTAs that compel visitors to perform a specific act, such as "Buy Now" or "Download Here"? Are buttons and labels prominent, large enough to access on PC and mobile devices, and easy to locate on the page?

Branding essentials. There may be a difference between branding and design considerations, but good design is essential for branding. Everything about your brand should convey trust and reliability. How you construct your website supports how you are perceived by new contacts.

Unify all elements of branding, such as taglines, trademarks, logos, and links, and incorporate them into your web design.

Final Thoughts

In business, it's important to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. By starting off with a strong design that's focused on usability and other essential ranking criteria, you'll provide a solid foundation for customer satisfaction that supports awareness, outreach, engagement, and customer retention.

These marketing pillars and metrics are essential for any kind of website. Designing with marketing principles in mind will give your clients an edge from the day they launch.

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