With 2014 in the books, many business owners have their eyes set on the New Year. Many will resolve to make business changes that will lead to their “best year yet.” Sadly, a resolution is only as good the longevity of the commitment made toward its achievement. Regardless of how hard you may work toward that resolution, it may be a waste of effort unless that resolution involves one very important key to growing your business.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s begin with some simple statistics: 78% of potential customers will research your product or service online before making a decision whether to do business with you (85% if you’re in business-to-business sales). That’s a staggering amount of your business potential controlled completely by one gate. In today’s business environment, it is absolutely essential to have a strong web presence that maximizes its own potential through a strong web marketing strategy. This document will describe the three most important keys to maximizing your business success through a powerful web presence.
1 | A Functional and Beautiful Website is Key!
The keystone to your online marketing mix is your website. Some might question the effectiveness of a website when it’s quite simple to create a Facebook page, Twitter page, or Google business page. When used strategically, these are all important components of a strong web presence, but ultimately they benefit Facebook, Twitter, or Google. They all lack the freedom and flexibility necessary to create a true representation of your business’ brand that will build trust with your customers.
Paramount to a good website is its visual design. Studies indicate that 94% of website users either trust or mistrust a company based solely on the visual appearance of their website1 and a further 67% of users stated that they are unlikely to engage in a transaction with a company whose website has not been optimized for mobile devices2.
Web page load time and the number of clicks required by users to find the information they desire are key factors in website conversion rates, both of which will effectively drive away users if care has not been taken to mitigate potential issues.
So what do we gather from this? We live in a world where mobile web browsing is equally as important as desktop optimized browsing and where visual design, page speed, and information organization are pivotal to your business’ success.
2 | Drive Traffic
Let’s assume for a second that you have a fantastic website with powerful conversion strategy, beautiful design, mobile browsing optimization, page speed, and search engine indexing. How do you maximize your return on investment (ROI) for your website by utilizing it as a pivotal piece of your business’ overall marketing mix? Put simply: you maximize the number of qualified leads who land on your website.
Your existing marketing efforts are a great start! With your new website, you’ve gotten a lot closer to maximizing the ROI on your existing campaigns. It won’t take long before your marketing metrics reflect the impact of your new website, and you will feel confident that your advertising dollars are paying off. Hopefully this confidence will help you pursue advertising more boldly and lead you to explore new channels. There are many online advertising channels that offer powerful demographic targeting to ensure your message is put in front of the right people to further maximize your advertising dollars.
An important channel that is too often disregarded as “too much work” or “too difficult” is to use social media to drive traffic. Your customers want to trust you and your business. What better way to build trust than to engage those potential customers with valuable content, discounts, and conversation. There is certainly a commitment required to maximize your social media effectiveness. Knowing and utilizing social media marketing strategies, developing and syndicating useful content, and continually refining those strategies by utilizing metrics is a great start.
3 | Use Metrics
We’ve mentioned metrics a number of times now and that is an indication of their importance. As many business people know, data is a superpower when wielded correctly. Measuring our successes/failures with key performance indicators (KPIs) and utilizing our data to empower our future efforts is how we succeed. Effective online marketing can be achieved only through tracking and monitoring key data points and continually improving where possible. Gathering useful data, determining the most important key data points, and deciding how to act upon that data are the factors that will enable your business to achieve online marketing success.
That might sound like a lot of work that you simply don’t have time for. Thankfully, that’s where a good digital marketing agency comes in – an agency that has a strong grasp on marketing concepts, keeps current with the trends, and possesses the technical know-how, creativity, and skills to achieve marketing success for your business. They bring a relentless commitment to your success and achieve it with caring and friendly practices that make you feel as if they are a natural and integral part of your team. They work with you to create a roadmap that is budget-wise and evolves to ensure your marketing efforts pay for themselves. They enable you to access your customers.
1 Corritore, Cynthia L.; Marble, Robert P.; Wiedenbeck, Susan; Kracher, Beverly; and Chandran, Ashwin, “Measuring Online Trust of Websites: Credibility, Perceived Ease of Use, and Risk” (2005). AMCIS 2005 Proceedings. Paper 370.
2 “What You Need to Know About Mobile Internet Users and Their Shopping Behavior.” ConversionXL. N.p., 30 May 2012. Web. 05 Jan. 2015.