Getting the Most Out of Your Website
Not too long ago, most companies used more traditional advertising in order to generate sales. From outbound sales efforts to traditional advertising such as print and television ads, companies utilized more of a “push” strategy to gain market share. In a short period of time, advertising methods have been completely flipped upside down – thanks to the internet. With more and more people actively searching out products and services online each year, the Web has become one of the strongest marketing channels for growing sales. In fact, some would argue, depending upon the dynamics of your particular niche and industry, that online marketing is the best channel to drive company sales. Despite these undisputed realities, many companies are missing out on valuable opportunities because their website and online marketing efforts are nothing more than a glorified online brochure – stale and stagnant. Most frequently, this is due to a lack of knowledge of how to appropriately structure and effectively market their website. So what should you do if you don’t know where to turn to get the best return on your website investment? Take a look at the top five tips below to start maximizing your website sales and potential.
Give Your Website the Best Chance of Success
If your website doesn’t give prospects the best chance of success in terms of completing an action (such as calling you by phone, purchasing a product, or submitting a form), then prospects will leave your website and find another company that better meets their needs. And aggressively pursuing online marketing when your website isn’t set up for success will only lead to a highly trafficked website and little or no website sales. The good news is that there are a handful of “best practices” to optimize your website so that people will actually take an action instead of hitting the dreaded “back” button. Use the following guidelines to optimize your website:
Make sure your website has a professional look and feel (even color changes can make a difference)
Create great content that provides value to your prospects and customers
Focus on the customer and their pain points
There are a host of more subtle changes that you can make on your website, such as adding a prominent call to action, making sure that contact information is easily accessible, providing clear terms and conditions to sales, among many others. You can use the Web to search for these “best practices” or enlist the help of a website optimization specialist to implement and test these strategies and tactics.
Give People a Good Reason to View Your Website
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when executing a website strategy is to assume that everyone that accesses their website is “ready to purchase.” People will be at different stages in the sales cycle when viewing your website, so it is highly beneficial to try to target these different stages effectively. Some may simply be researching, while others may be comparing pricing among the various alternatives. By providing content geared towards these distinct stages, you’ll be able to address the needs of these diverse visitors.
Choose Your Marketing Efforts Wisely
Now that you have a website that is structured to meet the needs of your prospects and customers, you’re ready to start marketing. But be careful before you jump in with both feet. Most importantly, it’s mission critical to understand all of the different forms of online marketing so that you can most appropriately choose the best channels. There are many options when it comes to advertising online, including organic search engine marketing, paid search marketing, affiliate advertising, display advertising, among others. The best way to determine the most effective channel for your business is to research each of the available options and then choose the path or paths that fit your business the best.
Don’t Be Fooled by Promises of Gold
Because SEO (search engine optimization) is so popular, we thought it was important to give a tip or two regarding this marketing channel. SEO companies are notorious for taking advantage of companies by promising the moon and the stars. So be careful when anyone tells you that they can quickly get you to the top of the search engines and that you’ll instantly receive enormous traffic. If done the right way, SEO takes time. There is simply no quick fix. Furthermore, not every company is going to get to the top. You have to have a compelling reason to achieve top results on the search engines, which takes a good amount of time and effort to achieve.
And in order to achieve top results without getting penalized by the search engines, use time tested strategies and tactics. At the core of these time tested methodologies is the creation of extremely valuable content (articles, posts, pages, videos, images, etc.). By creating great content, you’ll not only be providing prospects and customers with the information they need, but you’ll also give other websites a great tool to offer on their websites, so they’ll be much more likely to link and share your information which will help propel your website to new heights in the search engines.
Network with Relevant People
Keep in mind that, although websites and search engines are new technologies, they’re mostly just new ways of doing the same things done in the past. At the core of marketing your business is the process of building your brand and sharing your offering with others who, in turn, talk to their network of friends and acquaintances about your product or service. Don’t lose sight of the enormous opportunity offered by social media. Because there are so many different social media channels, many people get overwhelmed and therefore ignore this rich channel. So to guard against this challenge, simply choose one social media channel and learn as much as you can about it and engage with others. Meeting with new people and promoting your content and offering will lead to further exposure that can propel your business to new heights.