What is your website to your business? Is it just a place to show your products and services on the internet or is it the cornerstone of an effective online marketing campaign that leads to real leads, real conversions, and real profits? If you’re not getting business out of your website, we’re going to look at how you can use it to do so much more and to really get your money’s worth out of the web hosting fees.
Ensure you’re using your own imagery
Your website is the home of your online brand, it’s where you have the most control over how you represent yourself, and the visuals that you choose will make a big difference in the first impression that you create on your potential customers and clients. That’s why you should avoid using the same graphic design elements and photos that other startups are using. Freelancing websites are a great way to get in touch with graphic designers without having to pay more than you can afford. For photography, you should consider looking at paid stock photos instead of free ones. There’s no guarantee you will be the only one using them, but they will be much less ubiquitous than the others floating around the net. For blog posts, however, it’s fine to stick with free ones so long as you don’t see them too frequently in other sites you follow.
Ensure its informative
Your customers might come to your site specifically to learn more about the business. Perhaps they’ve seen your online ads and want to make sure they are legit and that you’re a trustworthy brand. Or perhaps they have enquiries but don’t know where to direct them. It’s important to have some kind of real-world contact details on your website, beyond just a contact form and email address. An actual address or phone number can build the trust that is crucial to keeping online businesses afloat. However, if you’re running a business from home or a temporary office, you might not want to give that information away. Consider using a virtual office that provides a real world address, phone number, and even someone to answer when they call said number.
Create customer engagement points
When customers come to your site directly, they’re either looking for information and access to the products and services you offer or they’re looking for help and answers. An FAQ can be a great tool to help them help themselves, but you should also consider a direct point of contact. Besides your contact details, you should look at on-site live chat tools that allow you to chat to them directly. If you can solve any problems they’re having there and then or answer their queries, you can keep them satisfied with your service and remove any barriers between them and conversion on the spot.
Give it the professional touch
As said above, your website is the online home of your business. As such, the impression that it makes is invaluable. However, it’s too easy to find business websites online that are very clearly created by the business owner rather than a professional. Setting aside the money in your budget to work with digital marketing professionals is almost always a good idea, unless you’re a web developer and designer yourself. They bring not only the technical know-how to create a website unique to you, but good marketers also have a good sense of design, navigation, and user experience to make it a breeze to actually use the website.
Optimise it for search
Your website, when used correctly, is going to be one of the most effective lead generation tools in your online marketing arsenal. You may have PPC ad campaigns that are doing very well, but these are expensive. Your website could be optimised to be a much more cost-effective organic marketing tool to complement your ads without swelling your budget. Search engine optimisation makes it much easier for people who are more likely to be interested in your business to find it more organically. The higher you can get it ranking on Google in conjunction with the right keywords, the more you could benefit from gaining traffic from one of the most widely used websites on the internet.
Use it to create content
This is, in part, related to the last point about SEO. Content has become king, as they say, and content marketing strategies can be hugely helpful for your business. For one, you can create content that works specifically for SEO, targeting keywords, topics, and questions that your customers have so that, when they search for them, they are led to your website. However, a business blog is a great way to keep your website update and make it look more active, as well as to create informative, engaging written content that shows your insight and offers more value to your customers. Consider putting together some blog post ideas to create an invaluable tool that can both build your SEO strategy and show your business’s legitimacy online.
Build subscribers with it
If you’re writing great content, offering new deals, or simply engage with the community on a regular basis, then your most loyal customers are going to want to stay informed about it. Some might want to follow you simply because they find your content useful. Creating a mailing list and allowing visitors to subscribe through the site can be an excellent way to build leads in the long term and to give repeat customers the reminder they need to come visit you against. Email marketing tools can help you set up campaigns with very little trouble, as well, so it shouldn’t take you too long to create a biweekly or monthly email subscription.
Your website can be much more than just a website. However, it will take some investment, whether it be in time or money. Here, we’ve hopefully showed you the different strategies to get true value from your site. It’s up to you to decide which are a priority.