It’s now easier than ever to build your online presence when starting a business. But as your business grows, your web site needs to grow with it. There are a number of challenges business owners face when they are experiencing growth. From product development, to staffing and marketing. As your business progresses you will be relying on your website to scale your digital marketing. Setting some of the foundations for your website early on will not only make your life easier, but potentially expedite growth too.
Critical to any digital marketing is creating quality, valuable content. Information that benefits consumers that they actually want to engage with. The days of broadcast advertising are slowly diminishing. So in order to keep up, you need the tools to make publishing content easy.
An intuitive content management system such as WordPress (that powers over a quarter of the internet) is essential to creating content by you or your staff. The last thing you want is complicated or clunky technology inhibiting your content production. Most people are off and running with a thirty minute training session on WordPress.
Getting your staff involved in content production is a great way to share creative responsibilities and diversify your topics and opinions. You are also empowering them as experts in their own right and positioning them strongly to potential contacts.
Every website and business is different, but as a general rule posting a piece of content at least once a week is a good starting point.
If a website is the heart of your business or at least it’s digital marketing efforts, why do so many business owners value web site hosting so little. The availability and speed of your website is so important in today’s ‘always on’ marketing world.
Do not scrimp on budget hosting where you are slammed onto a server with thousands of other poorly performing websites. If your website is loading slowly your visitors will hit the back button faster than a speeding ticket, but Google will also penalise your search engine rankings.
Another thing to consider is what happens when things go wrong with the website code? The hosting might still be technically ‘on’ but the website is malfunctioning. A lot of budget hosting providers are not going to help with that kind of problem. As far as they are concerned the lights are on. Ensure you have someone with knowledge on how your website runs on hand. A website management plan takes care of things like malfunctions, security updates and backups.
So what should you do? Calculate the loss of business by having your website down for an hour, or a day or a week and have a plan for who would help in that situation.
A ‘brochure style’ website has pages of information about your product or service and your company. It’s broadcasting your marketing message. A brochure style website is not going to help you grow by itself.
Your website needs to generate new business for you. Your content creation is going to help a lot in getting new eyes to your website. You’re then going to give them some kind of value through engaging, entertaining or informative content, but you then need to turn that traffic into leads. This is known as ‘inbound marketing’.
A lead is nothing if you don’t know who they are. At a minimum you should be encouraging visitors to sign up to a newsletter that offers them further value.
Going a step further though, you could create ‘lead magnets’. Pieces of content that a visitor feels compelled to hand over their contact details for. They could be e-books, checklists, guides, videos, courses and many other types of content. Creating these ‘magnets’ on your website is a way to keep a constant stream of new leads coming in through your website.
So the lead magnets are going to create some ‘luke warm’ (semi interested) leads that might not be ready to purchase from your company just yet. If a customer isn’t ready to purchase right now, you should not ignore them. A lead nurturing program helps the user by sending further information to them via an automated process, until they are ready to purchase. You might send a series of emails directing them to more information on your website. You might offer a downloadable guide on a topic they were interested in. You might even give them a direct call to offer assistance.
The old fashioned email campaign that blasts thousands of people with the same message hoping that a small percentage are ready to purchase is losing appeal. We are all so attuned to clearing out our email inbox as soon as something sniffs of marketing. A clever program will send the right piece of information, at the right time to leads that want to receive it and turn leads into fanatical customers, desperate to be on board with your company.
Does your website strategy include these?
For your business to grow your website must do some of the work for you. It has to perform by being always on and running fast. It has to bring visitors in via interesting and engaging content. It has to offer something to convert visitors into leads, and you need a process to nurture those leads until they are ready to become customers. Once you have a process set up to handle these things, your website can become a lead generating machine.
If you would like to discuss how to automate your lead generation get in touch with us.