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In a conversation, a great deal is communicated through more than just words, such as body language, tone, and attitude. A website’s design can be thought of in a similar manner in that messaging, branding, and meaning are conveyed in a variety of ways beyond the actual content on a page. Establishing your company’s voice through your website is dependent on how certain design elements are used in combination with the content you present.

In the past, when marketing consisted strictly of print and other traditional campaigns, branding and messaging were crucial concerns, yet online marketing has pushed them to a new level. Websites are now an essential and expected source of information by consumers who are either established customers or curious to learn more about your company. Websites combine text and visual elements in ways that are unique to any other medium, and new approaches to web design are helping companies gain ground in their marketing endeavors. A strong design can be a persuasive factor in winning the trust of your audience and distinguishing your company from the competition.

The function of strong design

One way to understand the importance of web design is to start with a couple of examples. Imagine a website with helpful information that’s entertaining and well written, but that consists of nothing more than text on a white background. This boring style would obviously be a design disaster. But also imagine a site that’s just the opposite: a page sporting a colorful design with great photos and graphics, yet with no substantive information about the company and what it does.

These examples serve as the two extremes with neither one being a success. Finding a combination of the two that utilizes great design and great content is what your organization should be aiming for.

Design basics: Color, appearance & calls to action

The psychological effects of color have been well documented, and in web design, color’s power should be used to its best advantage. When used correctly, it can trigger certain responses and convey specific emotions. What may seem like a simple choice plays an important role in designing something effective. Color conveys a certain mood, and the one you create on your site should fit into your company’s personality, what you offer as a business, and your industry in general.

In addition to your color choices, the overall design should present an uncluttered page that allows users to find what they need and make decisions easily. The ultimate reason you want to drive traffic to your site is to gain sales or prompt some kind of conversion to happen, such as an eBook being downloaded or an email newsletter being requested. Any “call to action,” such as a Purchase, Sign-up, or Download button, should occupy a prominent space on the page and not be buried or hidden. Even the choice of fonts should be considered carefully, as your decision, whether it be a readable serif font used for blocks of text or the more difficult to read sans serif typeface, sends a signal to your audience about who you are.

Branding your voice in web design

Having compelling content is only one facet in the overall strategy of an effective website. An eye-catching and appealing web design goes hand in hand with informative information that will answer questions, convey ideas, and win someone’s trust. Developing a strong brand will achieve these accomplishments and serve as the foundation for solid customer base. If you know your audience well and have researched what they’ll respond to, your web design can be planned around these factors so that your marketing efforts will express your company’s voice and create a personal connection with consumers, potentially raising your profile in your field and increasing your profitability.

Originally posted on July 11, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

Marketing, New Media

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