Website design. Inbound marketing. Two terms that dominate conversations about marketing strategy and driving sales in today’s digital-first age. Each can be powerful in its own right, but the two combined become unbeatable.
So, what exactly is inbound marketing-informed website design? It’s an approach that keeps your customer-centric, relationship-driven strategy at the center of the online interactions with your audience. It truly is key to creating a conversion-focused, yet value-rich experience that guides prospects through the buyer’s journey.
Creating valuable content that attracts and nurtures leads starts with a nuanced understanding of your target audience, their pain points and their goals. From there, keep visitors within your company’s gravitational pull and naturally draw them toward the deal with an optimized lead capture and conversion strategy that’s built into every part of your website.
Whether you're starting from scratch or looking to revamp your existing website, here are some of what we think about as we design websites that delight.
Inbound marketing is at the heart of what we do at Kuno Creative.
From enhancing brand awareness to driving demand generation – and much, much more – creating valuable content and experiences that resonate is foundational to all other strategies and solutions.
What does this mean for a web project? These are some of the essential inbound marketing design principles to keep in mind.
Understanding the needs and challenges of your target audience gives you insight into how prospects will use your website, what kind of information they are looking for and where the best conversion points will be.
Getting this piece right is critical for everything from your site structure and navigation to your call-to-action (CTA) strategy to your content calendar. You can’t create a great user experience if you don’t understand your users.
“Designing with your buyer personas in mind is the key to creating visuals that truly resonate with them,” said Walt Winchel, Digital Art Director at Kuno Creative.
“By understanding their needs, preferences and behaviors and incorporating these insights into your visual design, you can create a website experience that speaks directly to your buyers.”
That’s why we like to approach web design from a full-service perspective, bringing in web designers and developers alongside our strategists and brand journalists for an in-depth discovery process.
The insights from the discovery are important for creating a meaningful connection between your brand and the buyer that helps drive real measurable results.
“You can use personalized imagery showcasing your target buyers using your product or service,” Winchel said.
“You can create a user-friendly user experience with a well thought out navigation for seamless browsing, and also use visual storytelling techniques with colors, fonts, imagery and video to evoke emotions and captivate your target audience.”
These web design examples can help you tailor visuals to your buyer personas which in turn can elevate your website’s appeal, ease of engagement and conversion rates.
Your website copy is part of the picture, but it’s not just about the words on your home page or product pages.
Think about the emotional state of the buyer at each stage of the journey from awareness to consideration to decision. You need to make sure that your messaging aligns what you want to say and how you want to say it as you nudge prospects down the funnel. Voice and tone play a huge role in your branding; the same can be said for your web design.
Content should be tailored to your target audience and the messaging consistent across the website – headers, meta descriptions, blog posts, landing pages, calls-to-action, forms and so on. Make the most of each word to evoke emotion.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but not all pictures – or visuals, in this case – are equal.
The right visual elements tap into the emotions of your specific audience, amplifying your brand and evoking a sense of connection. That requires a fine balance between meeting what customers expect from a company in your industry and breaking the mold to stand out.
Designing with your buyer personas in mind is the key to creating visuals that truly resonate with them. By understanding their needs, preferences and behaviors and incorporating these insights into your visual design, you can create a website experience that speaks directly to your buyers. This also helps create a meaningful connection between the brand and the buyer, helping drive real measurable results. For example, you can use personalized/custom imagery showcasing your target buyers using your product or service, you can create a user-friendly user experience with a well thought out navigation for seamless browsing, and also use visual storytelling techniques with colors, fonts, imagery and video to evoke emotions and captivate your target audience. These web design examples can help you tailor visuals to your buyer personas which in turn can elevate your website’s appeal, ease of engagement and conversion rates.
“When I'm working on a website for a financial company, it won’t look like something I would design for a SaaS company,” said Jim Van Hise, Brand and Digital Experience Director at Kuno Creative.
Different audiences respond differently which is why designing to your target audience, with their viewpoint and experiences in mind, is key to successful inbound marketing websites.
“Are you including images that resonate with your buyer personas? Are you using a type treatment that fits within the industry? Are you creating atmospheres that are consistent in the marketplace?” said Van Hise.
“You need to know how to fit into the market to differentiate yourself from the market.”
That’s why we include competitor analysis as a key part of the discovery process, alongside research into your buyer personas in order to evoke the right response at the right time from the right audience.
Once these foundational inbound marketing pieces are in place, you can start diving into the specific design elements that make your site usable and searchable.
This is not an exhaustive list, but some of the most important elements to focus on from an inbound perspective include:
None of these elements stand alone but, when combined, they work to attract, engage and convert visitors to your website.
Attracting the right audience to your website is a key component of inbound marketing. In terms of web design, there are several factors to consider when designing for demand.
Properly leveraging search engine optimization, to give just one example, can help turn your site into a lead generation machine.
Designing your website with valuable content that is optimized for search engines will drive organic traffic to the website, increasing visibility and ensuring that prospects can find your business with hopes of later converting them into customers. An inbound-minded approach to web design is both a marathon and a sprint.
Great content and great web design go hand-in-hand to engage visitors, nudging them along the sales journey to an eventual purchase. Neither one is more important than the other when it comes to conversions.
Leverage a solid content marketing strategy as part of your website design process, ensuring that all the pieces of your site fit together in a coherent narrative and customer story. That should include everything from the visuals to the navigation and user experience, to the copy and messaging.
For each of these elements, the needs and interests of your target audience need to be kept at the forefront.
The way you build a relationship with your audience is very much impacted by how your website is designed, which is why a website redesign can and should be an important part of your sales enablement strategy.
Think about, for instance, how you position and place CTAs throughout your site to guide visitors to take the desired actions like subscribing to a newsletter or downloading an ebook.
Likewise, compelling landing pages should match the content and feel of your campaigns, while providing a clear path to conversion. What does that look like? Each campaign will differ, but all should include persuasive copy, visually appealing elements, well-placed CTAs and strategic lead capture forms.
Incorporating inbound marketing principles into your website design can truly transform your organization’s online presence and drive exceptional results.
Implementing these strategies and bringing all the moving pieces together can feel overwhelming, which is where our team at Kuno Creative comes in. We specialize in helping businesses harness the power of inbound marketing through website design and optimization and beyond.
Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you create a website that fuels business.