In today’s ‘Digital Marketing’ world it can be very easy to get overly distracted by Social Media, Mobile Web, Video Marketing and the like. Even digital marketing professionals like us can be guilty of this from time to time and we regularly need to remind ourselves of the basics – the foundation stones of our internet marketing efforts is and most likely will always be our websites!
In our view our websites are our primary sales and marketing tools – our social media profiles, directory profiles and everything else are used to drive traffic to our website and help build our online profile.
Unfortunately not all business websites are effective sales and marketing tools – you would be surprised how many don’t actually ask for the business! Take an honest look at your company website and ask yourself “can I see any call to action on this page”, “am I being asked for the business.”
What is the user experience like?
Having worked hard to drive visitors to your website, the last thing you want is for them to leave it quickly. If your website does not grab their attention in just 7 seconds, they will be off to one of your competitors’ website’s, never again to return to yours. As the old adage goes, “you only get one chance to make a first impression”. Here are a few pointers to help you:
Make a good impression
The look and feel of your website and the ease of navigating between the pages are crucial components and, of course, the page content must be 100% relevant to the page topic and written from the customer’s perspective.
Take a good look at your website and ask yourself:
- Has your site been designed to naturally lead your visitors to the sale? (this is called conversion architecture)
- Are your calls to action clear, obvious and frequent throughout your sales process?
- Is your web content presented effectively, including headlines, sub headings and short, succinct copy – e.g. bullet points?
- Are you taking the opportunity to persuade customers to take the next step in different ways e.g. by a good use of pictures and even video or is it just text?
- Can you offer a guarantee to help remove any customer concerns that may hinder the sale?
- How easy is it to buy from you? Test your online sales process yourself by running through from start to finish – how pleasant was the experience?
- Check that all ‘contact us’ and external links actually work – we regularly find dead links and all this does is frustrate the customer.
Keep your site up to date
A widely used best practice Search Engine Optimisation technique is to regularly update your website with good quality, keyword-rich, fresh, relevant content. When was your website last updated?
Try and mix the type of content in the website to include images, video, audio and not just text. Not all people buy in the same way – some will want to read about a product, others would prefer to see it in action or hear about it.
The ‘follow-up’ (as we’ll call it here) is the bridge between you, your customer and any future business they may send your way. It is all about keeping in touch after the sale. This could be by way of a regular newsletter, email marketing, e-zine or whatever you wish. The point is you should have a system in place to put your new customers onto your mailing list immediately after their first purchase from you.
By consolidating your relationship with your customers through meaningful, targeted content marketing you will turn a single purchase buyer into a long-term customer – actively engaged for when you’re ready to launch your next offer.
Measure and monitor your website’s performance
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!”
Measuring just how well your website is performing is not that difficult, there are many good web analytics packages out there, including Google Analytics. All analytics software will help you to track visitor numbers, how they found you, which pages they looked at, how long they spent on the website, which page they came in at and most importantly which page they left at!
Having this information will help you to continually improve and refine your web page content and is a ‘must do’ if you are serious about internet marketing.
If you would like to review the effectiveness of your website, please leave a comment below or visit WSI IMS – WSI Internet Marketing Services for Business in Surrey, Sussex & throughout the South East of England