Make Your Website Your Most Impactful Marketing Tool
It’s not even up for debate. People are Googling you. Research conducted by Accenture shows that 94% of buyers look up your company online before deciding to do business with you. But what are they finding? When was the last time you updated your website? To put it simply: If it hasn’t been a priority, then you’re losing business.
Thankfully, with a slight makeover and compelling content (and I can help!), your website can become your most impactful marketing tool. Here are some easy pointers for updating your (potentially) clunky, outdated website:
It's not all about you
This may sound counterintuitive, but don't make your website all about you. Visitors are not on your website to waste time. They're there to solve a problem and find a solution. Make sure your website is customer-focused and designed specifically for the audience you're trying to reach. What are they trying to accomplish? What is the next step they're trying to take?
Create clear calls to action
This is why your website exists. What do you want visitors to do? Do you want them to physically call you? Do you want them to sign up online for a free consultation? If it’s not clear what should happen next, or where a visitor should go, the desired action probably won’t happen. Offer strong calls to action throughout your website enticing visitors to take that next step.
Articulate who you are
Websites fail when they can’t succinctly describe who they are and what they do. The “About Us” section is one of the first sections visitors click—make it count. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Put some serious thought into considering what your company offers and what makes you stand out. Do you have a unique business model? Do you have an area of specialization or an industry focus? Make it clear and to the point.
Here's a REAL life example of when a “Who We Are” section goes wrong:
Who are we? Why are we here? At [Company X], these questions matter deeply. They are the questions we ask ourselves daily—and they are the questions we use to measure the differentiators in the work and service we deliver for our clients. The answers matter more than ever. In a world that constantly seeks and demands relevance, you must be able to tell your story quickly, clearly, concisely and consistently.
Uhhh OK…so who ARE you? This is why developing clear positioning and messaging is key.
Make it easy to find and contact you
Put a “Contact Us” link in either the main navigation or in the header of your website. Wherever it lives, it needs to be clearly assessable on each page. Visitors want to contact you and they want to know where you’re located. Make sure to list a physical address on your Contact page. By showing visitors that there’s an actual office location, you instantly boost your credibility. Additionally, providing a physical address on your website makes it easier for searchers to find your business information across Google search and Google maps.
Invest in original photography
I’m guessing you work with other humans... why not use their faces on your website? Having original photos of you and your people gives an authentic feel to your brand. You and the people at your company are real. Stock photos are cheap and fake, and they look that way. Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your team. If you have a vibrant office, capture it! If you have a dingy office, consider taking the photos outside to liven it up a bit. Remember to keep in mind the visual story you are trying to tell and be true to your brand.
Make your website responsive
Mobile internet use has overtaken desktop browsing for many years now. This means that if your website is not mobile responsive, visitors are leaving to find what they’re looking for elsewhere. And if that didn’t convince you, Google ranks responsive websites higher in search results. These are two huge benefits of responsiveness: first, it’s a user-friendly solution for all screen sizes (from desktop to mobile), and second, it eliminates the need for Google to crawl and index multiple versions of the same website.
Include sharing buttons
Providing high-quality, compelling content on a regular basis positions your company as a thought leader, increases traffic to your website, and allows you to engage with potential customers. If you’re investing the time and resources to create this content, make sure you're allowing it to get maximum exposure. Social plugins such as share buttons and a comments section are critical; they make it easier for visitors to share and engage. Look at Wall Street Journal—30% of tweets to them came from their Twitter social media button on the website itself. Who knows? You might even go viral.
Link to internal pages
By creating more opportunities for visitors to navigate around your website, you reduce the bounce rate and hold their interest. For example, if one of your pages speaks to your experience in government contracting, link to a relevant case study or your services page. Ensure that every page is linked to relevant internal pages whenever possible.
Always be testing
Testing lets you know what’s working on your website and what’s not. I would encourage you to test everything from which messages perform better to what color button gets the most clicks. You can use either A/B testing (two versions of a website) or testing services. If you go with the first option, visitors will be shown two variants of the same webpage and you can track over time which produces a higher conversion rate. If you decide to use a testing service (such as usertesting.com), you can receive on-the-spot feedback on how “testers” interacted with a page and find reasons for why they abandon your site.