Since the birth of the internet, there has been a revolutionary drive towards digital media away from conventional advertising and direct marketing practices.
The web has completely changed the face of marketing with not only the need for a business to have a great website, but also using the multitude of methods to drive traffic to the website. Google Adwords, Social Media, Online Advertising, Email Marketing are just a few methods adopted by businesses today.
The web has also become a very crowded place, and businesses can very easily be lost in the depths of the search engines never to be found. So methods of driving traffic have become paramount to being seen, and raising the profile of your brand and the services and products you sell.
"The online revolution is pretty staggering when you consider that ten years ago most businesses had never had a website"
As a business coach I am constantly amazed at how ineffective business websites are, with the common answer to a question, we don't get much in the way of leads from our website. In fact this probably represents over 89% of the businesses I start consulting with, which is a pretty staggering figure considering they have paid many £thousands to have that all important online presence.
So let’s look at what makes that GREAT website, and how to get that asset working for you
Design – Perception is Reality
If your site is poorly designed it will send out the wrong message straight away. and every business wouldn't normally allow something so important to damage there reputation.
I cannot emphasise just how important the creative presentation of website is. I have seen on many occasions how a dramatic change from a poorly designed website to a great website can influence sales and growth in a business.
How often do we visit websites and get frustrated with the functionality or structure of it? It’s a struggle sometimes to even find the contact us button, as it gets hidden in the footer of the website.
The structure of a website should take in consideration, what and where key elements are placed on the home page, being able to navigate very easily to the content the visitor is looking to see, the important points you want to get over are strongly displayed, navigation to key places shouldn’t just be reserved for the top menu, access to social media pages, ability for visitors to share your content and yes video would be great, or at the very least some sliding animated panels pointing the visitor to the key information you want to emphasise about your services and products.
At the very least the standard buttons for social platforms should be visible, and not hidden in the footer. It can also be positive feeding in your social content to your pages, but only if you are placing regular content that is.
Make it easy for your visitors to contact you - lots of calls to action to either your contact us page, or your primary contact details. Remember however visitors do not like multiple-field enquiry forms unless they are relevant or an absolute necessity. They expect you to contact them, and take time with them to find out what they want. Make it easy for them to contact you.
A blog is a must!
This is an area where the visitor can engage with your comments, they can find out the true personality of your company, share in your opinions and appreciate your advice. This is the ‘human touch’ aspect of your website, and plays a direct correlation with the tone of voice you express across social media platforms.
Case studies & testimonials
This is a very important acquisition for any website. We now see thousands of websites with the ability to review products and services - which will in turn enhance the credibility of product or service. Seeking testimonials, and writing case studies provides that third party credibility which will further induce the opportunities for your website to perform.
It's not the what, it's the why that counts
One of the common mistakes with marketing in general, but especially websites is not explaining on that home page especially, why you do what you do. Yes the visitor needs to have an overview of your services, or the products you sell, but primarily we look at the reasons to buy, or the outcome. Purchasing is an emotional response, so creating that emotion on your website that will engage with your audience is imperative to the success of your website.
Having a well optimised website is well documented for a reason. Yes, you may not hit the heady heights of page on immediately for your keywords and phrases, but with continuous new content you will eventually start to see some return on your efforts. SEO is a must for all websites, and having an SEO strategy is incredibly important.
"If you want high ranking, you need to get busy online!"
There are probably too many important attributes to list, but utilising the services of a professional marketing company with experience in producing great websites will be a good place to start.