When you think of website redesign, what first comes to your mind? If it’s layout, visuals, menus, logos, etc., then you’d be on the right track. But one thing that a lot of people don’t consider when it comes to website design is how much it should be informed by marketing.
Let me clarify this concept a little. Sure, there are technical and artistic parts to any website redesign–but there’s a strategic part too. This is where marketing comes in.
What good is a website if you don’t know what your business goals are?
What good is a website if you don’t know who your target audience is?
What good is a website if your users can’t find the information/products they’re looking for?
What good is a website if it doesn’t attract visitors and convert them into leads?
In other words, what good is a website if it doesn’t support your business and marketing efforts?
Here are 5 reasons to include marketing consultants (or your marketing team) to plan your next website redesign.
1. You need to know your marketing goals
Business websites are marketing tools. They present who you are and what you do to the world, and thus must be treated like any other marketing tool: aligned with marketing goals.
Your marketing team–whether internal or external–knows these goals. If your website is to help reach them, your web design team or consultant also needs to know them. A website redesign isn’t just an exercise in visual artistry: it’s your main digital marketing channel.
Basing your website on marketing goals rather than a vague idea of something “pretty” will provide much better results in the long run.
2. You need to understand your audience
Marketers are trained to do market research, including audience research. Every business planning a website redesign should spend some time researching and defining its target audience(s) to make the website even more attractive.
Marketers and marketing consultants build what are called “buyer personas“. These buyer personas help marketers build campaigns and content that will attract certain types of buyers. But buyer personas are also essential when it comes to web design: they help build websites that will attract and retain these buyers too.
For example, a website courting corporate executives will look different from one aiming to attract teenage girls. Without buyer personas, it can be difficult to clearly define a look and feel to your website that will convert the right kind of visitors–the kind that buys from you.
3. You need to provide the right content
A website isn’t a place where you indiscriminately dump all the information about your company. There are certain strategies and tactics you need to put in place to get the right kind of content in front of the right pairs of eyes. Your marketing team will be able to tell you how to build your website so that you provide the right information for the right person at the right time.
This could include different buying paths for different personas, website personalization tokens, etc. If you don’t plan for this in advance, you’ll find you’ll need to do a lot of catch-up work to rebuild certain sections of your website to make them more suitable to your buyer personas.
Don’t waste your website designer’s time; get your marketing team’s input about content delivery before starting your website rebuild.
4. You need to focus on conversion
In the end, your website is a marketing and sales tool. If it doesn’t convert (i.e. if it doesn’t get you new customers) then why have one at all?
Unfortunately, although web designers are super knowledgeable in their field, not many of them have expertise in conversion optimization. However, digital marketers often do. So it’s a good idea to get their input during the planning phase to make sure that the website is focused on converting visitors into leads.
5. You need to keep ahead of trends
Digital marketing is an ever-changing field. A part of a marketer’s job is to keep ahead of these changes and to stay up-to-date on trends, tactics and strategies.
A website isn’t a static storefront anymore: in order to satisfy search engine requirements, it has to be a living entity that constantly adapts to the changing demands of both search engines and audiences. Marketers know these changes, so it’s a good idea to keep them close to evaluate and propose changes to your website at regular intervals.
Have you experienced integrating marketing into your website design strategy? See our free ebook, 10-Step Website Redesign Checklist, to see how marketing considerations can make your website more effective.