Read our 2018 update on this topic: Building a Modern Website: 5 Tips for Success
Are You On a Sinking Boat?
If your company isn’t seeing an increase in customers and you’re struggling to meet your goals, you may want to take a look at your most important marketing tool: your website.
Maybe you created your website yourself and you think it’s good… enough. Perhaps you worked with a website designer… ten years ago. Maybe your website is attracting lots of people… but the wrong people.
Website content and design have changed greatly over the last decade or so. Having a modern website is crucial to marketing success, and its importance is often underestimated.
Many small business owners are in the same boat. That boat might be sinking, but you’re not alone.
Your Website Can Be Your Life Raft
Consider this: what do most people do when looking for a solution or interested in making a purchase? They go to the Internet for information. Hopefully, they find your website.
Your website is most likely the first experience that potential customers have with your organization. It’s how they learn about your products or services, how they communicate with you, and how they decide whether or not to purchase your solution.
Did you know:
~It only takes 0.2 seconds for visitors to make judgments about a website.
~40% of Internet users will exit a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
~$1.1 trillion of all retail sales in 2011 were influenced by the Internet in some way, and this number is growing.
~Nearly 70% of marketers in the U.S. say that personalized content is crucial to their website’s success.
~Almost 50% of web users say that if a company’s site isn’t working well on a mobile device, they see it as a sign that the company doesn’t care enough about its web presence.
~60% of a buyers decision making is done online before they ever speak to a solutions provider.
(Read more about these statistics from HubSpot and SonicSEO).
Don’t let your website ruin potential customers’ first impressions of your company. What makes a website attractive to you might not be what makes it appealing to a prospective client.
Keep reading to learn what your website is lacking and how to change it.
How to Save a Life (And a Website)
Your potential customers are searching online for solutions to their problems and looking for helpful content. They expect usability, readability and device compatibility. They expect quality.
Once landing on your site, prospective customers will decide whether to consider buying from you in only 1 or 2 seconds. And that’s if they manage to find your site at all.
In order to be effective, your website must be:
Well-designed and responsive. These days, websites can be viewed from many types of devices, including laptops, tablets, and cell phones. That’s why it is important to optimize the experience people have while viewing and interacting with your site. Text must be easy to read, content should be simple to navigate, and scrolling should be quick and painless. Show that you care about preserving your customers’ time and energy.
Optimized for search based on keyword research. Keyword research is a critical piece of search engine optimization (SEO) and buyer intelligence. When people have a problem or a need, they don’t search the Internet by the type of business that can give them a solution. Rather, they search about the problem itself. Keyword research helps you to determine which words, phrases, and sentences buyers use to find your company’s solution. With this information, you can optimize your content to get your website seen more often.
Developed around the needs and opinions of your customers. Let’s be honest. Just because you care about the history, mechanics, or chemistry behind your products or services does not mean your customers care about these things. Before redesigning your website, it’s crucial for you to learn more about what your customers care about. Then you can create a website that makes them interested in working with your company.
Built in a content management system (CMS) platform, such as WordPress. A CMS platform is an application that enables you to edit, organize, design, and publish content to a customized website. Today it’s just about impossible to manage an effective website without a CMS. There are many content management systems out there, and you’ll have to do some research to decide which is best for you.
A source of helpful content for your customers. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: with any successful marketing strategy, content is king. Content is the bait that attracts qualified buyers to your website. By offering your visitors something valuable, you’ll keep them engaged so that you can convert them to customers. Your website, therefore, must include a blog, which you consistently keep current with new, relevant posts.
If you’ve read all of this and you don’t know where to start, begin by understanding your buyer first and utilizing that information to drive the design of a new website.
Successful digital marketing requires a good website. With a solid foundation, some buyer research, and the right marketing strategy, you’ll be on the path to seeing an increase in leads and positive growth for your company.