Whether you realize it or not, your website is the cornerstone of all your marketing efforts, and the one member of your team that promotes your business 24/7. But in the world of marketing today, there are so many different things you need to be concerned with on your website: marketing automation, conversion rate, personas, design, UI, UX, SEO, PPC, CTAs, CMS... the list goes on. It's important to take a step back and remember what the key elements are for your website. So here are 9 pieces of great website advice that will help you keep it all in perspective:
1. Focus on Results
"The reason you are redesigning your website is to impact your business, not because you are bored with the design or because your CEO wants it to be blue not red. So, focus on the results you want. More visitors, leads and customers. Every decision you make should be focused on improving those goals.” — Mike Volpe
Make sure that you are spending the time to test and measure your website efforts, your gut reactions won't always be right, but data doesn't lie. If you don't have a marketing automation tool, at least use Google Analytics to gain some insights about your pages.
2. Optimize Your Efforts
"I'm going to go out on a limb and beg you not to create an original design. There are more than a billion pages on the web. Surely there's one that you can start with? ...Your car isn't unique, and your house might not be either.” — Seth Godin
Spending your time and efforts to come up with "something new" for your website design can be a futile effort. Spend your time creating great content and user experience instead of worry about the layout and design of your website.
3. Your Brand is More Than Your Website
"Your digital presence isn’t your website. And isn’t your SEO. It’s all of that and more. It’s a combination of design and functionality, resulting in a website that conveys your brand, what you offer, and why your clients/customers should purchase your services. SEO is dead, but content isn't. It’s strong content that engages your audience, whether that’s a blog, video, social media, newsletters, or fresh content on your site itself.” — Darin Lynch, Irish Titan
Creating a consistent brand message across all of your channels can be challenging, but it's crucial to strategically define your brand message and use your entire digital presence to reinforce your brand.
4. Know Your Audience
“The first commandment that a Digital Marketer needs is “Know Your Audience”. The worst thing that Digital Marketers do is make content for themselves or their organizations instead of the person they need to connect with.” — Bret Herzog, Irish Titan
Don't forget that you are NOT the target audience, spend time talking to prospects, clients, and customers — understanding the language they use, the content they need and the problems the have.
5. Remember the Five Second Rule
Remember that you have just five seconds to explain your value proposition to users when they enter your site. The back button is the most widely used command on the web. If you don’t answer a user’s needs right away, he or she will click “back” and exit your site. Make sure your site features compelling copy that draws readers in and gives them reasons to stay. — Gabriel Shaoolian, Blue Fountain Media
Take the time to do a 5 second test with someone who is completely unfamiliar with your business. Open a tab with your website, count to 5 and close it. Now, ask them what your company does. If they can't explain it to you, keep refining. Creating content that accomplishes this task is not easy, but 100% worth the effort.
6. There are No "Right" Answers
“The problem is there are no simple “right” answers for most Web design questions (at least not for the important ones). What works is good, integrated design that fills a need — carefully thought out, well executed, and tested.” – Steve Krug
As marketers, we spend a lot of time chasing the "right" answer, but there is a lot of freedom in knowing there ISN'T one. We need to spend our time testing, refining, trying, researching, analyzing, and repeating what works for ourselves, not what works for someone else.
7. Maximize Conversions
"It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic." — Jeff Eisenberg
Companies often focus more on creating more traffic and miss out on converting huge percentages of website traffic that is already coming to the website. If you haven't spent time optimizing your current pages, make that a priority before creating more content. But really, why not have both?
8. Don't Forgo Video Marketing
“Video marketing is a powerful means for promoting anything you want online, whether it’s a product, service, opt-in form, website, blog, etc. …Videos are now an expected component of any website.” – AnimosityPierre, Video Marketing Tips to Drive More Traffic
It's no secret. We love video, and there are a LOT of missed opportunities to use video on websites. Especially because we know that videos can increase landing page conversion by more than 80% and email click through by 200-300%.
9. Be an Industry Leader
"Being an industry leader is no longer just about holding a great position at a well-respected business. These days, the term means that you are actively sharing your practical experience with others. Whether it’s on your website or via a social media platform like LinkedIn, sharing your practical advice and knowledge with others shows that you and your business know what you’re talking about. This thought leadership is a great way to build brand recognition and sales." — Gabriel Shaoolian, Blue Fountain Media
(We know it's the second quote from Gabriel, but he has a great blog full of 25 pieces of awesome website advice, check it out here.)
Sharing is caring. And sharing your advice and knowledge with your prospects and customers is a great way to show them that you are there to be a helpful advisor.
Hopefully these quick pieces of website advice will help you step back and focus on what really matters to drive results, connect with your audience, and build a strong online brand presence.
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