5 Ways to Jump Start Your Website
When you launched your website, you likely thought the bulk of the work was done. You figured, “If you build it, they will come.” Unfortunately, that’s not the reality when it comes to website traffic and digital marketing as a whole.
The internet is flooded with information, products and services. It’s hard to float to the top when so many companies are now accessible in a quick Google search. Website maintenance can be an intimidating process and feel overwhelming, especially when you’re busy running a successful business and time is a precious commodity. The good news is you can maximize the business power of your website without losing sleep or your cool. Let’s explore 5 ways you may be underutilizing your site and some simple steps to jump start your website visibility and traffic.
[ 1 ] Make Google Analytics your new BFF.
Do you have Google Analytics on your website? This FREE resource is a powerful tool at your disposal. Through analytics you can see exactly how customers are interacting with your website. For example, you can tell what products are most popular, where traffic is coming from, what words people are using in search engines to get to your site, and how long customers stay. You can also track how they found your site whether it be from a generic search or through online advertising. Using analytics will help you stay informed and can greatly influence decision making at your business.
[ 2 ] Content is King!
New content is the driving force behind an increase in audience and site visibility. Creating authentic, relevant content on a regular basis can help increase site traffic, improve SEO, convert customers and position your business as an industry authority. The idea of blogging can make people feel apprehensive. People often cite lack of time, writer’s block, the lack of writing skills and of expertise as reasons not to blog. Don’t let your fears hold you back! If you run a business, you have expertise in your industry and have important, shareable, insight. If writing isn’t your thing post a podcast or vlog (video blog). You can also hire someone some to post for you. The key is to make a plan, try something new and begin.
[ 3 ] Freshen it up and stay consistent.
When’s the last time you logged into your content management system and updated your site? If the answer is weeks or months, this is an easy way to improve your web presence. Your site should not be static. If your site is not regularly updated, your customers have no reason to return. Over time dead links naturally occur and content (such as product listings, team bios etc.) becomes outdated. If you don’t make a habit of consistently checking on the functionality of your site the user experience could be terrible and you’d have no idea. If you run a business, it’s likely that you’re very busy and updating your website probably feels like a low priority. If that’s the case and you don’t have the capacity internally, then contract a company to maintain and update it for you. That way you know your site is continuously being cared for and improved upon.
[ 4 ] Intentionally drive traffic to your site.
Site existence does not imply site success. Just because you have a website doesn’t mean you’ll come up in a Google search (hopefully at the top) and traffic will start pouring in. This is where digital marketing comes into play. Ways to increase traffic can include reaching out to influential bloggers to write about your product or service, sharing relevant content to social media followers, and advertising (pay per click, banner and print ads). You want to drive traffic from a variety of sources to your site – from search engines, social media, links from other websites, and direct traffic. Once people do begin to visit your site the trick is getting them to stay and return again and again, think customer engagement and experience. Define what you want them to get from your online presence. What are you trying to communicate to your audience? Driving traffic to your site is important, but it’s also part of a larger marketing strategy.
[ 5 ] Make your website an integral part of the sales funnel
Often times, businesses look at their website like they would a print brochure and not as an active part of their sales process. While you may not be converting sales directly online, you want to make the most of the interactions customers have on your website. If you had an in-person interaction with a potential customer, would you just hand them a brochure and be on your way? No, you would answer their questions and help them find the information that best fits their needs. Your website should be an extension of your business and engage your customer base. Consider how your site can be used as part of your sales funnel. Does it create leads? What kinds of conversions could happen on the site – they don't have to be a sale. It could be as simple as an e-mail sign up form that feeds into your email marketing (to warm the lead). Do you have a CRM (customer relationship management tool)? If so, that should be integrated into the website to increase customer engagement and keep people interested in your business.
The most important thing to remember is that your online presence is an extension of your business. Your website should reflect the business values within your company. Is customer service at the top of your priority list? Then your site should have an easy way for people to provide feedback and interact with your service center. The bottom line is if you align your website to model the real life interactions people can have at your place of business they will be hooked, and following the steps listed above will provide you with a great start.