Your website is your #1 marketing tool online. It’s the hub of all of the information about your company and it’s what most other platforms drive to, social media, Google searches, ads, directories, and more. A good website is like a library. It’s organized, has easy-to-find resources and trustworthy stories, and hosts helpful staff. It’s where someone will go first to research and find information about your industry, your products or services, and your availability. A website is:
- The center of your online presence
- Your 24/7 salesperson and
- Your first priority online
All of these things are a critical component of your marketing strategy at which your website is the foundation.
Your Website is the Center of Your Online Presence
All activity online is centered around your website. The goal of potential clients interacting with your social media or clicking on ads is to drive them to your website to complete an action. If your ads are optimized for the highest click-through rates (CTR) or your social presence is growing quickly but your website hasn’t been updated in years, you’re not going to convert those potential clients into leads once they land on your website.
The intent of each visitor’s interaction on the site should be clear. Do you want them to download a resource, complete a contact form, or sign up for your newsletter? Is that action clear and easy for them to take on the site? If it’s not, then it’s likely that visitors will leave the site without taking that action. The majority of your online activities will drive someone to your website and if the user journey is unclear, the site is hard to navigate, or the value of the content isn’t there, those visitors aren’t going to convert.
Your Website is Your 24/7 Salesperson
You have great salespeople. They represent your company well, speak highly of your brand, and have great relationships with your customers. Would you consider your website a highly-skilled salesperson or would it fall in the bottom 10 percent of performance? Whether you’re B2B or B2C, your potential customers are researching products and services before contacting your salespeople. “85 percent of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase online,” according to Oberlo. Is your website the best first impression for potential customers?
If your business is B2B, you may consider your new sales as mostly referral-based or word-of-mouth. Have you considered how much business you may be missing out on by not having an easy-to-use, brand-representative website? There’s a new generation of decision-makers rising up in companies around the world, and their first stop to learn about your business is your website.
Your Website is Your First Priority Online
Your website isn’t as flashy as a successful ad campaign or a viral social post but it’s reliable. You also have more control over your site than you do your social media pages or ads. A social platform’s algorithm and priority can shift from month to month and there’s no guarantee about who can see your organic posts. Advertisements on search engines, news sites, and social media require pay to play and don’t guarantee your success either, especially when they’re driving people to your site that isn’t converting. Since you own your website domain and the content on the site, you can control how your business is represented online. To get the most value out of your online presence, you should start by optimizing your website.
There are a number of technical and brand-related considerations when optimizing your website:
- What’s your website speed? If your website pages take more than 4 seconds to load the number of people that bounce off of your website drastically increases. Check your website’s speed using this from Pingdom.
- How easy are your resources and information to find? Consider the navigation of the site and each page’s layout. If a user has a hard time finding the information they need, they will give up. In fact, 38% of people will leave a website if they find the layout unattractive.
- What does your website say about your products, services, and company? Because your website is a marketing tool, the copy and content on your website should reflect how your salespeople or customer service talks about your products. If it doesn’t, your potential clients may be getting the wrong impression of your business.
- Are visitors taking the actions you expect? Most people want their websites to generate leads, but consider if your buttons and calls-to-action encourage people to take those actions to complete a form or make a call.
Ads and social media can be flashy and fun but at the end of the day, you’re driving people to your website to generate leads. Your website is more than a library of information, it is the foundation of your marketing. It should reflect your brand, highlight your products and services, and give the impression you’d make as a salesperson. Your website is your #1 marketing tool online. Is your site living up to the expectations or does it need some work to get there?