Why is it important to have a website as part of your online marketing strategy? Here’s just one reason: currently there are close to 4 billion internet users per year, and that number grows at a steady pace. If your business doesn’t have a website, you’re making it difficult for potential customers to find you. Even more important, is creating a strong presence through a well-designed website, one that has great content and is optimized for the search engines (SEO). You not only want people to be able to find you, but you want a site that impresses potential clients, increases sales, and furthers your marketing strategy.
A Marketing Wagon Wheel
Think of an old-timey wagon wheel. Your company’s website is the hub in your online marketing strategy, with all the other aspects of the plan radiating out like spokes. The hub not only plays a central role in the marketing strategy, but also helps move things forward. Here are a few reasons why a great website is integral to your marketing goals.
Your website is the first place many people go to research or verify your business. These days, how often do you find yourself hearing a mention of something new, and you immediately turn to Google to learn more about it? If you’re doing that, you can bet your customers are too. Shoppers are looking for a website where they can learn more about a company. They look for things like hours of operation, menu selections, item on sale, or just to get more info about the company.
Your website helps to define your brand, but also serves to extend the reach of your brand. Keep this in mind when designing your site, and also when writing content. This is a place to explain your principles and values, and if appropriate, to comment on current topics through your blog.
What about Social Media?
Your website can also provide content that feeds into your Social media efforts, which in turn drives traffic back to your website. For example, if you have an FAQ page, you could take one of the Q&A’s and put it on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, with a link back to your website. The same is true for any blog post, website update, or new product photos. Your Social media accounts act as the spokes radiating from the hub of the website.
With this in mind, it’s important to pay attention to keeping your website up to date and useful for your existing and potential customers. Here are some ideas to freshen up your website and make it the effective hub of your online marketing strategy.
Mobile Ready – If it’s been a while since you designed your website and it is not mobile friendly, you’re overdue for a redesign. Statistics show more than 50 percent of people browse on mobile devices, passing desktop browsing about a year ago.
Incorporate Video – Video is an easy way to communicate your message while engaging your audience. Video also keeps visitors on your site longer, reducing your “bounce rate”–a statistic search engines use in ranking your website.
Get Deep – Go into more detail about your products and services, and how they solve customers’ problems. By educating your customer base, your website will become a resource for relevant information. This helps to position your company as an industry leader. Add new content on a regular basis, through a blog, through new questions on the FAQ page, or by adding new customer reviews (you are asking for reviews, right?). Google and other search engines show preference to sites that are updated on a regular basis.
To be effective online, you need a website that is the center of your comprehensive online presence. By leveraging your website and its up to date content, your social media efforts will be more effective and reach a wide variety of potential customers.