The entire world of marketing has been wetting its pants over social media and content marketing the last few years but what about that old fashioned -yet, incredibly important- thing called a website? Have you dusted it for cobwebs lately?
After all that time and money you spend on social media and content marketing, it’s still the website -for the most part- where all the action you care about -sign ups, sales, etc.- occurs. So if your website is still a piece of annoying Flashturbation or, worse, not supporting your omnichannel efforts, you might as well go unearth that Geocities version of your website from back in the day.
Here are a few tenets of a well oiled website. Maybe you know all this stuff. Maybe you’ve forgotten. And, hey, we all get busy and can use a good, swift reminder from time to time.
If you have people who return to your website more than once and they notice nothing has changed -in what feels like a decade (or, let’s be honest, even a week), then you are going to lose them very quickly. Whether you like it or not, refreshing content with new and interesting ideas creates a reason for customers to come back to the site.
Maybe you have been too busy to update but potential customers don’t see it that way. Instead, they may begin to think your business is on its way out. However, if they see new content, then they tend to equate the frequent blogs posts, articles, and pages to a vibrant and successful business.
The best way to continually update content is to have a blog as part of your website, but you can also add an articles library and, as you grow, add new pages about your expanding product line or service portfolio. If you are too busy to do the content yourself, consider using a freelance content writer from ELance, iFreelancer or Guru.
Multiple Points of Entry
Having relevant content that’s of interest to various segments of your audience is, of course, very important. But you also need appropriately segmented places for them to visit within your site.
Multiple points of entry –i.e. landing pages- provide a way for you to provide segment-specific information about a new product or service. Oh, and you can more easily track metrics related to each marketing campaign that you may run to understand whether or not certain audience segments are actually visiting these pages and how they are responding to your content and offers. In addition, landing pages keep a website from becoming cluttered.
Like your content, the actual design of your website can become dated. You don’t want your audience to be able to carbon date the look of your page to the 2000s or the aforementioned Geocities era. Instead, as your brand evolves or, as you change your overall corporate identity, make sure your website design reflects the shifting style and positioning of the brand.
If you don’t have the budget to hire a designer or ad agency, you can head over to places like Wix where you can find hundreds of website design templates that will give you a starting point. Good ‘ole WordPress also has a lot of templates to completely change the look and functionality of your website allowing you to easily add new pages or enhance its user-friendliness.
When your customers experience a design makeover, they are more likely to envision you as a company that’s moving forward rather than getting tired and falling asleep.
Higher Reliability and Speed
People, it’s 2015! We have big pipes! There’s no excuse for your slow ass site that takes 30 full seconds for a page to load. Design can greatly affect page load times but so can hosting. And, seriously, when was the last time you actually spent a minute or two checking into your web host’s tech specs? Yeah, that shit is boring but it’s the back bone of your website and that boring shit matters!
So yes, it could be the hosting company that is slowing you down, so you might want to consider researching what web hosting companies can offer faster connections and less downtime. For example, Pair.com is one. Another is Hostwinds. They offer numerous hosting plans that scale up as you grow your business so you don’t have to worry about outgrowing them.
While more people are starting their searches from their smartphones and tablets, not as many companies are adding responsive website design to sense when a visitor is using something other than their laptop or desktop. Not employing technology that senses your new mobile customers can lead to a disastrous experience that accomplishes nothing except for losing a potential customer.
Insuring your site employs responsive design means your website will fit the screen on which it’s being viewed. It can also mean that you offer a choice between a mobile website version and a regular one so the user can select their preference.
While this is on the technical side of things, coding compliance is pretty important. Since the standards regularly change, you’ll need to make sure your technical talent is aware of what’s required. Not only will this help your website achieve higher rankings to turn that digital sales funnel toward your business, but it will also keep you in the good graces of those that track website compliance.
Search engine optimization goes beyond just selecting the right keywords and phrases, you also need to optimize graphics -including photos and videos on your website. Use relevant and descriptive words in the title tag and alt gag in your image code as an additional way to throw the net out wider over the Internet and draw more of your target audience to your website. Since you will be regularly updating your website’s content, don’t forget to optimize every new graphic you add.
And so there it is. Maybe you’re on top of all of this. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you have a boss who thinks Flash is still all that. Hopefully, this information will help you better manage your website and, ideally, build more business.
Image Credit: CC by Mike Licht