In our role as content marketing experts, we work with clients to build an online presence that is a true reflection of their business and ultimately helps grow and connect with audiences and generate new leads.
Often when clients come to us, their website is a few years old and in need of some attention after being left dormant. Competitors are stealing a march with a solid online presence and they are keen to understand how their website can work harder for their business. In the past they may have made significant investment in the initial build, in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns but often don’t see why their website has never really been a healthy source of new business for them or often just presume it never will be. There are also businesses who assume that because they get most of their new business through face-to-face meetings or ‘offline’ word of mouth, their website is irrelevant from a new business point of view. If only they were on top of their Google and social media analytics, they’d see that those they meet with are ‘stalking’ them online the minute they walk out of the room for validation that they are trustworthy and can back up the sales patter.
If you think your website is letting the side down in the business development stakes, here’s five important questions to ask:
‘Go responsive or go home’ is the message from Google so what does being mobile responsive actually mean? Put simply a responsive website will adapt to whatever device it is being viewed on, providing optimal viewing and navigation whether your customer is viewing on an iPad, smartphone or laptop screen. Since most web searches are done via a mobile device nowadays, Google will penalise any websites that are not designed to adapt, which will result in your site being demoted down the rankings. If you are thinking about adapting your website to a responsive design it’s worth thinking about a refresh and content update at the same time. After all, mobile friendly content is about more than how it looks on the screen, it’s about how the reader digests the information and what will drive them to it.
Google loves fresh content and rewards websites that are sharing high quality, useful and relevant insights by making them more visible. Having an up to date blog, news or just ‘latest’ section on your site is the perfect way to do this and is a great way to share useful and non salesy content that positions you as an expert in your field. There are also loads of others ways to keep the content on your site fresh by featuring customer reviews, testimonials, updating case studies, photography and integrating your social media news feeds to show Google that you mean business when it comes to your online presence.
It’s all very well having hundreds of likes on your business Facebook page or thousands of followers on Twitter but if you’re not regularly driving those likers and followers back to your website then you’re missing out on the opportunity to show all of those potential customers everything that your business has to offer on your own ‘owned media’ platform. Your website really needs to be the ‘hub’ of everything you do online with all marketing initiatives driving back to it whether that’s via your blog, social media channels, email marketing or printed materials. Are you following up new business meetings with a link to a useful blog or article on your site? Or do you try and deter prospective customers from looking at your out of date content?
How many of your customers only use you for one service that you offer or only ever buy one product from you? Do your customers often say to you “Oh I didn’t realise you also offered/sold that”? Your website should be your ‘all singing, all dancing’ online brochure, showcasing everything you do and featuring case studies and testimonials from your existing clients. This gives you the opportunity to cross sell more effectively to your current customers and let’s face it, it’s easier to get more business from your current customers who are already bought in, than to find completely new ones. Unlike an actual brochure though your website shouldn’t be static, which leads me onto my final question…
This question is often met with the answer, “well we built the site five years ago and it still looks really good.” Looking really good unfortunately doesn’t quite cut it if you want your website to convert. We are astonished at how many businesses pay for SEO services to drive traffic back to an out of date or poorly written website targeting keywords that their savvy target audiences would never search for anyway. Whilst ‘offsite’ SEO done well still has an important role to play in helping your website to rank well, the content on your website is so much more important and Google could not have made this any clearer. Take your business owner hat off for a moment and put your ‘dream customer’ shoes on. Look at your site like they would, are you offering them anything other than sales messages? Are you capturing their attention and giving them a reason to stick around? Are you treating them like a human who you have valuable insights to share with or a robot who will do as you say on your command? While your dream customers are searching their online communities for advice and information from trusted and reliable sources, they’re ignoring your jargon.
If you feel like your website should be working harder for your business please get in touch. We provide a cost effective all-inclusive package that covers everything from your brand identity, to website build, to ongoing content development and e marketing campaigns to keep your audiences engaged and make sure your online presence gives them a reason to convert into customers.
Think content marketing and/or employer branding could enhance your business? Interested in finding out more about what we have to offer? We’d love to engage with you.