A web site is the starting point for your marketing, so make sure you have the right foundation to make your web site work for you. In this article we look at the current best practices to make sure you get the most from your web site.
You may have a web site, but is it working for you? What do you expect from your site? Is it an asset for your business? Your customers are spending more time online searching for businesses and services. You need to ensure that you have a strong web site that works for your business. One that connects with these customers.
An effective web site delivers new and repeat customers and helps you build an on-going relationship. For any business today – accountant, hairdresser, café, lawn mower, tradesman, service providers or retailers – an effective web site is a must for business success today.
The first foundation issue is to be clear about what you want people to do on your site – what action do you want them to take? Does your site make this easy and clear? These actions may be as simple as calling you, making a booking, filling out a form requesting a quote, or even ordering from your online shop. These are all called your “Call-to-Action”. Typically in a web site we design these to appear in the top right corner, and the right side of the home page. Typically, these are the most viewed part of the site. Again, concentrate on keeping it simple, and making it easy for people to take action.
The second foundation is to make your website dynamic by adding content regularly. Web sites which reproduce brochures and printed marketing materials online are no longer effective. Instead, view your web site as your personal, online magazine. Your web site visitors want to read, see and hear engaging content – about your business, your industry, and what you are doing.
Your site may have a range of static pages, but you also need a blog or news section within your site where you can write about a range of issues. Embed video from YouTube (your own or other relevant materials). Add to this content regularly – at least once a week! These topics can be specifically about your business, but they should also be about your industry, your passion, why you do what you do, and your customer’s experience with you. This is important to turn initial visitors into customers, and those customers into repeat customers.
The third foundation is to connect your web site to the other online environments where people spend their time. Recent surveys show that the average Australian spends 8 hours a week on Facebook. Other social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube may be equally important to your audience. Make it easy for your web site to connect to your audience when they are in these areas. Create a Facebook Page for your company, and when you post new content on your web site, tell people about it on Facebook. Likewise on Twitter and LinkedIn. Post other materials on Facebook about your area of expertise, and draw them back to your web site.
Also, on your web site, make it easy for people to share your web site pages and latest news articles on Facebook and Twitter. This will ensure that your web site remains the focal point, and these other channels create a referral channel for you.
The final foundation of making your web site work for you is to measure its performance! Just as you would measure a salesman’s targets and performance, keep track of how well your web site is doing. The real strength of modern digital marketing is the ability to measure your results daily, weekly and monthly – and to adjust your activities in response.
Keep track of how many people react to your Calls-to-Action, and measure the business you gain from your website. Google Analytics is a free tool you can add to your web site that will allow you to measure everything you need to know about your web site.
Following these four foundation principles – clear calls-to-action, having a dynamic web site, connecting with your audience, and measuring your results – will ensure that your get the most from your web site and that it becomes a valuable asset in your business.
If you would like to discuss the above topics further, contact us, we would love to assist with your digital marketing needs.