The digital space is similar to a physical building in the way it needs to be marketed. Imagine for a second that you were the owner of a retail store (perhaps you are, in which case this will be an easy analogy!). You opened your business a week ago, but have told no one. There are no signs outside the store drawing people in, and nothing inside – price tags, discount signs, etc – to guide them around. Your customers, if they manage to come in, will still be completely lost!
Having an ineffective website is much the same. The internet is saturated with web pages. Without optimizing your website for Google search, customers may have a tough time finding you. If they cross this hurdle and find your site, can they easily navigate it? Is it clear what your products are, where you are located, and how much your products or solutions cost? Effective websites make it easy for customers to find the site, then find what they are looking for within the site.
We have social media, isn’t that enough?
For a select few businesses, websites aren’t necessary and having a social presence is enough. But for majority of small to mid size businesses, a website is necessary to educate customers and collect leads. Social media is a great way for small to mid size businesses to connect directly with your customers, but you need a way to educate potential and existing customers and collect leads. In fact, after connecting with people on social media you can use social channels in addition to blogs, organic and paid search strategies to convert visitors into leads and capture sales on your website. It’s called inbound marketing.
How to make your website more effective:
In the next few paragraphs, we will draw out some of the best ways to make your website effective at marketing your company and selling your product. These tips can be implemented in any website, regardless of your market.
On- and Off-Page SEO
You want people to find your site, right? When building your website, you want to ensure you have the proper technical aspects in place to make it easy for Google to know who you are and what you do. Then, when people search for you or search for something you offer, Google will know you are a great fit and list your website above others. It’s important to truly understand SEO to improve your ranking.
There are a lot of technical components to SEO that at a very basic level can be broken up into two buckets:
For this, you want to pick a primary keyword for each page and focus on optimizing that page for that word or phrase. Google’s Penguin update enhanced the technology to be able to understand context, so if your landing page is for women’s eyeglasses, you can use phrases like glasses for women and women’s eyewear to describe your offering.
When starting with off-page SEO the first thing we recommend is building inbound links to your website, which is essentially getting other quality websites to link back to you. Depending on how much you want to invest in SEO, there are tons of ways to go about this. Here are the two most effective ways to begin. The first way is by offering high-quality, interesting, educational content. If people think you have great content, they will naturally want to link to it. The second way is to ensure your citation listings are in place, consistent, and up-to-date. There are hundreds of citation listings to choose from, but they can be prioritized depending on what industry and location you are in.
Once you attract visitors to your website, you want to keep them there by providing the information they are likely looking for in an easy-to-use format. Visitors should quickly be able to tell who you are and what you have to offer. Typically when planning what information you want to put on your website, you will have a lot you want to say. Challenge yourself to eliminate all unnecessary material and focus your message to state only what the visitor needs to know on each page. Then, consider the path you would like people to take and direct them using buttons and links that guide them where they need to go.
Frequently Updated Content
If you want your target audience to frequent your website on a regular basis, you have to give them a reason to keep coming back. Unfortunately, this can’t just be updating your homepage photo each month. The most effective way to keep new content on your website regularly is through blogging about relevant, interesting topics that will entice your target audience to keep coming back. Regular blogging also increases your website’s page count, which is great for SEO.
Redesigning your website to improve effectiveness
If you find yourself needing expert advice on how to create or improve your website, we can help. LimeLight Marketing offers a Website Assessment for this very purpose. We will identify strengths and weaknesses in your website, key areas of improvement, and unique benefits you can offer your digital customers. Visit our get in touch page and choose Free Website Assment as the topic your interested in. You’ll hear from us within 1 business day to set up your assessment.