Is your website design meeting the needs of your corporate marketing strategy? Right now, you may have an outstanding looking web design but it may actually be counterproductive to your marketing strategy. When it comes to design, many companies focus on the brand, the website conversion goal, and even trying to get the visitor to take some kind of action. Those are legitimate focus points to design a site around but not necessarily ideal and only ones you should focus on.

To help you understand, let’s look at the strategy of SEO. If the core marketing strategy is to use the search engines to generate traffic, then the website must be aligned for that goal. The website must be optimized, the code behind the website has to be SEO friendly, and the website must load quickly. Many website owners often make small mistakes because they have multiple goals for the website.

For example, one common mistake that companies make is making the search engines read their navigation bar code before their main content. The goal is to make sure the navigation bar is prominent so that visitors go to the appropriate pages and make a purchase. However, this setup hurts SEO rankings when the main strategy is SEO. With the right design strategy, CSS can be used so that the navigation bar stays in place but the code of the main content is read before the navigation bar.

In another scenario, if the core marketing strategy is viral marketing, then there are several things that need to be done to make the website align with that strategy. The website has to load fast, be easily shareable, accessible across multiple devices, emotionally impactful and unique. The goal here is to get people to want to pass it around to their network.

The big mistake that brands often make with viral campaigns is that they focus too much on trying to make their website unique and interesting to the point that the design doesn’t align with the strategy. They use elements like flashy scripts, high resolution videos, funky formatting, and high quality images. While those things can help make a website more viral, they also hurt accessibility and load times.

You have to come up with a list that provides solutions to help you meet your goals and solutions that help you support your marketing strategy. You will quickly find that elements that support your goals may conflict with the marketing strategy. The key here is to try to implement things that support both. For conflicting issues, you can usually seek different methodologies and various technological solutions to find a resolution.

So what mistakes are you making with your web design? Are you designing with certain goals in mind but missing out on the factors that align your strategy? Taking a step back to evaluate what your marketing strategy needs from your website will give you the clarity to come up with a design that ultimately supports your core strategy. The challenge almost always lies in hitting the sweet spot where both the business goals and strategy are supported by your website.