Turn Your Website Into a Powerful Marketing Tool
Every business should have a clear plan to capture and retain clientele. In the digital age this plan needs to include a website. Your website has the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of customers, is flexible for your marketing needs, and communicates your branding message 24/7. Oh, it’s cost effective too!
Even at its most basic, a website creates a touchpoint for customers as a credible source of information: location, hours of operation, and contact information.
So, what other ways can you leverage your website to increase sales?
Design: A Website’s First Impression
Successful websites have a clear approach to navigation within the site.
- Home Page – With only 7 seconds to make an impression on the user, the homepage must be a focus. It is important to design the website using indicators, text or images, to show how to locate relevant information.
- Website Structure – Beyond a homepage the website should feature other relevant information. Consider the primary focus of the consumer: are they price-driven or experience-focused? Addressing the user’s needs will create a positive experience with your brand. Take this opportunity to engage them with a survey, contact form, or links to your social media accounts – capturing their contact information. It takes 7-9 touches to create a customer, take advantage of opportunities to create touches for low to no added cost.
- Responsiveness – The design interface should be mobile-friendly. By the end of 2016, more than half of Google searches were done on mobile devices (SearchEngineLand). Additionally, there is a “local” component of Google’s ranking algorithm which takes into account the user’s location. This increases the importance of a mobile-friendly website because approximately 57% of local-mobile searches result in in-store purchases within 24 hours (MediaG).
Tip: Dedicate time weekly to check page speed and to ensure all links are live.
Content Is King
Would you like free advertising? Consider giving free advice.
- Google Ranking – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one way businesses rise to the front page of search results. How important are these Google rankings? In 2015 it was estimated that 64% of all in-store sales were influenced by the internet (Deloitte). Google results are populated based on factors like your website keywords and how many outside web pages link to your website. Press releases work well, but if there are no events to call attention to, you can create content of your own. Providing useful information, which is referenced by others, positively influence your Google-ranking.
- Social Media – New posts are an excuse to reach out to your social media followers (keep in mind those 7-9 touches). Each social media post drives traffic to your website, delivering additional brand messaging, and engaging your clients on a more personal level.
Business-Specific Market Research
Marketing through your website creates data on how users interact with your brand. One tool to simplify that information is Google Analytics.
If we compare building your first website to creating a winning sports team, Google Analytics is like having all of the players’ statistics. Without it, you have no indicators of success or ideas on how to influence factors to create a winning website – I mean winning team. Google Analytics gives you access to your users’ available demographics, which of your pages they visit, and how they found your website to name a few. The information available gives you insights to improve website experience ultimately increasing customer acquisition and retention.