Small Business Essentials: Marketing Must Haves for Every Website
By Derek Brown
Having a great company website is no longer a luxury to have if your business can afford it. A great website is as essential as a solid business plan and the right people to help your business grow. If you don’t have a well designed, informative website for your company, then you’re doing yourself and your customers a serious disservice.
But having a great website isn’t just about having stylish pages with top of the line design. It’s about much, much more. Your website is your customer’s window into your world, and you need to make it as user friendly and informative as you can. This means that you need to constantly re-evaluate your website, but there are also a few things that you should have from the beginning to make sure people visit your site again and again. Marketing on your website is necessary, but it can be difficult. If you need any help, contact Internet Marketing Services and see what they can do for you.
Content, Content, Content
If nothing else, if you skimp on design, the one thing you can’t skimp on is quality content. Informative, original content is what drives people to your site and keeps them coming back. And the more people who visit and return, the more customers you’ll have, which in turn means more revenue and a chance to grow.
But what makes great content?
First, it should be informative. You don’t want to make your posts directly about your goods and services. Your customers probably already know what it is you do. Instead, write posts that deal with issues related to your business and industry. If you sell cars, write a post about interesting moments in automobile history. If you’re a construction contractor, write about ways homeowners can keep their homes safe from fire damage or the signs of water damage. You content should also be up to date. Try to write several posts a month so that your customers have a reason to visit your website over and over again.
Have A Call To Action (CTA)
After you’ve gotten into the habit of posting content on a regular basis, you need to start focusing on what is known as “calls to action.”
A call to action is a simple request that you make to your readers to perform some sort of action on your website. It can be as simple as “Click here to find out more,” which you can then link to other posts that are relevant. Other popular calls to actions are: “Sign up for our monthly newsletter” and “Like us on Facebook.” These all ask your readers to engage with your website.
One of the best calls to action is simply asking readers, “What do you think?” after a post and providing a comment section. This will provide your customers with a chance to respond to your posts and will give you greater insight into how they feel and what they may want.
Use An Easy Layout
One of the worst things you can do is to have a website that frustrates your visitors because it’s cluttered with page breaks and sections that make it difficult to navigate. You want your customers to find what they want as quickly as possible when they visit your site.
Have all of the options clearly marked in one main area that visitors can refer to so they can find the page or topic they’re looking for easily. At every opportunity, provide tags and page headings so your customers know where they are at all times. Also, never use odd colors for your background or texts. Stick with unobtrusive colors like white for background and black or dark gray for text. This will make everything easier to read and follow.
Use Elements To Grow Your Customer Base
Sure, you want people to visit your site for your products, services and great content, but there’s another reason to want people to visit your site: To grow your customer base.
Whenever someone visits your webpage, you want to have the opportunity to get as much information from them as possible, ethically of course. Strategies such as email marketing integration where visitors can give you their email address can help you grow your mailing list and reach many more people with every marketing campaign. This is also great for generating leads and gives you an opportunity to follow up on their visit with questionnaires so you can keep tabs on what your customers want.
Derek Brown is the Managing Director of Pronto Marketing, a provider of outsourced website design and Internet marketing services to small businesses around the world. Previously, Derek was the Director of Marketing Communications for the Mobile Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. and oversaw all marketing disciplines including advertising, branding, Internet marketing and public relations on global efforts.