We’ve designed and built countless websites over the past 11+ years. Many of them are branded online experiences that serve to differentiate a product or service. They have beautiful design, reflect the brand and values of an organization, have strong user interfaces, and are a great responsive experience online.
But what happens once the site is launched? (Besides high fives, of course.)
For many of our clients, the next step is a plan to maintain their web presence. To double down on the investment and ensure success, we need to think beyond marketing and hammer out a sales strategy. The website should be a key tactic in customer acquisition and retention.
Is your site getting results?
Your business has invested in an online experience and you are the proud owner of your website. Does it meet your pre-established goals? Is it getting results and is it as successful as it can be?
Ideally, you decided how you would measure the success of your website before it launched. A successful website is more than a place for information and brand recognition. A truly successful websites brings in more leads, gathers more contacts, and increases sales for your organization.
In the case of e-commerce, these are directly measurable results. Reviewing analytics, measuring conversions, tracking sales, and optimizing the website to gain more results are hugely important activities.
The importance of content generation.
We see a ton of success with strong and consistent content development and marketing strategies (read our blog about Southern Idaho Tourism here). These activities can help build stronger relationships with customers, attract new clients, improve search rankings, demonstrate expertise through knowledge, and generate leads. Your content development strategy is an important part of the conversation when you’re building a web presence.
Here’s how we help clients get started.
Build an editorial calendar. This is the first step toward establishing your content needs over the next few months. Of course, it’s crucial to be flexible so you can jump on a hot topic when it comes up.
Blog, blog, blog. Blogging is an excellent strategy because it’s crucial to any SEO, SEM, or social and native advertising. You’ll generate more crawlable pages on your site, add to your authority, allow for more specific keywords, optimize the site, and build a valuable audience.
Cross-market on social media. Social media is an important way to gain new connections to your brand and bring them back to your website. The right content marketing strategy will ensure a steady stream of traffic.
Offer value. Guides, white papers, and e-books are great strategies for gathering leads and capturing potential customers’ contact information. By offering valuable content in a downloadable format, you’ll share your expertise, gain prospects, and glean their contact information so you can follow up in return.
Is your site optimized for search?
Your site structure is important — it’s how search engines find you. Architecting a search-friendly website is a crucial first step towards creating a website that works. Relevant keywords, findability, and your competitors are important considerations that will help your site rank higher.
We start by correctly identifying your target audience and building an SEO strategy based on their pain points. What do they want? What are their needs? What are they searching for? Knowing the answer to these questions helps us define a content strategy, develop targeted keywords, define and analyze your competitors, and optimize your site. Once your plan is in place, we’ll track keyword performance, rankings, page performance and optimization, site visitors and behavior, and conversions.
Using digital marketing to move the needle.
Let’s face it, traditional advertising is difficult to measure and justify in a budget these days. We are seeing a huge rise in digital marketing because it’s a smaller investment, faster to market, easy to change and optimize over time, and very measurable. Digital marketing is a great tactic to learn about your audiences and test new messaging or offers at a low cost.
Here are some of the tactics that have been valuable for our clients:
Search engine marketing. We use SEM to target specific search terms and advertise content or a website. We can get highly competitive by placing SEM on your competition’s search terms or company name.
Email marketing. We make the most of this highly effective tactic by segmenting audiences, gathering intelligence about contacts, and conducting reengagement campaigns to keep customers on your engaged lists. Automated emails based on completing a form and the content one is viewing on your website is a great way to send relevant content to your targets and get very specific.
Native advertising. This is a great way to advertise your content on news or publication websites. Using a grabby headline to drive traffic to an article or landing page of your website can gain impressions, clickthroughs, and the ability to measure the conversion all the way through a sale.
Retargeting and remarketing. These tactics help you stay in front of someone who has visited your site. You’ll make another impression and bring them back to the site with specific content they’re interested in.
Social advertising. Get your messaging or offer in front of a very specific target audience based on interests, demographics, specific interests, and geography.
Abandoned cart campaign. For an e-commerce site, an abandoned cart campaign is an excellent way to bring an interested potential customer back to the site and gain a sale.
Inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is how we stitch all of these activities together with a plan to gather leads and nurture them into customers. We use automated workflows, email marketing, and even bots to continue the interest and stay in front of loyal customers, potential customers, and new leads. Download our backgrounder for more on inbound marketing.
Measuring success and analytics.
Whichever tactics you use to amplify your website, it’s paramount that you measure your success, experiment with new messaging or offers, and continue to optimize for sales. Viewing your site as a sales opportunity rather than a marketing activity will increase the value of your online presence. Put your website to work for you!