As I struggled to find a topic for this article, I thought of my last one, where I compared social media to going to a cocktail party. We talk so much about the importance of social media for business. It can be an incredible source of information, a valuable lead generation tool, and also a complete waste of time, if not managed properly. It’s quite a polarization.
I found that for most businesses, social media falls into the second category: lead generation. Most businesses post content on social media to retain and recruit customers. Restaurants post images of dishes to entice new customers to come and eat. Hotels post images of their properties to entice guests to visit. Architects and interior designers post images of their completed projects to show off their design acumen. There are countless articles online on how to manage social media channels for your business, like my previous article. What I don’t see talked about as often is the website people go to after taking your social media bait. For me, this raises the question: what is the role of the website in today’s digital environment?
Most of what we do in digital marketing, whether it’s SEO, social media, pay-per-click, or email marketing, is driving quality leads to a website and encouraging them to fill out a form, make a phone call or make a purchase. It’s the end game for most businesses. I always tell our clients that they should think of their website as the mothership — it is the most important element of your digital marketing assets. You work so hard and spend so much money to drive quality leads to your website; you can’t fumble when you get to the goal line. You have worked too hard.
It reminds me of when restaurants tell a party of two that there are no tables available because they are keeping their four tables in case a larger party arrives. The customer is at your door, so give them a seat and pour them some wine. Don’t lose visitors when they arrive by giving them a negative first impression. They probably won’t come back. The same advice applies to your website: once your guests arrive, greet them and gently escort them to where you want them to go.
Long gone are the days when a website was like a digital yellow pages listing – a place to put your business information and contact details. The internet is so saturated with information now that it seems like search engines like Google can barely keep up, especially after injecting paid placements into your search results.
Consider these statistics:
• There are over 1.7 billion websites on the internet and according to one report, 52% of all web traffic comes from bots.
• A marketing analytics firm found that nearly 50% of all Google searches are “no-click searches,” meaning the user completes their search without clicking on any of the results pages.
What I mean is that generating quality leads on the Internet is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive. There is a lot of competition to get to the first page of Google, where 71% of all search traffic clicks occur. That’s why it’s essential to have a website that works like a well-oiled machine. Make sure it’s easy to navigate on mobile phones, desktops and tablets. Make sure it welcomes visitors and has an easily recognizable path to services, bios, testimonials, and most importantly, your call-to-action points – online forms, phone numbers, and email boxes. reservation.
Take website development seriously by conducting a functionality and design phase. To use another brick-and-mortar analogy, launching a website with poor design is like running a business on Main Street with no sign, no lights, and no doors. Make sure you have on-page SEO elements, that your site is mobile-optimized, that you have security (SSL) installed, and that you have clickable phone numbers. Also include qualifying data such as testimonials, case studies or a list of clients, and provide several different ways for visitors to contact you.
Don’t just hire the local hipster you met at the coffee shop to create your business website. You wouldn’t do this to fix your car, so why would you do this with something so important to your business? Make sure your website developer is knowledgeable in SEO, marketing, lead generation, and programming, because your competitors likely will.
Your website is the mothership; this is where all the important information is exchanged and where the most important digital actions take place. It’s not something to be taken lightly, and it’s not something to skimp on.