I never knew how much of an impact Internet Marketing and SEO had on the design process of a website. Since working with Liam Quirk at River City e|Marketing and RCeM Designs, my whole design process has changed. Thinking like a marketer while designing a site is vital. If you're a web designer, you need to read this post. It'll help revolutionize your work.
Regardless of if you work at a full-service web company or as a freelance web designer, you will eventually have to work with internet marketers. Being that I work at River City e|Marketing, I have daily interaction with the design world (primarily the area I work in) and the internet marketing/SEO world (Liam's usual area - but don't put us in a box, we both do a lot of other stuff, lol!). This is not the norm. One thing I have noticed is that there is not a good connection with these two in the industry. I don't care if you're creating a new site, doing a redesign, or simply adding a page, it is important to have good communication with the marketing side of things (as well as marketing needs to have with the design side.)
Specifically between the designer and the marketer, there needs to be a strong understanding. The designer needs to focus on creating a site that is visually pleasing, while the marketer needs to give a clear understanding of the site goals. This will make it easier for the designer to create a site that accomplishes the overall client objectives and engages visitors.
Work Together From the Start
There is a myth that the marketing of a website doesn’t take place until after the site has been built. This is absolutely untrue. If you are working with an Internet Marketer/SEO, it is important to work together from the beginning to plan a strategy that will be inline with the clients goals. You can save yourself, time and the client, money, if everyone is on the same page.
Regardless of the client goals there are a number of things to discuss:
Content Development Strategy
It is important that when organizing the content structure that it is built for scalability. It may be that the client will want to add a new product or service down the road, if the site is built properly it will be easy to add the additional pages.
Also, during the initial keyword research and analysis, the marketing team should be gathering insights into what people are searching. This can help with creating the navigation and site structure because it can help identify different segments in the market. Keep in mind that every page has a chance to rank in the search engines, not just the homepage. With that in mind, SEOs are always looking for relevant pages that can be added to the site, so it can be optimized for a specific theme.
For news pages or blogs that consistently create new content, it is essential to make as easy as possible for users to be able to share the content via social sites. Add social media icons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Also make it easy for a user to sign up for their feed via RSS.
Being Able to Track Conversions
One thing to know about Internet Marketers is that we like to track everything. This is what helps us make data driven decisions on our marketing efforts. In order to properly track visitor and conversion data we need to make sure we have a few things setup properly in the back end. Download yourself a FREE trial of our web tracking package "Traffic Tracker Pro" today at www.TrafficTrackerPro.com. Try it out, we know you'll love it.
Landing Page Optimization
It’s important that if part of the marketing strategy is driving visitors to a targeted landing page through banner ads, or paid placement, that there are dedicated pages designed to convert. There are landing page elements that should be used in order to stimulate users to take action. (CTA - Call to Action)
Here are some things to think about when designing a landing page.
The founder of River City e|Marketing. Liam is a marketing strategist, songwriter, and English Professor. In addition to giving Ted (of "Ted & Buster" fame) his sarcastic, confident voice, Liam also specializes in copy writing, business management, SEO, and building true mobile websites.
The man behind the pen (and stylus), Frank Sasso serves as web designer at RCeM Designs. Years ago, Frank worked as chief penciller for the character "Stimpy" from "The Ren & Stimpy Show". He also trained Disney animators for their work on "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast".