There are several touch-points between businesses and their customers. For example, offline would be a bricks and mortar store while online would be a combination of Social Media platforms and Email exchanges.
However, none of them leaves space for large amounts of engaging and informative content the way a website does. Websites help businesses turn ‘touch points’ into ‘turning points’.
Businesses need to be able to talk the talk and have a central platform for existing and potential customers to visit. In fact, there are several ways a website influences businesses success, including…
Improve Digital Marketing
Whether you’re informing your audience on potential services or actively selling products, a website is essential for brand awareness and generating sales. Your website will be an integral tool for each area of your digital marketing strategy.
Take Social Media marketing for example. It’s all well and good engagement with your audience across Social Media platforms, but when it comes to them needing more information or time to submit an enquiry, businesses will need a website to point customers to.
The same goes for Email campaigns, Content marketing, any form of online advertising and even offline marketing efforts.
As powerful and engaging as your marketing methods may be, consumers are used to visiting that trusty www. site for more.
The Customer Journey
With unlimited information at our fingertips, consumers will turn to the internet to research brands, products and other customer reviews. Statistics from the eCommerce Foundation suggest that 88% of consumers research products and services before committing to a purchase – whether that purchase will ultimately be online or offline in-store.
The information they’re looking for must be easy to find on your site, and businesses must be able to answer all of their questions, otherwise, you risk potential customers being drawn in by a competitor.
Speaking of competitors, it’s highly likely that they will have a website and could gain that competitive edge if you choose not to. In fact, in this digital age, it looks suspicious for a business not to have a website which could risk brand reputation and credibility.
Business success relies heavily on sales and a website is vital to that. The more consumers a business can reach, through a combination of marketing, organic search results and offline awareness, the more opportunities they will have to make a sale.
It may be that you already have a business website but you’re not utilising it to the extent you could be or it’s just not generating enquiries. Take a look at your analytics to see what pages your audience visit the most, where they drop off and other helpful insights.
It’s unlikely that a business will employ staff 24/7 to provide customers with information and enable them a space to enquire. By maintaining an informative website, customers can browse on their own time which is much more convenient for them.
Five Website Best Practices
Time to freshen up your site? Here are five best practices to make your website work harder for your business.
Your website may well be the first place any potential customers properly experience your brand, especially if you’ve got strong SEO (more on that later) and a comprehensive digital marketing strategy in place generating high levels of traffic.
Your website needs to reflect who you are as a business and showcase your products and services just as well as you would present them in an offline store or office space.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how slick and on-band your website is if your potential customers can’t find it. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) covers everything from keywords to page load times and is essential if you want the likes of Google to rank your site highly.
They say the best place to bury a body is on the second page of Google, which means it’s essential to business success to have sufficient SEO to gain that top listing.
The higher up the page you are, the more likely visitors will choose to visit your site over other search results.
Read our blog “What is SEO?“
3. Easy To Navigate
The easier it is for your customers to navigate your website, the more likely they are to do so – thus spending longer reading your content and understanding your products or services.
If you’re hoping to sell directly from your site then each point of the customer journey, from browsing products to submitting their card details, must be seamless or you’ll find frustrated almost-customers dropping off the pages.
The same can be said for those browsing services and looking to make an enquiry. Consider how much information you really need from a customer without giving them endless boxes to fill out and be sure to respond in good time.
Approximately just over half (54.8%) of all web traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices, which means if your website isn’t optimised for mobile then you risk missing out.
Potential customers won’t waste time on a site that has half the information missing or where they can’t quite click that button because everything is too zoomed out. Our attention spans are short enough, don’t give consumers a reason to bounce off.
5. Helpful Content
There’s no such thing as ‘live and leave’ when it comes to websites. SEO changes constantly thanks to Google algorithms and the like, but also your business will grow and develop too.
Interesting and engaging content shared frequently to your blog page will help with your content marketing, SEO and customer engagement. Furthermore, as your products or services develop it’s important to keep the information on your website as accurate as possible.
Finally, don’t forget that your website is a representation of the brand and everything it stands for. Websites should be unique and highlight why consumers should choose you over everyone else.
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