In today’s digital age, a strong Web presence has become an integral part of a successful marketing strategy. In most industries, the Yellow Pages have become obsolete as consumers increasingly search online for solutions to their needs. Organizations that do not use the Web effectively are quickly falling behind their competitors, and it ultimately costs them market share.
Many businesses believe that putting up a website is all that is needed to stay competitive. And in a few industries, the combination of traditional offline advertising directing prospects to your website can still be an effective combination. But for most organizations, your website needs to do far more than just act as an electronic calling card. It should be a proactive tool that draws in prospects on its own and converts them into clients/customers.
To accomplish this goal, your website should have the following components:
An Attractive Design: Visitors decide within the first few seconds whether or not they want to stay on a website after they arrive. This means you need to have a design that puts your best foot forward. Your website should be clean and free of clutter, proudly display your brand and logo, and have the ability to quickly communicate (through your design) why the visitor should stick around.
Compelling and Engaging Content: Visitors are hooked by an attractive design, and they stay on your site because your content is professional, relevant, and speaks directly to them and their needs. This is accomplished through engaging text, video or a combination of the two.
Optimization for Search Engines: Your website needs to be visible in major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing; because if your target market cannot find you, your website may as well not exist. Search engine optimization (SEO) has two major components; on-page and off-page. Both areas must be addressed to ensure you are ranking near the top of the search results.
A Mobile Version: Nearly half of all consumers now access the Web through their tablet, smartphone or other mobile device. With such a large portion of your potential customer base now engaged via mobile devices, your website must have a mobile-friendly version to cater to this market. In fact, mobile-friendly websites are so important, Google is now penalizing sites that do not meet this criteria.
A Strong Content Marketing Strategy: After your website is live, you need to continue creating content that engages your target audience. This is generally done through blogging. A blog does two important things:
It creates a fresh flow of new content, which tells the search engines your site is active and not out of date. This tends to give your site more favorability in the SERPs, and helps improve your rankings.
The more content you create, the more keywords you can target that are relevant to your target market. If you do keyword research ahead of time and come up with a list of the top search terms your target audience is typing in, you can create articles around these terms and draw in an increasing number of visitors.
Social Media Engagement: Social media is an important part of your content marketing strategy. Your business should create pages for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social sites. Then each time you create a new blog post, you can promote it to your social media fans and followers for even wider exposure.
An Effective Lead Capture System: Driving traffic to your website is important, but you also need an effective strategy to convert this traffic into customers/clients. The appropriate lead capture system is dependent on your business and industry. It could be giving away a free guide in exchange for an email, an interactive chat system, or just a strong call to action. The important thing is to have a conversion strategy in place so you do not leave money on the table.
Putting it All Together
Building a strong digital presence may seem like a daunting task. After all, you have a business to run, how will you ever have time to implement the necessary components to effectively market your business online? A consultation with one of our Web development experts is a good first step. We can conduct a thorough analysis of your current website, identify areas that need to be addressed, and customize a plan that meets your goals, stays within your budget and maximizes ROI.