In today’s online arena, every business is fighting for attention, readers, subscribers, and customers, which means it’s more difficult than ever to stand out from the crowd. If you’re going to have a website that represents your company, it needs to be more than just a static brochure website sitting quietly on the internet. This is ineffective for search engine rankings and sales. With a little planning, however, you can turn your website into a powerful marketing tool that constantly generates new business.
Define Your Marketing Objectives
Take a good look at your existing website. Is it performing to its full potential, attracting new customers, and generating sales enquiries? If not, it could be time to invest in your website – that is, once you’ve defined your marketing objectives. It’s important to understand what you want to achieve before taking any action. After all, your business can only expand in the right direction once you’ve defined a clear set of goals.
Figure out exactly what it is you want your website to accomplish. How do you want customers to perceive your business? What do you want them to do after visiting your website? The answers to these questions will help you identify ways to proceed to fulfil the true potential of your business.
The objectives must be measurable, something which is far easier with online marketing as part of a lean business paradigm. For example, you could link several social media channels to your website, syndicate according to particular campaigns and measure the response (engagement); or you could aim to capture a certain number of email addresses (leads). There are many reasons why your business needs a marketing plan.
Investment is Key to Business Growth
The extra work you put into a website now represents an investment in the future of your business. Remember, there is no such thing as a finished website. If a website is not refreshed every year or two, it risks appearing outdated. On the other hand, if you evaluate and update your website regularly, it demonstrates that you value your business and your customers.
Apart from the design of the website, investment in new content is crucial. Original content attracts comments, boosts your authority, and encourages people to share your content. Business blogs can provide a central meeting point for customers and prospects to exchange ideas. Social media content, media releases, and other external content can all help to build brand awareness and direct customers to your website. Facebook Ads that point to landing pages on your website can also be an effective way to capture qualified leads. Once you have all of these operations working together in harmony, your website will be a much more powerful marketing engine.
Finally, investing in search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential if you want more people to find your website through organic search. Getting higher rankings on search engines for popular keywords may take time, but you’ll be rewarded with quality traffic and a higher return on investment (ROI). Check out some of these smart SEO strategies.
Plan for Growth
In order to grow, you need to understand where that growth originates. Specifically, where are your new leads coming from? Are they finding your website through search engines or social media channels? Additionally, which of your web pages are successfully converting leads into customers, and which blog posts are getting the most views? With the right analytics tools, you can discover the answers to these questions and much more. Google Analytics is a great place to start, and it’s free, but there are numerous other web analytics tools available online –Adpushup.com has a great list here.
The Bottom Line
Many businesses with simple brochure websites are damaging their long-term prospects for growth. With a little planning, creativity, and investment, any business can turn their website into a central marketing hub that generates quality leads for years to come. If you want your business to steadily grow, your website should be a fully operational marketing machine. Ultimately, investing in your website now will save you money in the long run.