[If your website still looks and acts like an online brochure, then chances are you’re not maximizing one of the greatest marketing opportunities available to your organization. Website strategies have changed dramatically over the past year or so. It’s no longer a programming exercise, but a strategic marketing exercise. Understanding these new rules can make the difference between having a good website and a great website.
The following are 6 ways to turn your website from good to great.
Tell them what you can do for them. From the moment a visitor lands on your homepage, they should be able to understand what you can do and why they need you. The number one reason visitors leave your website is because they don’t know if you can help them and they are not willing to put in the time to find out. We believe that you have 5 seconds to let them know.
Answer their questions. When a visitor comes to your site, you need to answer the following questions immediately: Where am I? What is your company about? What does this mean for me? How does this compare to what I’m using now? What do you do better than anyone else?
Don’t make your visitors work. Understand the information that your visitors want from you and then give it to them fast. This key information should never be more than one click away. The more clicks your visitors have to make, the greater the chances they will leave your site.
Induce a connection. Your website needs to act like a direct response vehicle. Your goal should be to induce a response. Ask them to sign up for your newsletter, connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, get your latest white paper or watch your latest webinar. Not only should this call-to-action be on your home page, we also suggest you include it on every page of your website.
Make your keywords and phrases prominent. If you were a potential prospect, which keywords or phrases would you type into Google to find you? Having a thorough understanding of this can make all the difference. Not only should you optimize your entire site for these keywords (SEO), but also make sure that they are prominently displayed and highlighted throughout your site in headlines, sub-heads, etc.
It’s all about traffic. You can have what you personally believe to be is the prettiest or most informative site in your industry. But it means nothing if your site is not built to drive lots and lots of traffic. Make sure that you invest in the upfront strategic effort to understand how your audience searches for you, how they are currently searching for your competitors, how they find industry information and all other search strategies that are relevant – and then build your site to own these searches.
Remember that website strategies have changed, and continue to evolve dramatically. To maximize your effectiveness, be sure to follow these rules and make sure that your website is always fresh and current, updated with the latest content and technology, and most importantly, it delivers what your visitors want.
Until next month…