The digital era offers us infinite options to make our business successful, but this can be a tricky benefit, because we search everywhere for the best marketing tool, when we actually should be noticing the importance of a company website.
Sure, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest are significant resources, but the most important marketing tool is, actually, your website.
Think about it as a customer, when you need information about a product or service, you Google it first! When people can’t find your website, they have a harder time sailing through your content looking for what they specifically need.
What your possible new clients find (or not) shapes their perception of your brand, so the easier you make it for them to find you, the better.
But why exactly should you focus on your website this much? Let’s talk about it.
Why Use Your Website as a Marketing Tool
It is easier to reach the first place on search engines when you have a good website; if you manage to take your site to the first page; the more people can find your business, something that can be harder with social networks.
Your site is the biggest catalogue of your services or products, you can literally personalize it anyway you want to make visitors feel at home and improve the chances of making a sell.
Having an optimized catalogue and a blog, not only helps you to position your site, but also contributes to the digital conversation, your readers want useful information about what they are looking for, not just a digital display cabinet.
Your website is also a great tool to make your visitors truly know you; the about me section is not a formality, it’s an advantage! Once you know your real target, you can adapt your site’s content to their particular needs, use words and images to empathize with them.
On the one hand, a dynamic and nicely presented website can make you increase your conversions to the roof; but on the other hand, a poorly designed site can make your clients and new visitors run away forever.
Not convinced? Gartner, a worldwide research and advisory company, conducted a study about successful marketing campaigns, they surveyed 200 marketers and found out that almost half (45%) of them consider the development, design, and maintenance of a corporate website the most important tool for a successful marketing campaign.
This, of course, does not mean you should totally forget about investing in brochures or the digital ads we already use, just don’t rely entirely on them. You want to use these tools along with social media to redirect traffic to your site, but a messy webpage could waste all your efforts.
The Relationship Between Social Media and Your Website
A question must be popping up in your head: if what you just read is true, then why so many important brands are sending viewers to their Instagram and Facebook instead of their website?
There is no unique answer for that; marketing is about strategies based upon your business needs. Some brands consider that engagement is more important (at least for a moment) than redirecting traffic, some others may think that showing off a product on their social media first will eventually attract visitors to the official site.
This will always depend on the marketing plan they are running, but it doesn’t change the fact that your business will still need a suitable website.
The immediacy that the internet offers has changed our online waiting time; we want websites that load fast and we want to click the less amount of times possible, so if we reach a store on Instagram and we have to click 10 to 15 times to find the object we are interested in, chances are we will lose interest around click number 5 and we’ll pass to the next store.
Think this as an internet user, if you were looking for a shoe store, you’d google something like “best shoe store in Melbourne” or “shoe store with discounts in Melbourne”; you’d naturally click the first or second search result.
Once you are on the site, if it’s not nicely presented, or is not organized, and even if the shopping cart is not visible enough, your brain will tell you “this is taking too long” and you will go back to Google for the second or third option.
Now, if you use your social media as a channel for showing off your brand, make sure the site is well done, and that the content that is being produced for the blog is compelling enough and easy to share with the less amount of clicks possible.
How Do I Make My Website The Best Marketing Tool?
Once the importance of your website is understood, you can now edit it or prepare it from scratch to fulfil your target’s needs.
But keep something in mind: to make your site a valuable marketing tool, it’s imperative for you to invest time, effort, and budget; the holy triad of digital marketing.
To help you in this journey, we want to offer you some tips about how to make your website the best marketing tool, but first think about these essential questions:
- Have you checked how much traffic your website gets from mobile devices?
- What are your goals with the brand? Do you want to generate leads? Maybe just some branding?
- Is your website integrated with your social media? If yes, do you ever post links in your social media that redirects to the page or do you just mention your social media in the content you write?
- Is your target defined and segmented?
After answering these questions, you can update your content strategy to improvise your site. We wrote another post about the Content Marketing Trends for 2018 you may want to check for new ideas.
Lets now review some tips for making your site the ultimate marketing tool, shall we?
Make it responsive
The first question we made: where are your visitors coming from? Laptop or Smartphones? On these days, rarely a webpage will receive more visitors from personal computers than from mobile phones.
Independently of this data, you must work on your site’s accessibility. Always choose a mobile responsive design, people are no longer obligated to wait to get home to check the internet for information, having a site that adapts to the smartphone searches increases your potential sales.
Mobile friendly pages are more likely to reduce bounce rates, supports social sharing, and gets you favorable scores from Google.
Providing the same desk experience on people’s phones is as important as a high overall website speed, so if your site looks different on desktops and mobiles, it’s time for a change.
Produce SEO friendly content
Content is king! You are probably already creating posts adapted to the target you are interested in, but is readable for search engines?
Don’t produce content just to fill your site, instead, choose the right keywords to know what your potential clients are looking for and adapt your site to it.
Find yourself a SEO expert and let them do the magic. Not only for the design of the site but the production of content. Make sure you have basic on-page SEO to boost your search engine ranks and to make your information available for the right people.
Some tips to improve your SEO are using keyword tools to find the exact words your target uses to find what they want on search engines, optimize the images you already uploaded with SEO alt-tags, promote your old entries into the new ones with internal and external links.
Make it social
Haven’t you read something really interesting on the internet and want to share it with friends? Making your content and webpage easy to share satisfies readers and works as free publicity, because they can share it with just a click with their friends, starting a snowball effect.
Not having a share button makes you miss a golden opportunity to convert a lead, improving your engagement and provides the reader with a poor quality user experience.
This share button must be optimized for the regular options: Email, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and others. Remember digital users are avid consumers, we live in an era where we want to share everything we do all the time, so why miss the chance of making our site sharable?
Make it attractive
This tip can be tricky, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We can check the basics, though.
Making your site attractive means making it easy to scroll, with colours and fonts that won’t burn your eyes, and having well organized sections.
Some do’s and don’ts on creating appealing website designs are:
- Keep it simple, don’t overuse images or words
- Create clear navigation structures that are easy to follow
- Use subtle calls to action
- Choose legible typography, meaning, proper size and colors (please forget about Comic Sans forever)
- Make it obvious, let your visitors know what the site is about
- If you need to use many pictures, consider hiring a professional photographer and models, real-people photos outperform the already used by everyone stock photos
- Nobody likes sites where music starts playing the second they get in, it’s annoying and consumes too many MB
- If you are going to use pop-ups to promote special offers or a newsletter subscription, make them discreet and easy to read, try not to interrupt the user’s experience
- Do not overuse Flash! Again, do not interrupt the user’s experience
Work your engagement
If your page is B2B or B2C, write for them specifically, not both. It’s not the same creating content for another enterprise than creating content for individual clients.
Take the talk to each other level; when writing for individuals, the writing style can be more loose, but when you write for other businesses, words must be formal.
Maybe you don’t have the time to update your blog daily, but you can hire a community manager to promote and engagingly create new content for either target you choose.
Keeping your blog up to date or at least periodically updated, increases the chances of improving that ROI, especially if the content you are publishing is interesting and relevant enough for the target, like we said before, we are social consumers.
Personalize the experience
Make the site talk to the reader. When a first-time visitor arrives, there is no interesting data to be displayed besides the one you created for a broad audience.
When the user returns, the content can be personalized based on whatever he had checked before and similar options.
To improve the user experience of your site you can adapt the content according to the buyer’s behavior, offer a unique first-time visitor experience and cater to buyer personas.
Are you interested in more information about making your website the best marketing tool on your reach? You can pass by our blog! Design Point is here to offer you all about web design and development services, design and marketing solutions when and how you need them.