Websites need a lot of things to be successful. Oftentimes a small business assumes that just because you have a website it will magically drive business. Other business owners have become jaded with their website and say things like “we’ve never had any success because of our website” or “websites don’t work for our business”.
The point of this post is to help set expectations for business owners who may be overly simplistic in their views of website success but also give business owners who are frustrated some hope. You can make a website a pillar of your sales and marketing effort but you desperately need these three macro elements involved with your website.
These things aren’t some marketing secret or even that surprising but so many businesses neglect to incorporate them into their websites. They are as follows:
This seems obvious, but it should not be overlooked. As Benjamin Franklin is quoted saying:
- “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
An important thing to remember is that strategies are timeless. Even if you’ve had a website for over a decade you should have a strategic outlook on what you are doing with your website. Strategies can and should evolve over time. What your business and customers require this month can quickly shift next month. 2020 and Coronavirus can certainly attest to this fact.
A great place to start is thinking about what you want to accomplish with your website.
Defining your goals is the first step but unmeasured goals won’t help us develop the strategy. We need to make sure we can use our data to measure our website and therefor measure the strategy.
Personally, I feel this is a step many businesses brush past. Sure they have goals but it is easier mentally to have your head in sand than deal with the realities of how your website strategy is performing. Imagine being a runner and having a goal of running and winning a 5K race but then you never time yourself or take your training seriously. Think you’ll do well come race day?
Defining our goals and then making them measurable is a lot like plotting two points on a map now we get to connect the dots. Determining how we’ll connect the dots is where our strategy comes into play.
Having our strategy figured out will help us figure out what our website needs to say. Developing our websites content is an extremely important step in the road to having good success with our website.
Have you ever heard of the K.I.S.S. principle? Keep it simple, seriously. One of my preferred methods is asking a friend or family member, even better a 10 year old kid, to read a website message. Do they get it?
It is important to note here, that I am not referring to all segments of the website. You’ll definitely want detailed information with nuance and depth but the initial experiences should be simple. Your home page, landing pages and navigation should all be simple and curated. Think of these pages as executive summaries or a pathway through your more detailed content. If you simply display your messaging your visitors can easily navigate to the detailed content they are interested in.
Who is the key figure in our website's content? What do your customers need from you the most? Are there things that you can improve upon to boost your website visitors' impression of your business? How about their pain points when navigating your website.
These are but some of the questions you should answer when creating a business website. It must be customer-focused and dedicated to solving your visitors' problems.
Aside from making sure that your business website meets the needs of customers and visitors, it should also be successful in driving them to do what they are attracted there to do. And that is to make a transaction.
This transaction can be in the form of buying a product or booking a service. It can also be as simple as signing up for a newsletter or other promotional materials. Or it can be leaving a message via the contact form or picking up their phones to contact your business directly.
The main point is to not be passive about it.
Take control of the visit. Tell your visitor what to do!
Focusing on the internal workings of a website is one of the main things you should do. However, external factors should not be neglected as well.
In the first place, your website cannot flourish and fulfil its functions if it is not noticed online. That is why driving traffic to it is one of the primary goals of any website owner.
There are many ways to drive traffic. The top options these days is through search engine optimization and social media marketing. Optimizing for search engines, also called SEO, is mainly done in two parts - on-page and off-page.
On-page is all about improving a site's content, navigation, code, design, and other internal factors in order for search engine programs to view it favorably. As fo off-page SEO, there are also a variety of ways to do this, which include link building, pay-per-click advertising, guest posting, and more.
As for social media marketing, this involves the use of popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The main goal here is to appeal to your target community and interact with them on a more personal and casual basis. This is what is the most preferred type of communication these days as the time for stuffy and formal business dealings have waned.
By taking these methods into account, you should be able to drive more traffic to your business website.
In other words, pick your battles. You don't have to optimize for everything and you don't have to be in all social media platforms. Select the channels that best suit the type of your business and build your audience/community there.
By not being all over the place, you will have more energy to focus on things that really matter. Additionally, doing so won't strain your resources (time, human resources, etc.) too much.
A business website should be super clear on who it is trying to appeal to. Only by having a solid grasp of your target market can your website grow with the best results.
We fully understand that creating and managing a business website involves many things. With your busy schedule, things might get overwhelming. And even if you have a team dedicated to managing your site, you still need to be aware of the overall situation.
To make things easier for you and your team, Webriq has created the Webriq Studio, also known as the W-Studio.
What exactly can you expect from Webriq Studio? Check these out:
Overall, the Webriq Studio will help you create awesome landing pages and microsites and manage your content in a stress-free manner.
Building and maintaining a small business website requires thorough planning, effort, and care. By following the tips given above, success for your website and your business is definitely within reach.