Can Marketing Offset a Bad Website? - 1Digital® Agency
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web-design-Can Marketing Offset a Bad Website

It was David Ogilvy, who’s often referred to as the “Father of Advertising” that once said, “Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.” The question is, though, if that statement still holds true today. After all, the internet practically changed the landscape for all sorts of products and services. Today, when a certain type or style of marketing is used, even bad products can be made to look good.

So, what about a bad website?

After all, there’s a distinct difference between a bad product or service, and a bad website. Sometimes, businesses can have a genius of a product, but have really bad websites or marketing campaigns. Can good marketing offset the fact that navigating a company’s website feels terrible?

Let’s think on it a bit more…


What’s the Point of the Latest Smartphone if It’s Got a Cracked Screen?

Consider your smartphone for a moment, whether that’s the iPhone 15 or the Galaxy S24. All the beauty, speed, and performance are moot if you can’t really see what’s on your screen—more so operate it with your fingers.

The same can be said of a company and its website. You could have the best bags, sneakers, or amplified speakers, but not get enough traction or sales because website visitors are finding it difficult to navigate, add to cart, or checkout your products.

Portrait of a shocked young man showing his broken smartphone

In fact, here are some important statistics shared by Forbes to ponder on:

  • About US$2.6 billion is lost in sales each year due to slow-loading websites
  • 47% of users visiting your website are not willing to wait longer than two seconds for a website to load
  • An average of 6.44 seconds is spent by users just focusing on the navigation menu
  • 61% of users say that if they don’t find what they’re looking for in 5 seconds, they’ll try a different site
  • 88% of users acknowledge that they will not return to a website after a bad experience.

Already, you can determine what happens behind the scenes of a badly-designed website.

Don’t worry, though, because all is not necessarily lost just because you haven’t yet updated your website to a level that’s acceptable to today’s users. There are still some benefits that a well-thought-out marketing strategy can give you, despite your having an outdated website.


Can Marketing Patch Up a Website in Need of Repair?

While a bad website can be a significant obstacle, clever marketing can act as a temporary bridge, helping you connect with potential customers despite its flaws. Here’s how:

  1. Building Awareness: Even if your website isn’t perfect, strong marketing campaigns can still attract new visitors. Captivating social media ads or targeted email blasts will still be able to pique curiosity and send people to your site. While they might encounter usability issues, the initial spark of interest is there.
  2. Focus on the Positives: Let’s say your website has a clunky interface, but boasts a fantastic product search function. Marketing can spotlight this feature, guiding users directly to what they need, minimizing their interaction with the less user-friendly aspects.
  3. Alternative Routes: Social media, email marketing, and influencer partnerships can act as alternative pathways to your product or service, bypassing the website altogether. This can be helpful for driving initial sales or capturing leads, but remember, it’s not a long-term solution.
  4. Building Trust: A well-executed marketing campaign can create a positive brand image, fostering trust and loyalty in potential customers. This positive association can sometimes overcome minor website shortcomings, giving users the benefit of the doubt and encouraging them to persevere despite the flaws.

However, it’s crucial to remember that these tactics are temporary fixes, not permanent solutions. While marketing can create a temporary bridge, it can’t permanently mask a bad website.

Ultimately, investing in a user-friendly, well-designed website is the only way to truly offer a seamless customer experience and maximize your marketing efforts.

When you’re building and decorating your storefront, after all, you need a solid foundation. A beautiful website amplifies the impact of your marketing, while a bad one can mute even the most captivating campaigns.


Things to Focus On When Giving Your Website a Makeover

There will eventually come a point when you finally have enough time, energy, or resources to give your website a well-needed change. When that point comes, however, you might be wondering what to focus on first, or what aspects needs the most work in order to maximize results.

Here are some best practices, advice, and tips for web design that converts and generates sales:

Hand drawn under construction background

1. User-First Focus

Remember, your website exists for your users, not the other way around. Prioritize intuitive navigation, clear calls to action, and a mobile-friendly layout. Turn your website into a well-organized store where users are able to find what they need quickly and effortlessly.

2. Communicate Your Message Clearly

One thing that most websites lack is clear messaging.  Remember, design your website with your customer in mind. That means that every piece of copy or text on your home page should highlight the problem that you’re solving for your ideal customer.

The first thing you want your visitors to think when they arrive at your website is, “I’m in the right place.” Because, again, if they feel as though they aren’t in the right place, they’ll be bouncing to your competitors faster than the number of seconds it takes before you’re allowed to skip a YouTube ad.

3. Use Engaging Visuals

First impressions count! Use high-quality images, videos, and graphics that are relevant, visually appealing, and optimized for loading speed. Remember, visuals can evoke emotions and connect with users on a deeper level.

4. SEO Optimization

When it comes to long-term strategy and marketing, SEO is always your best bet. Ensure your website is optimized for search engines so potential customers can easily find you online. Utilize relevant keywords, meta descriptions, and internal linking strategies.

5. Mobile-First Mindset

In today’s mobile-centric world, a responsive website design is non-negotiable. Ensure your website looks and functions flawlessly on all devices, from desktops to tablets to smartphones.

By following these best practices and investing in a well-designed website, you can transform your online presence from a potential conversion killer to a powerful sales engine.


While great marketing makes a bad product fail faster, the inverse is also true. Believe it or not, your website is also a critical part of your marketing. To be more specific, it’s part of your branding. It speaks of who you are as a company, what you value, and whether or not you value your customers as well.

So don’t just focus on marketing your products. Make sure to create a memorable and lasting experience for your customers, whether online or offline.

Website Design

Francis Concepcion

Francis Concepcion is an SEO Content Producer at 1Digital Agency and enjoys writing content for businesses that are part of the arts, graphic design, interior design, retail and fashion industries. When he's not working, he's either voraciously consuming all sorts of literature, film, video games and animation, or he's deconstructing their various plots and storytelling techniques in order to improve his craft and further weave and develop his own fictions.

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