“But I already have a website” Evolve your digital presence
EVERYONE KNOWS THAT HAVING A WEBSITE IS MANDATORY FOR EVERY BUSINESS AND INVESTING IN A WEBSITE HAS BECOME A NORMAL PART OF EVERY BUSINESS OWNERS START UP CHECKLIST. BUT IT’S SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH TO HAVE AN ‘ALRIGHT’ WEBSITE ANYMORE. IF YOU WANT TO STAND OUT FROM YOUR COMPETITION YOU NEED AN INSPIRING WEB PRESENCE THAT GROWS WITH YOU, AND THAT IS USEFUL AND MEANINGFUL TO YOUR CUSTOMER.
Just because your business is where it is today, doesn’t mean that is where it will be in a year from now. You will grow. You might hire more staff, develop new offerings, enter a new market or expand your target audience.
This growth, while exciting, can end up being quite expensive if you need to build an entirely new website every 6 or 12 months. So, how can you create a website that is meaningful to your customers and inline with your business objectives both now and into the future?
Treat your website as a continuing extension of your business
Your website should be informed by your broader business and marketing goals and just as you continually assess and update your objectives, you need to ensure that your website is flexible enough to both cater for and help to achieve those goals. Here’s how:
- Make sure you have a strong foundation with well developed branding and a clear visual style for your brand across all channels
- Build a relationship with a developer or agency who can make changes for you – its great to set up a retainer so you know you have some budgeted hours dedicated to updating your site frequently
- Invest in training and build your skills so that you can make fast changes to areas of your website yourself
The key ingredients for a website that can grow with your business
Marketing and Communication strategy
Firstly get to know your business inside and out! Who are your customers and what they are looking for! Your website plan should be informed by sound strategy.
Your website should be an extension of your brand and should reflect the personality and values of your brand at all touchpoints.
Make sure that your key messages are clearly articulated and that your website design and in particular your homepage is focused on the benefits your customer receives by choosing you over your competitor.
Build your marketing strategy around your website. Your social media, traditional advertising, email marketing and offline sales processes should all have clear pathways to your website.
Great content is the starting point for a great website and updating content regularly is essential for both SEO and customer satisfaction.Your content should be carefully crafted around your marketing strategy. Think about keywords that your customers would use when searching for your business.
Design and User Experience
When designing a website, we think about how the user is going to engage with it. Is there a particular action you want your user to do when they visit your site? The best design should make navigating your site effortless.
Every interaction is an opportunity to surprise, delight and engage your users! Ask yourself “what am I trying to motivate my customer to do on this page?” and make sure that the navigation and design of the site makes it easy for your user to take that action.
Technology and Code
Your customers usually want a functional experience over a fancy one. Make sure that your website is easy to use and navigate and is accessible on desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones.
Bear in mind, that most of your customers are probably searching for you from their smart phones now, so this might be where you want to ensure that your build works well in this format.
Where possible, your website should be built in a way that makes future additions easy and cost effective.
Traffic and Social
Use best-practice SEO techniques to generate ‘organic’ traffic to your website. You can leverage social media to build awareness and drive visitors to your site.
Think about splashing some cash and investing in paid digital advertising. Depending on your service offering, the results may pay off.
Analytics and Metrics
Know what you want your site to do and measure it over time. If it’s not working, modify your strategy!
Use data, for example, Google Analytics to inform your future business decisions.
Building your website is only the first step. In order to maintain a google ranking you will need to plan ahead for what you’ll do after the site has gone live.
Think about the promotions, posts or content that you can add on a periodic basis. Not only will this keep your business at the front of your customers mind, it will also ensure that Google continues to see you.
Using the data you get from your Analytics, you will be able to generate new ideas to implement
on your site. You can also use data around the number of visitors you have to your site and the conversion rates of visitors to leads and leads to customers.
Sometimes the ROI of your website isn’t just about direct monetary income but in the increasing value of your brand in the marketplace and in the hearts and minds of your customers.
THREE PATHS TO BUILDING A WEBSITE
Do-It-Yourself (the old DIY)
There are so many tools and services available online that will help you build your own website. If you’ve got time and you’re a bit tech savvy, going DIY may be a good option.
This is the most budget friendly option and you get to make all the decisions. However, finding a template to do exactly what you want is pretty much impossible. And, sometimes it is just much easier to engage an expert. After all, you wouldn’t encourage your customers to do it themselves!
There are services where you can get a designer or developer in another country to build your website for you. More often than not, the price tag for this is pretty appealing. We’ve heard of people who have had amazing experiences with outsourcing, we’ve also built countless sites for clients who paid for an out-sourced site, didn’t get what they wanted, and then paid again to have it done properly.
There are big and small agencies, and agencies that specialise in specific types of projects.
There will be multiple people working on your project, you get access to more brains and more experience in areas such as marketing, design, web development, social media, user experience design, public relations, business development and strategy.
You have more continuity for your project, even if designers or developers leave, the agency will still be able to support you and answer your questions long term.
Agencies have policies and procedures in place that give your project a better framework and aim to ensure that all parties get what they expect when it comes to project outcomes, billing, intellectual property rights, disputes and conflict resolution.
Using an agency to build your website is going to be the most costly path to take, but at the end of the day, you get what you pay for.
Want to make your website work harder for you?
Let us look at how using inbound marketing can accelerate your website’s results in creating leads and customers for your business.
1. Your website and all of its content should be dictated by your customer persona.
get to know who your customer is and what they need. every single piece of content on your website should aim to attract, convert, close and delight your persona.
2. Craft beautiful conversion funnels that nurture your customer through the journey.
using enticing CTAs (call to actions), well-designed landing pages and delightful workflows to stay in touch with your customer will create a natural, comfortable conversion that helps you to build trust with your audience.