It’s still surprises us, here at Skittish, how many businesses are prepared to invest in a website without sitting down and setting some goals for what they want that website to do. More often than not, it’s not that they want a website but more that they know they need one to order to compete with their competition. What businesses need to consider is how their website fits in to their overall marketing strategy. The importance of having a plan
All good business coaches will encourage you to have a plan and it’s no different for marketing consultants. We want all our clients to have a plan too, otherwise we have no idea which direction we need to be taking the client in order to achieve their goals.
Set some goals
Your goals will vary depending on your organisation, your industry, and more importantly, your customers.
If you sell car accessories online, your goal might be to increase sales by 50% in the first year of selling online, with a year 3 goal of moving all your business from your eBay shop to your own ecommerce platform.
If you’re a small business wanting to compete and work with larger corporate businesses, one of your goals might be for your website to make your appear bigger than you are, reassuring clients that you can handle the more sizable contracts.
If you’re a charity, some of your goals might be to raise awareness of want you do in your local community, recruit volunteers and inspire local businesses to become corporate donors.
So the website’s live, what next?
So we’ve skipped ahead a bit here. You decided on the goals for your website and you’ve (hopefully) communicated these to your web development company who have taken them on board and created a masterpiece of a website. So what now?
Well people will simply find the site and, hey presto, we’re in business, right? Not quite.
We’ve heard the phrase “my website doesn’t work” too many times, when what actually is happening is that there’s no marketing plan in place to promote the website. Too many people have watched Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams and thought that “if I build it, they will come”. Sadly that’s simply not the case and if it were, I’d be out of a job!
Like a physical brick and mortar shop, it needs to be promoted. Unless you have a massive budget to get yourself into the high footfall area of town (i.e. page one of Google), you need to let people know you’re there.
Getting the word out
Social Media – make sure you have a link to your website from your Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn profile and Google+ page.
Blog – creating content for your site gives you more visibility in search results and gives you something else to shout about on social media (include a link back to your website to read the full article).
Printed materials – is your website on your business card? Do you tell people to check it out when you hand them your card? Make sure your website address is on all printed literature, adverts and promotional items.
Email marketing – do you regularly communication with your contacts, customers and potential customers via email? By building email campaigns into your marketing strategy you’ll not only keep your brand in the minds of your customers, but you’ll also have the opportunity to drive traffic to those great blog posts you’ve published on your website!
Rocket science, it ain’t
This is all common sense stuff, but can often be overlooked. It’s no longer adequate to simple have a website that just sits there. There needs to be a strategy in place to drive traffic to the site and make it profitable for your business.
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