Website Design Should Be Built Around Inbound Marketing Strategy
When it comes to good website design, there’s a lot more to it than just awesome creative. Other things to consider are the SEO, the user experience, and how you’re incorporating inbound marketing into your site for optimal lead nurturing.
For those that are a little confused by what inbound marketing exactly is, it is a strategy that uses content (website content, blogging, social media, etc.) with the goal of helping your consumers. This strategy has proven to be effective in brand awareness and life-long customer loyalty.
The inbound methodology has four stages:
Each of these stages is equally important and they play a big part in taking your website to the next level.
Now we will dive deeper into why each of these stages is important and how you can incorporate them into your web design!
At some point, everyone has been in the “Attract stage” of a company’s inbound funnel. This is when you organically find a new company through google or social media because you are researching a problem.
For example: maybe you were looking up something about your pet’s energy levels and came across a blog about how sleeping affects your pet’s energy. Maybe you saw a downloadable guide on how to improve sleeping and overtime found yourself buying a new dog bed…
It happens easily and you have no problem with it because the company had good intentions – to help you solve your problem.
In order for you to have found this new company, many things had to happen.
- The company researched who their target audience was.
- They then built out personas to be able to write and design for that target audience (including defining their personas biggest problems.)
- Then, they started writing content for their website including blogs that would help their personas solve their problems.
- Lastly, they decided the best channels (social media, paid search, SEO) that would help them get their information to you.
As you can see, figuring out the target audience before creating a website strategy is very helpful. This makes the difference between messaging and creative targeted someone in the 18-24-year-old age range or the 30-55-year-old age range. It helps you decide if you want to focus on a specific position (job title) in a company or industry vertical.
Trust me, all these decisions make a huge difference when writing your content and designing the website.
One very important thing to remember is to do your keyword research. These keywords will be used in content writing and will help in the long run with your website ranking.
If all of the research is done correctly you will be attracting new leads in no time! This takes us to our next stage–conversions.
Once you start attracting new customers, it’s important to keep them interested and engaged in order to convert them into a lead. This is when a good user experience comes in to play and having CTAs (call-to-actions) leading them through your website becomes a must.
Having good user experience means that it’s easy for a potential lead to find what they’re looking for within a few clicks. Without good user experience, they’ll leave your website and risk the loss of a potential lead or customer. CTAs guide your user and help you measure their engagement with your content as they move throughout your website.
If all goes right, your user will click the CTA and go to a landing page with a form to fill out. This can be a contact us page or a landing page that is offering them a piece of information in return for them filling out a form and clicking the submit button. Just be sure not to make your forms too long. You want your user to feel like their information is being fairly traded for the valuable content.
Go for their name and a crucial piece of information, like an email address or phone number. Having too many form fills could be intimidating to the user which could also cause them to leave your website.
Once someone fills out the form on your site, they will be entered into your system and nurtured to the Close stage.
The Close stage is the handoff from marketing to the sales department, which can be somewhat of a longer process than the other stages depending on your verticle. If you have an e-commerce company, you will likely have a shorter closing period than someone who is selling an expensive service or product (that your user will have to plan for).
Yes, you have gotten someone to fill out a form and convert on content through your funnel, but this doesn’t always guarantee they are interested in a sale.
It’s important to not send out too many emails or be too pushy during the closing phase. You do not want your leads to feel attacked and unsubscribe. This will take a skilled sales team that is trained in the “helpful” mentality. The team can reach out for an introductory call but should remain focused on helping the consumer through their problem and not necessarily pushing a sale.
If you have a website that will facilitate the sale (an online purchase) it’s important to reduce any friction through design, so that a user can easily pick their products and purchase. The more friction the users come across, the more likely they are to abandon their cart. Having this goal in mind when designing is crucial for success.
When the time comes that they do in fact finish the Close stage, then they will move on to the Delight stage and all of your hard work has paid off!
We’ve attracted leads, converted them through forms, turned the lead into a sale during the Close stage, and now we have finally made it to Delight! This is the part when you want to keep the lead interested by continuing to give them great content!
Whether this is by continuously improving your website, sending out an email whenever you post an awesome new blog or have a really cool post to share on social media, you should always be keeping your already existing customers in mind so they’ll keep coming back.
Having happy customers means they’ll stick around and hopefully start spreading the word about your business!
Then not only will you have your inbound marketing in the forms of content, social media, and blogs be working for you, but you’ll have tons of other people from all over saying great things about your company. So go out there and start your delighting!
We have now covered the 4 stages of inbound marketing, Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight (don’t worry, there’s not a quiz at the end of this… or is there ?) and how you can incorporate them into web design!