Most businesses consider their website to be a crucial part of raising brand awareness among their target audience. And rightfully so: through SEO and plenty of introductory content, it can play a crucial part in the discovery stage of inbound marketing.
But that's not where the benefits of successful web development end. In fact, specifically developing your website from scratch can help throughout the entire buyer's journey, all the way until your audience turns into customers. Here are 3 benefits of custom web design for the decision stage of inbound marketing.
The Buyer's Journey in Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is built on the philosophy that potential customers don't just turn into paying customers out of the blue. Instead, they go through a number of stages in which they gradually need to know more about a given company before deciding to become a buyer.
This process is known as the buyer's journey and consists of three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. Custom web design is crucial in all three, carrying specific benefits even for the final stage.
1) A Natural Conversion Process
How well does your website lead its visitors through the buyer's journey? While a template-based site can achieve decent results in building brand awareness, it is less likely to succeed in the following stages. A custom-based website, on the other hand, allows you to create a more natural conversion process that guides your first-time visitors all the way through to becoming customers.
For example, you can build out a VIP portal that allows leads to create an account and access exclusive information. Especially e-commerce merchants can benefit greatly from this type of portal, which helps distribute coupons and suggests relevant products on your site.
But even if you don't engage in e-commerce, visitors in the decision stage can benefit from custom design. That's because you can build out landing pages specifically for prospects who live toward the bottom of your sales funnel. These landing pages may lead to decision-based content, and can include forms that ask for more qualifying information than your top of the funnel landing pages. You can reduce the sign-up barrier by auto-populating form fields with information from your contact database.
2) Decision-Based Content
Custom web design also allows your company to build out content that potential buyers in the decision stage are looking for. At this point, they already know about your product, and you should have established yourself as a credible alternative. Now, they need the final nudge toward becoming paying customers.
The most effective content to get them there is in-depth options that convince them of your product or service's viability. Case studies, for example, help potential customers imagine themselves as customers. Live demos demystify your product while pricing and product comparison documents add transparency to costs.
Of course, these types of content are also difficult to integrate seamlessly into your website if it's built on a template. A custom-built website, on the other hand, allows you to integrate decision-based content more naturally, ensuring that visitors on your site who are almost ready to buy, get all of the information they need to make an informed decision.
3) Integrated Sales Functionality
Finally, custom website design enables you to more closely integrate your sales and marketing efforts. The decision stage of the inbound buyer's journey is the point at which marketing hands over leads to the sales team so they can close the deal. And as it turns out, custom-built websites can help ease that transition to ensure the best-possible lead-to-sales conversion.
For starters, integrated decision-based content helps increase the number of sales-qualified leads, who are more likely to convert into customers. In addition, a custom-built website helps set expectations for leads who are ready to buy. These leads want to know exactly when and how they'll be communicated with, and a website that includes custom automated response messages for lead nurturing campaigns will help you communicate these expectations.
In short, custom web design can be a crucial part of getting leads in the decision stage of the buyer's journey to convert into paying customers. It’s all about making things as simple as possible for your potential buyers while keeping their trust and informing them that you are the best choice.