In the age of social media, video content, pay-per-click and mobile apps, it’s easy to forget that a brand’s website is really at the centre of its online marketing strategy.
Whether a potential customer stumbles across your brand through Instagram, a guest blog, a tweet or a good old-fashioned billboard out in the real world, the chances that they’ll end up on your website eventually are very high. That means your site needs to be up to scratch.
Web development is tough for all kinds of reasons. There are many points where the separate concerns of technology and design come together – such as making sure the site is accessible to users of all browsers and devices. Another challenge is integrating dynamic custom elements such as booking forms and product configurators.
It also needs to be a complete resource for information without bombarding or confusing the user. You would also aim to design the site to be familiar enough to be navigable without it looking like it was built from a template (whether or not it actually was).
So while many aspects of web marketing – social profiles or pay-per-click – can be set up and managed through established software by almost anyone, this does not apply to the tricky world of web design for businesses and brands.
The process also more or less requires multiple individuals if it is to be done properly. It would be a challenge for one person to carry out the coding, graphic design, textual content, testing and all else necessary to launch a top site.
Based on all of this, we reckon web design might be one of the most challenging, most bespoke and most costly part of an online marketing plan…but one that is a cornerstone of the strategy and one which comes with a great rate of return.