March 4th, 2017

User Experience and Marketing: A Marriage

close up of bride and groom holding a bouquet of flowers
We get asked quite often how the design of our websites, the user experience design in particular, will effect marketing. Can a website have great user experience (UX) and be SEO friendly?

The short answer is, yes, it needs to have both. But, like any good relationship it requires balance. This is why user experience design and marketing need to work together to meet the visitor’s needs the best.

For this example, we’ll look at this from the vantage point of a relationship. The strengths, weaknesses, and balances of having SEO friendly design without compromising for user experience.

Opposites Attract

Many of the key features in good UX design is making the navigation of a website as simple as possible for the user. This includes the language and navigation. It can also include things like the number of pages, and number of pages in a drop down menu. SEO on the other hand lends itself to a more is more principal. Writing longer blogs, more words on a page, more pages, and the list continues to help your website get ranked better.

So when you have these two opposite forces, how do you create a marriage that succeeds? For this example, let’s look at home decorating as a correlative story. Let’s pretend that you like a minimalist esthetic. Your partner on the other hand loves to collect things. Giving them their own home wouldn’t be economical, and you really love them so breaking up is out of the question. What’s a couple to do? Compromise and work with each other’s strengths for success.

You, like UX design, like structure, order, and balance. Good digital marketing and SEO also likes this, but they just want to display all their stuff. This is ok! You can help them organize their things so that it’s esthetically pleasing and they know where everything is.

A good designer can take the content that a marketer creates and can organize it in a way that users and search engines benefit. Thus a win-win is created, and the marriage continues.

Be a Good Listener

A designer may listen to the client and have, what they think, is the best solution for the visitor. It’s not until a marketer studies the user’s behavior for conversions, or studies the ways people are finding the website, that they really understand the user at all.

If the designer didn’t listen to the marketer and make the design changes the marketer could drive all the traffic in the world to that website, but conversions won’t happen. The messaging and design won’t resonate with the visitor and it will lead to unhappy customers. In this instance the marketer has helped the designer be better at their job.

Fights Will Happen

The struggle for who’s right on the page is inevitable. In your house you want mid-century modern, and your partner loves country chic. There’s a fight brewing at Pottery Barn for sure. So as a business looking for the best marketing of your website, you need to be ready for arguments within your team.

A CEO may want the best looking, boldest and most beautiful site imaginable to show his competition that you folks mean business. The marketing staff may want to cover all of your products and services so nothing is missed. A fight at your company Pottery Barn (board room) is about to go down.

This is where the agency can come in. They can help you, just like any good marriage counselor, to find that balance and compromise.

Remember Why You Loved in the First Place

Your customers are your first love. This is all about them, and more of them just means more love, right? So why wouldn’t you do everything you can to make them love you and bring others into the family?

Great design isn’t about you or the designer.
Great marketing isn’t about you or the marketer.

Great design is about serving.
Great marketing is about informing people you serve.

Many people would say marketing is about driving sales. But where do you want to buy, at a company who is marketing to you for their own sales or one where you get the idea that they’re here to serve you?

Many people would say design is an art form. But, what websites do you enjoy more, ones that are easy to navigate and a pleasure to look at, or ones that are obsessed with their own creativity?

Live Happily Ever After

By balancing the desires of the marketer and designer and focusing primarily on the first love (customers) we have an opportunity to have that fairy tale relationship. Does it mean that it will always be peaceful and there won’t be conflict? Of course not, but what relationship is.

But if you keep your visitors at the core, the fights will be minimal, the products will be great, and the marketing will resonate. And that, is living happily ever after.

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