Bottom Line: The goal of your website should be to make it easy for your customers to find your website, absorb the information they are looking for, and most of all contact you about your products or services.
And there are thousand things you could do. So many, in fact, that a lot of people throw up their hands and let their website fade away. You may be asking yourself, “Where do you begin?”
Well, start with these 10 Keys to Reaching your Customers, and go from there.
- Site Design
Many factors impact how likely a potential customer is to visit your website, but once they arrive the visual impact of your site’s design is the Number One factor in whether or not they will stay on your site more than a few seconds.
You want to have a fast loading, attractive site that feels welcoming to your visitors.
- Site Content
Once a potential customer arrives on your site and finds it attractive, the content is what will determine whether or not they remain and absorb your message or quickly ‘surf’ elsewhere because they couldn’t find what they were looking for.
Get the information a page is about out in front and at the top of the page.
- User Experience
After design and content, the next important factor is to deliver a positive user experience by delivering a site that works the way a visitor expects it to.
Make sure it’s easy to move around the site and utilize its features, like menus and forms, and that text is easy to read.
- Marketing Message
Two key elements of website success are Bounce Rate (how many pages a visitor views before leaving the site) and Time on Site (the total amount of time spent on the site). The Web is the most fluid of marketing media, with what seems virtually the entire store of human knowledge a single mouse click away.
Maximize the narrow window of opportunity that your website has when a visitor arrives to effectively share your marketing message.
- Business Basics
The Internet has become the premiere medium for promoting, sustaining and growing your business. But to maximize its effectiveness, your Web presence should be integrated with traditional marketing methods.
Don’t forget to make sure your website address is on every bit of collateral or email you distribute, and make sure that the site itself incorporates your marketing message.
- On-site Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When it comes to marketing your website, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is by far the most common method utilized, and doing some SEO is no longer optional. Pay-per-click marketing (PPC) is a great add-on, but generally ends up being more expensive, and does not remove the need for website SEO.
Start with some simple on-page optimization, using a plugin like Yoast SEO, and go from there.
- Website Localization
If you have a local or regional business, there are two critical reasons for making sure that appropriate website localization is integrated into the website development process. 1. as a key component of On-site SEO, and 2. to ensure your site visitors can become customers as easily as possible.
Don’t overdo localization, but at a minimum, make sure your service area is made clear.
- Social Media Integration
Social media elements of the Internet are a wide-ranging and growing phenomenon. This Internet ecosystem is dominated by services like Facebook and Twitter, but there are many other Social Media services that can enhance web presence as well.
Set up a Facebook and Twitter account if you don’t already have them, and then make sure to post about your business as often as possible, providing a link to the page on your website that relates to the subject of the post.
- Mobile Web Friendliness
A significant and ever-increasing segment of Internet use is done via mobile, led by the Apple iPhone, iPad and Google Android-equipped Smartphones and Tablets. To effectively reach this critical segment of the market, a properly designed website must adjust to both the capabilities and limitations of these devices.
Make sure your site is mobile-friendly. If you don’t, you are throwing business away because the search engines will not show your results when mobile device users are looking for your product or service.
- Administrative Efficiency
A modern web presence is really the result of the integration of many different elements that deliver the rich content and multimedia experience that today’s Internet is capable of providing – and that a substantial percentage of site visitors expect. Due to this fact, it is nearly impossible to effectively manage a dynamic and competitive web site without utilizing some of the advanced Content Management and Site Automation tools that are now available.
If you’re not already using a Content Management System like WordPress, make it a priority to convert your site as soon as you can.