You don’t have to be a marketing genius to know that great websites really help strengthen your client loyalty and brand recognition. In our internet-driven market, almost every single new purchase (over 90% of them, to be exact) is researched online before any dollars change hands. This includes both online purchases and purchases made in person, in a brick-and-mortar shop. You know this is true because you yourself are a consumer, and you most likely research your purchases online before spending any of your hard earned cash. Having a professional, user-centric web design should be an incredibly important part of your marketing plan.
While developing your web design, there’s a good way to do it, and there is a bad way to do it. You want to err on the side of the good way to do it. Just as a great web design attracts new leads, builds consumer confidence, and gives your business the extra oomph it needs to stay relevant, a poor web design does the exact opposite. To help you make sure you are on the right track, we’ve put together a checklist of qualities in a successful website:
Three Things That Makes a Website Effective
- Make SEO your best friend.
Even if you build the greatest website the internet has ever laid eyes on, its value is approximately zippity zap if you can’t get traffic to it. Search engine optimization (or SEO for short) is the concierge service that suggests your website to internet users who happen to be researching your exact product or service.
When a future client is researching a purchase they intend to make, 92% of the time, they start by hitting up the Google machine for suggestions. When Google gives them a list of applicable sites, 70% of the time, they skim right past the links labeled “advertisement” and pay attention to the organic suggestions. Of the non-advertisement, organic links, the higher the link, the more likely the user will follow it. The first link gets 33% of the users, the second link gets 18%, and each following link gets less and less. By the time you get to the second page of search results, you’ve lost 80% of the online users. We’re throwing all these numbers at you to prove our point: If you want an effective website, it’s a great idea to use an SEO company to get your name on the Google’s radar.
- Use a professional graphic designer.
Consumers are bombarded with marketing all day, every day. They’re savvy at sniffing out the professional designs from the home-cooked, cheap ones. Even if you think you’re an artsy person who can make a website that looks cute, your target market will know that it isn’t professional and the message that you send them is that you cut corners on do things half-baked. By all means, be involved in the design process, provide input so that your vision isn’t lost. But let a pro make sure it is fine-tuned and ready to wow your visitors.
- Don’t forget about social media.
There is no better way to reach new people, and attract paying customers to your website than through social media. No matter what your product is, all humans have a few things in common: the need oxygen to live, and they use some form of social media. By using social media, online users who otherwise never would have heard of you will have a reason to cross your path.
As with all internet things, there’s a right and a wrong way to use social media in your online marketing plan. Do not spam your followers with ads constantly. This gives of a used car salesman vibe and does more damage than good. But DO post interesting content that your followers interact with. Not only does this strengthen your brand loyalty with your social media followers, it also gets you on Google’s radar and amps up your SEO (see point one).
If you want to survive in our market, you have to have a website. But not just any website will do. You need to have a professionally designed website, that is SEO-friendly, and seamlessly interacts with your social media presence.