The marketing world has changed drastically since the rise of the internet. More recently, social media and smartphones have presented new challenges and opportunities for internet marketing firms and businesses. Because smart devices, social media, and internet access are becoming so ubiquitous, companies must always keep in mind the way in which users interact with this technology.
The best internet marketing firms understand the important of good web design, and make sure that a business’ website is as user-friendly as possible. Since internet users research things fairly passively, websites must have three important features: they must be easy to navigate, easy to understand, and quick to provide the user with relevant information. Internet marketing firms must always have these features in mind in order to attract the most users.
1) Easy to Navigate.
Perhaps the most important aspect of internet marketing is navigability. In the early days of the internet, websites were typically more crowded and cluttered, because web designers were still of the mind of earlier marketing techniques, which relied heavily on flash and awe. Research has shown that internet users prefer sites that are easy to navigate and simple in design as opposed to flashy sites. While online, people don’t usually want to waste time with confusing website layouts, faulty links, or inconsistencies. The simpler, the better.
Sites that are easy to navigate typically feature relevant, easy to see links at the top of the page, some which might have a drop down list of subcategories with additional links. The dimensions of a website are equally as important in terms of navigability, since more and more people use a smartphone or tablet to access the internet today. Websites, then, must be designed in such a way that smartphone users can navigate the content as easily as they would on a computer.
Steve Krug states that the “first law of usability” (as he calls it) is that internet users don’t want to think while online. They would rather have information easily conveyed to them. Comprehensibility is tied with navigability, but it also includes the content itself.
Studies have shown that most internet users skim rather than read. Still, a good portion of internet users do fully read articles and blogs. As a result of these two camps, effective internet content must be of high quality while also catering to the skimmer by focusing on target words, phrases, and images. If the content is relevant for both the reader and the skimmer then more users will remain on that site.
3) Immediate Gratification.
Because the internet is such a vast and varied place, users can be quick to leave one site for another. This often happens when a website is, as mentioned above, difficult to navigate and understand. If a user doesn’t find what he/she is looking for almost immediately, he/she will look elsewhere. Therefore, internet marketing firms must provide information in such a manner that is instantly apparent and logically placed.
Just as comprehensibility ties in with navigability, immediate gratification is also linked with these categories. Providing this gratification for users can be difficult, since a single website can only carry so much information before it’s too complicated to navigate or understand. Internet marketing firms must have a good understanding of the demographics to which they appeal so that the information they provide is of the highest relevance possible.
In your own experience you’ve probably come across websites that are flashy, cluttered, and unintuitive. Chances are, you’ve never visited those sites again. This is why good web design is so crucial for internet marketing.