There are literally millions of websites live today on the world wide web. It goes without saying that every business should have a website; irrespective of how large or small a business they are. People usually want to know who they are proposing to do business with and will often do research on the internet to find more information about a company before they buy from them. Having a website that has been correctly optimised for the search engines at the core of your internet marketing strategy will enable you to give real time information to prospective clients.
If you don’t have a website but plan on getting one soon, or if the present website just isn’t working or generating any business leads for you company, there are a few things that we believe you must do to make your company a success on the web:
Have realistic expectations – If you only have general information about your company or business on your website, in other words a typical ‘online brochure website’, then you should not expect a flood of business to come to you from the website. Having a successful website is similar to having a successful business. A good website, that works for your business will take planning, strategy and a definite plan of action – your website is an extension of your primary business functions.
Your website is first and foremost a sales and marketing vehicle – often a business will put the IT people in charge of their website – this is a mistake! IT people are experts at IT not at sales and marketing!
Websites usually fail because there is no plan to drive traffic to it and even if there is, little or no thought has been given as to how to convert that traffic into sales.
No clear business objectives – All business websites must have a specific set of objectives which could be to sell products, generate business leads, provide customer support or increasing your visibility and build your online brand. Once you have clear objectives -the website can be designed and structured to accomplish those objectives.
No traffic strategy– How will visitors find out about your website? Will you rely only on organic Search Engine results, pay per click (paid search) or link referral strategies? Work out a strategy as to how you will attract visitors, especially those visitors that are already looking for the products or services that you can provide – i.e. targeted traffic
No Conversion strategy – Your business will almost certainly have an established sales cycle that works for you offline. Typically it will be something along the lines of you get a prospect’s attention, get them interested and then work to close the sale. Your website must do exactly the same thing! Design a selling sequence, or sales path into your website and guide your prospects through it. This is called ‘conversion architecture’.
No unique interesting content – You should try and create unique interesting content that will keep your website visitors reading and returning for more. There are far too many websites that just focus on stale information about their business – we do this, we do that etc. – this information does nothing to solve a problem for a visitor. People search the web for solutions to issues or needs that they have at that moment – If a customer needs a plumber to stop a leak or remove a blockage they probably won’t be too interested in the ‘our history’ page! Always concentrate on providing the information that answers their questions and needs first.
Interaction strategy – How do you communicate with interested prospects? Add in some social media strategies such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to start engaging people in conversation about your company or its products and services. This can also be accomplished by actively participating on your blog.
Your website doesn’t have to be just a simple online brochure – it can accomplish so much more. Your website is a key asset in your business tool so take care of it and give it the regular maintenance it needs to work properly. Don’t forget for online visitors your website is your ‘shop window’ and often it will be the first impression they get of your business.
If you require more information regarding WSIIMS website development services, leave a comment below or call us on 01293 822755.