We still don't have Martech Zone exactly the way we'd like it, but the new design has been a huge success. Traffic to the site has increased over 25% with pageviews up over 30%. That doesn't include the additional traffic that we're experiencing from our new weekly newsletter (subscribe above).
Design is consistently underrated as a means to increase traffic to your site. People that won't spend money on a great design almost always argue with me about investing in a professional design. It's simply not the case.
A great design is a great investment into your company. A friend of ours, Carla Dawson (4 Dogs Design), designed this iteration of the blog. I asked for something absolutely clean that included a logo. We've made a couple adjustments since launching, but the clean, clear layout is exactly what we were after.
We also incorporated WordPress's Post Thumbnail into our blogging template and added a plugin to automatically generate the post thumbnail from the first image in the blog post. This way I didn't have to train all the bloggers on how to use the feature.
As well, the theme includes dynamic advertisements based on the category of the blog posts or the main category pages. If you haven't checked them out yet, you can see each of our primary categories in the main navigation: Analytics, Blogging, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Technology.
After never having a formal sponsor before, we've already closed 2 sponsorships as well! Emailium is sponsoring our Email Marketing posts and GetApp is sponsoring our Technology posts! A special thanks goes out to iSocket for the fantastic ad management system.
Don't underestimate an investment in a new design. I'd love to tell you that it's all about the content – but the fact is the way that content is framed and displayed is almost as important.