As business owners you may be aware that a good marketing strategy will drive your business forward but did you know the website is one of the most under used tool by the majority of companies.
Most consumers’ first exposure to your business is through your website these days. Word-of-mouth, social media or networking maybe how they first hear of your business but ultimately most consumers will explore a website before making contact or visiting in person.
So your website has been designed, built and it’s alive but now what?
Well, your website is now ready to be the most important part of your marketing.
A few people may question me saying this as we have seen a trend for small businesses disregard their website and turn to social media alone.
But there are three reasons this is a bad idea;
1) Social media is limited by how much information you can post and who sees your posts
2) you don’t own your following on social media if the likes of Facebook or twitter decide to change a rule or as we saw with Google Plus decide to close the social platform all that hard work building a customer base is gone.
3) when we asked people the question would you use a business without a website over 50% of people said no, that could be 50% of your potential customers.
But by using your website with other parts of your marketing you can build an audience that is yours.
Your website can and must enhance your social media and all aspects of your marketing, a typical advertisement such as a social media post can be fairly short but a lot of the time the product or service you are trying to promote needs further information.
Therefore most of your advertising will be trying to convince potential customers to visit the place where they can learn more… your website.
Making your website quite literally the centre of your marketing strategy.
Here are some examples of how you can use your website to enhance your marketing:
A really good way to add people on your website to an audience that you can reach out to regularly is to have an email newsletter sign-up box, this allows you to convert the people you bring to your website from other sources into your mailing list and that audience is yours.
But your website doesn’t just help your email Marketing by adding people to the list, use your website to avoid long emails that are overwhelming to the readers, give them a taster with a find out more link.
There is also a real benefit to bringing people back to your website in this way because not only can you deeply explain the information but you are giving them the opportunity to browse your website and see what else you offer.
With print advertisements like flyers or newspapers, you have more space but you don’t have the ability to invite the viewer to join your audience or show the wide range you offer in the same way your website can.
And it’s been proven print-based adverts with a website link perform better than ads without one. So it’s important to put your website address somewhere on all your printed advertisements.
With your social media, you can invite people to read more on your website. This is the biggest missed opportunity on social media that I see, people give a piece of information about a service or product but then don’t give what to do next. Give me a link to your contact page or the page where I can purchase your product. In our busy lives and short attention spans, we don’t want to be questioning what to do next but instead, we just want the next step or we give up and just move on.
And the benefits go in both directions your website can also be a really powerful tool to guide people to your social media pages by including links and buttons. So I might go to your website from a printed ad and Discover you have Facebook Twitter Instagram and so on. Something I may not have known before.
The links between your social media and your website just prove how important it is to have both to achieve the best potential.
Finally, I’m going to touch on search engines like Google.
Search engines give you the opportunity to be found by people who have never come into contact with your business before.
This gives your website the opportunity to act like a shop window showing who you are, what you offer and how you do it.
Your website homepage maybe the initial shop window but I want you to think of it more like a magazine cover give them little bits of appealing information that entices them to get to know your business better. This will encourage them to go deeper into your website to learn more about your business like you have social media and an email list.
So I hope these examples have shown you how it can be useful to put your website at the heart of everything you do.