Most businesses have a website, and the main reason for this is that they want to market themselves, but what do you need to do to ensure that your website “works for you”?
Well, for starters, there are definitely more than 5 things that you need to do (I will be blogging again in a couple of weeks to add another 5). And you also need to establish “what good looks like” – ie. what does a “working” website mean in your eyes?
If you sell baked beans online, then you know that the sales of baked beans online is your objective and you can measure the results quite easily, but if you are a services company the return on investment may not be so obvious.
So, with all of the fervour over social media and online marketing, what can you do to improve how your website returns results that you can measure and give you confidence in your approach?
Here are my first 5 tips:
- Social media integration
- Allow me to share your site (actively encourage it) by having sharing buttons next to content that I will want to share with my connections.
- At least have LinkedIn and Twitter badges on your meet the team pages, which not only link to your company pages, but also to those of your individual staff’s business profiles online. I am very likely to click onto the badge and look at their other online profiles.
- Blog: make sure your brand is sticky – your blog should not just be about you, it should ooze “We know our sector, we know you, read this and you will learn something”
- Anchor links and calls to action: Are you driving me around your site with links within the copy that explain jargon, guide me deeper into the content, or more to are you leaving me to get on with it, assuming that I can find my way around? In the very least make sure that the bottom of each of your pages contains reference and links to other parts of the site. Don’t be afraid to tell me what you want me to do whilst I am on your site.
- Smart phones: how many people do you know has one? Make sure that your site can actually be viewed by them, and if you go so far as to have a mobile site, please give me an obvious route to a desktop version if I want the whole experience, and not the limited mobile one. Equally, make sure that all staff who have a company phone that can email have signatures on their smart phones that mention your site.
- Use your website as part of your business process. If you need to send me information via email, direct me to a similar page on your site, which exposes me to more eye-catching content about your services and approach. I am very likely to continue surfing your site after I have read what you sent me.
I hope that these are of use. Of course I know that there are more than the 5 above; more to follow in a couple of weeks (part 2: 5 More Tips).
Feel free to add more of your own ideas via the comments below. What works for you? (Or what failed?)