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Websites must be clear and functional

Posted 13th April 2010.

Using cutting edge search engine optimisation (SEO) and email marketing techniques can easily boost a website’s Google ranking, but good SEO should always be supported with solid website design.

According to digital marketing industry expert Howard Rybko, chief executive officer of Syncrony, once a user arrives at a company’s website – having got there through a natural search engine marketing link or a pay per click advert – they will not stick around unless they find the information they are after.

And that means having a clear, functional website that can be easily navigated.

Writing for Media Update, Mr Rybko said: "It is important to be clear exactly what the primary purpose of the website is. This outcome must be relentlessly pursued."

He claimed that additional functionality – such as video and flash animations – can be integrated once a website is up and running – and useable.

"The fancy, the exciting and the exotic often confuse site visitors and serve little purpose other than to make the website’s designers feel warm all over," he told the website.

Mr Rybko also suggested that digital marketing strategies – such as search marketing and website optimisation – should be part of a firm’s gradual expansion plans and companies should not expect overnight successes.

"Online presence is a gradual expansion that requires patience and hard work. Any site will receive more traffic and produce better results after the first year and with every passing year the site is active, live and consistently updated," the expert claimed.

He concluded: "The basic premise behind effective website design and website optimisation are that the process requires strategic application of resources; careful planning; and consistent work."

Meanwhile, recent research conducted by Econsultancy and ExactTarget has shown that marketing budgets for website promotion are set to grow in the coming year.

The firms noted in their Marketing Budgets 2010: Effectiveness, Measurement and Allocation report that website promotion will account for almost a quarter of total marketing spend by the end of the year.

Moreover, 28 per cent of the 1,000 US and UK firms surveyed by the organisations claimed they were shifting marketing spend away from traditional channels to bolster their digital campaigns – such as search engine optimisation.