Let’s face it: The marketing world moves quickly. So quickly that as you chase down the latest and greatest channels and tools available, it’s possible to lose sight of the very foundation that enabled you to get this far.
It’s important to position your brand where people spend their time, and having your marketing team experiment with creative new channels, such as new social media platforms, is vitally important. However, C-suite leaders must remain focused on the facts through all the fads and trends coming and going at top speed. And one fact is unwavering: A website is one of your most valuable customer-facing assets.
Pay to Play with Platforms
There are plenty of attention-grabbing platforms that are positioned to spread your message and engage with your audience, but keep in mind that such platforms usually benefit from this partnership more than you do. Not only are there strict guidelines on how your brand can appear, but most of the platforms also require you to pay them in order to drive traffic to your content or landing page. Typically, platforms also bury outbound links, so your consumers and followers must navigate to your website on their own.
To take back control of your messaging, devote your attention (and investments) to building a best-in-class website. Many business leaders commission a website, proclaim it finished, and allow it to remain static for months or even years. Consumer demands, on the other hand, are never dormant, so your website shouldn’t be either.
A truly compelling website requires excellent content marketing, beautiful design, and constant optimization to the user experience. If you invest in the right talent and infrastructure to build these pillars, your website will be much more adept to achieve your goals, whether that’s driving conversions, newsletter signups, or whitepaper downloads.
5 Components of an Engaging Website
When a company spends all of its resources to develop new channels at the expense of its website, viewers will notice. Any responsible consumer will do their due diligence before buying a product or signing up for a service, and that includes visiting your company’s website and using it as an evaluation tool.
Think of it this way: If a customer is in a mall, and they comes across a storefront that’s unkempt and outdated, they will probably pass on it. In this way, your website is your online storefront, so make sure it’s designed to establish trust and win over customers.
To bring your old or clunky website up to speed, start by prioritizing investment in the following areas:
The right hosting platform can speed up page load times, reduce or eliminate downtime, improve security, and more. According to Kissmetrics, speed alone is vital because a one-second delay in loading time can reduce conversions by 7%. Invest in the foundation of your website, and you’ll incur fewer costs down the road that stem from cart abandonment, loss of business, low conversion rates, and data hacks. Take note: When you spend more on your cell phone bill than your hosting, your priorities are way off.
2. Live Chat
If you’re after conversions, implement a live chat feature. These tools can instantly answer a visitor’s question, and move him or her further down the conversion funnel. Live chat features also capture new leads in your CRM and create nurturing campaigns that keep your business top of mind. An American Marketing Association study reports that live chat software typically comes with more than a 300% ROI, and prospects who take advantage of the feature are three times as likely to convert.
3. MarTech Stack
For an optimal website, consider how you use your MarTech stack. Picking up a paintbrush doesn’t make you an artist—it takes thousands of hours to master a new tool. Therefore, investing in a strong MarTech stack right away is crucial. However, according to Marketing Insider Group, if you try to adapt too many tools, your team will fail to master any of them. Pay special attention to compatible tools that keep all of your data in sync. They’ll make this information more accessible and allow you to leverage it more easily.
Another website necessity includes analytics. In today’s agile landscape, brands must ensure that websites are continuously optimized for design and functionality across a wide range of browsers and devices. Use reliable tools to test and to ensure you have techniques to accurately measure results. Then, act on them. All the data in the world won’t help you if you aren’t committed to using it to improve your website and customer journey.
Investing in SEO is a great way to generate awareness for your brand. Companies that show up on the first page of search results will see substantially more traffic to their website. In fact, showing up on the second page means you’re practically invisible. According to ProtoFuse, less than 10% of people go to the second page of Google search results. Keep in mind that seeing SEO results takes time, so play the long game on this one.
By all means, think outside the box, but don’t let the emergence of new marketing channels cause you to lose sight of what’s tried and true. Unlike channels that rapidly flare up and then fizzle out, the website is here to stay, and chances are good that you can make better use of yours.