Why Your Company’s Digital Marketing Should Start with a Killer Website
by Chad Lane, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer
Even though we’re in the business of digital marketing, I often have to explain to prospective clients why they aren’t ready for a digital marketing campaign. It comes down to their websites.
Sure, I could launch a digital campaign that would send loads of traffic to their website. But their website is simply not ready to convert that traffic to leads or sales. So all that digital marketing money in the form of pay-per-click ads, content marketing and search engine optimization would be wasted.
More than 80 percent of people planning to make a large purchase start by going online to learn about a company and their products. They want to get to know you before they buy. Therefore, before you start any digital marketing effort, make sure your website will fan the embers of interest which ignite a desire to act, purchase, subscribe or otherwise engage with your company. I’ll tell you how to do that.
Start with SEO
Every website project should start with thorough SEO research and planning. Just to touch on this topic briefly for those who might not know, SEO refers to search engine optimization. It means setting up your website so that the big search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others can easily locate your website and include it in the right search results.
Good SEO built into your site means it will have high visibility to those looking for products and services like yours. It also means you will get higher organic (unpaid) traffic to your site.
Starting with SEO planning means that a sequence like this should be followed:
- Do your SEO research so you know the search terms your prospective customers are likely to use when looking for your products or services
- Determine what further information people need to help them decide to buy your products or services.
- Plan the pages and content needed to align with points 1 and 2 above.
This is a bit different than how many folks approach it—they often start with design, and start with what they think they need, and only after it is built, start to tackle SEO work.
When you build your website adhering to best SEO practices, your digital marketing can flow logically from this research. You can contact us to find out if SEO was built into the DNA of your website, added as an afterthought or omitted completely.
Rock-Bottom Digital Marketing Basics
To convert visitors into leads, your website should fulfill all the following criteria:
- Does your website do a good job of communicating exactly how your company and its products and services are unique? If not, there’s no reason to buy from you.
- Is it easy to find the information your prospects might be looking for? They should be able to find information about your company, your products or services, prices and shipping. The process of locating this information should be smooth, simple and intuitive.
- Do your pages load quickly? This includes images. Online users will abandon a webpage that takes more than two-to-three seconds to load.
- Does your website load quickly and display correctly on all devices? Your site may be accessed via desktops, laptops, tablets or smartphones. It should look good and be easy to navigate on each.
- Is your site attractive? Text should be easy to read; colors, image choices, layout and typefaces should appeal to the eye.
Verify Your Website Yourself
You should run through the above checklist of basics yourself. Try looking at your website from the viewpoint of a first-time visitor and ensure that it looks good, loads fast and generates interest.
Submit an inquiry or go through the purchasing process yourself. If you have an online inquiry form, is it easy to find and submit? If you have a shopping cart, does it work smoothly and is it simple to use? If you want people to call, is your phone number prominently displayed?
It’s an excellent idea to have a friend or colleague who’s never been to your site walk through it as though they, too, were a new prospect. Have them run through the inquiry or purchasing process and read product or service descriptions.
If they hang up on some content or are unable to find the type of information they are looking for or if purchasing is confusing, you probably need revisions in those areas.
Get Digital Marketing Help from the Pros
I think you can guess by now that there’s a wide range of skills when it comes to creating a website for a business. A person who can post some pretty pages may not have the skills to meet all these requirements. You’d be very smart to ensure that you hire experts in SEO as well as building sites when you start your next project.
If you want to talk about making your site totally SEO-friendly, engaging and effective, we’d be glad to help. Fill out this form and we’ll be in touch shortly.