Are you getting the results you want from your website?
Whether you’re a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) marketer, a great website is essential for a smart marketing strategy.
Here are 10 ideas to boost the marketing value of your website through higher traffic, better search engine rankings, and more effective engagement with your customers and prospects.
1. Add video. Nothing brings a website to life like video and it’s a great way to increase your search engine results, too. Adding video to your website is easier than ever. Create a YouTube channel for your company, post your videos there, and link to YouTube from your site. Use a professional videography team to produce higher-end videos and a simple, handheld video camera to record your own real-life videos.
2. Rewrite your copy. Take a hard look at the copy on your site. Is the content focused on what your visitors really want to know? And have you written your copy around the keywords in your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy? Google Analytics can tell you which keywords people are using to find your site. Google AdWords keyword tools can tell you the most popular search terms people are using in your industry and suggest keywords to use.
3. Add a blog. Blogging brings many powerful advantages to a website. A blog constantly adds fresh content, which keeps your site interesting and improves your SEO results. It gives your company personality by sharing your unique voice and point of view. And it enables visitors to engage with you by adding their comments to your blog or sharing your posts with others on social media.
4. Consolidate your high-value content. Your site should be the focal point of your web marketing. Post all your content – your blog, news, white papers, case studies, and e-newsletters – on your site and share links to that content via your other marketing channels, especially social media.
5. Tell real-life stories. How do you help people solve problems? Use storytelling, ideally featuring actual customers or clients, to help prospects understand the value you provide and what sets your company apart.
6. Showcase your staff. The people who work at your company and deliver your products and services are your biggest asset. Let visitors get to know some of these folks by profiling them on your site. Don’t be afraid to share a bit of personal information, like their favorite hobby or pet. Being real adds warmth and authenticity.
7. Add pictures. There’s a wealth of great stock photography available to add visual interest to your site. Check out istockphoto.com, veer.com, gettyimages.com, fotolia.com, and fotosearch.com. If you have the resources, invest in original photography to illustrate your products and services in use.
8. Use the best design conventions. More than a decade after websites were created, there are established conventions for easier navigation and quick access to web content. Don’t fight what works. Put your logo in the upper left, your customer log-in in the upper right, drop-down menus across the top, and side navigation down the left.
9. Feature your social media links. Put prominent links to your social media channels on every page of your site, especially the home page, if you’re communicating with customers, prospects, and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites.
10. Make an offer. Give away something of value to demonstrate your expertise and get prospects to give you permission to communicate with them in future marketing campaigns.
Why Your Website is Still So Important
Nearly everyone who is considering doing business with your company will visit your website at some point in the sales process. That’s why keeping your website fresh, interesting, and engaging is so important to a smart marketing strategy.
Give your marketing staff or marketing agency the resources they need to develop and sustain a site that tells your story effectively on the web and delivers a rewarding experience to your visitors,
Jean has been creating and implementing successful, integrated marketing communications plans and targeted marketing programs for more than 30 years. She founded Gianfagna Strategic Marketing in Cleveland in 1992 after holding high-level advertising and marketing management positions in Washington, DC.
Jean is a frequent speaker on developing marketing strategies and campaigns. She has taught advertising, branding, direct marketing, marketing strategy, and marketing communications at several universities and professional conferences and authored articles on effective direct marketing techniques in national marketing publications.