In conventional and current website design practices there is a lot of emphasis on branding. There are numerous agencies that will create a branded website and all manner of software that will enable you to do this on your own. It really doesn’t take much to create a website that will serve as a center point in establishing your company’s web presence.

But is a branded website design the same thing as a marketing website design?

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It’s important to avoid confusing the two, especially if you want to actively gain more customers using your web presence. Branding is important when that’s your goal, because a properly branded website will help you create the type of impression needed to improve your recognition, reputability, and make your prospects say “This looks like a good company to trust.”

If your brand is established to make that happen, then you’re on the right track. However, branding features aren’t going to do much to serve your company if you lack a marketing focused design—one that helps you gain the attention of prospects and accommodates strategies that bring them to your website from other places online.

Marketing website design goes beyond company colors, logo design, mission statements, and the impression you wish to create. Instead of just creating an impression, marketing website design is meant to inspire action from your prospects and is meant to drive them to connect with you.

How is this done? First, you’ll need to consider things from your prospect’s point of view. You’ll also need to think about what happens before they decide to take an action, such as calling your 800 number, filling out an RFO, or requesting a meeting with your sales team.

You’ll want your website to anticipate what your prospect is looking for and what they want to see, hear, and feel before they decide to make that first contact with your company. Maybe they want answers to specific questions, maybe they’re looking for an explanation of certain product or service features, or maybe they have a problem and they want to know how you can solve it.

They’re likely trying to get this information on their own, from multiple providers, before they choose one to call. That’s why the information they seek, whatever it may be, needs to built in to your website design and structure.

When you’ve developed your website with multiple landing pages, informative videos, clear call-to-action and incentive features, and other elements that anticipate your prospect’s needs and prompts engagement, you end up with a design that plays an active role in your marketing efforts.

There’s no one way to do this. It requires that you take some time to think about the markets you serve and your prospect’s buying journey therein. If you’re looking for some guidance on how to do that, you can learn more here.