Not too long ago, a website was all you needed to succeed in digital marketing. Before social media, Google had pretty much cornered the market for online search. A decent design and a little SEO could get you ranked pretty high.
Google is still important when it comes to marketing, but the idea of centering your marketing strategy around your website has shifted. Now you really should employ a more diverse set of tactics to ensure you get your message in front of your target audience.
However, a website is still an important part of your marketing strategy.
There is no “Field of Dreams” strategy when it comes to marketing your business. And for your website to be successful in attracting, educating, and converting leads, you need to properly maintain it.
This means doing a little spring cleaning. Let’s see how you can do that.
Review Business Info. and Branding
You will want to start spring cleaning your website with a basic review of your business information and branding. Make sure that your hours of operation, business address, and any pertinent contact information are correct.
Review the branding of the website. You want to make sure that the logo, colors, font, and any other branding elements on your website are consistent with what you’re putting out through other marketing channels.
Next, move to functionality. Make sure that all links work and that they are linking to the correct pages. Review any dynamic or interactive elements such as slideshows or online questionnaires to make sure they are working as they should. A website is a great way to provide an experience for your target audience, but that experience can quickly be ruined by a website that doesn’t work well.
Check to make sure that you are linking to all your social media profiles and that all the links are working properly. This is probably the number one missing element from most websites I review.
Last, take a look at how your website is loading. If certain pages are taking too long to load, it could be because images are too large or you’re trying to self-host a video on your website. Any videos should be hosted on third-party sites like YouTube or Vimeo. This will allow your website to load faster, which means a better overall experience for your visitors.
Make Sure Your Services/Products are Up To Date
This is an important step, especially if you have seasonal offerings. We all like to think that all of our products and services are equal. But the truth of the matter is that you should focus your marketing efforts on selling the offerings that are most likely to grow your business.
This is most likely the ones with the greatest profit margin, but it could also be new or seasonal offerings that provide you a strategic advantage. Whatever might be the case, you want those services and products to be front and center. They should be the first ones visitors to your home page see, and you should design paths that allow potential customers to purchase online or to contact you directly.
It is important to understand how visitors to your website behave. Which pages do they visit the most? Which pages do they stay on the longest? What paths do visitors follow when they get to your page? What pages have the highest bounce rate?
The answers to these questions will provide you with valuable insight into what is and is not working on your website. The pages that get visited the most and that visitors stay on the longest resonate with your audience more. The pages that get ignored or have the highest bounce rate cover information that is either presented poorly or not being received well by your potential customers.
Update Website Strategy
Analyzing the numbers from the previous step will help you make important decisions concerning your website. Should you focus on different products or services? Should you blog more or less? What topics or pain points should you address more often (or stop addressing)?
As you analyze the data from your website, try to understand what the numbers are telling you. When you do this for the first time, you will probably want to make big changes to the site and your strategy. But as you regularly “clean” your website, you will only do small tweaks until you feel you are ready for something new.
Consider Total Redesign
What is the big thing we’re talking about? It could be a total redesign of your website. There are several reasons why you might want to give your site the makeover treatment: it’s an outdated site; you need it to function differently; you are moving to a new server.
Spring cleaning your website is a good time to begin thinking about these decisions and either outlining a plan to move forward with a website redesign or set a date to have a serious discussion about the long-term utilization of your website.
The importance of a website in marketing has become less pronounced in the last ten years due to the emergence of social media and the continued resilence of email marketing. However, your website still remains a valuable tool that can be used to attract, educate, and convert potential customers. Like any tool though, it must be properly maintained. Regular “cleaning” of your website can help you stay on top of what needs to be done to keep your website functioning at a high level and delivering the ROI you need to grow your business.