By today’s standards nearly all businesses absolutely need to have a website, and it seems that most do. In fact many businesses thrive as a direct effect of the website and online marketing, however even a larger of business owners don’t experience much benefit from their website. If it is not working as an effective advertisement to drive revenue for the business, it is an expense rather than an investment.
Some reasons a website may not be working as an effective marketing tool:
- The website is not getting the message out to the audiences who want and need your service or product.
- The appearance of the website causes visitors to quickly leave, or even worse to view your business as unprofessional or unappealing.
- The website is not getting across a message that will attract and inspire customers to do business.
There are three key areas must be considered when creating an effective website.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Marketing through web site optimization is one of the most frequently overlooked areas of web design. A web designer can build an incredibly attractive and well designed web site, but most are not Search Engine Optimization professionals. If your website is not properly optimized in order to achieve first page search engine rankings for the key phrases that your potential customers are searching in the search engines it’s like “putting up a billboard in the desert!” The goal of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to drive relevant traffic to your site from search engines. That means the customers who are “googling” for your services online will find your business.
Note: In addition to the internal optimization of the website, another consideration which is necessary to earn high search engine rankings is external search optimization including creation of relevant inbound links.
In many cases the first contact your potential customers will have with your business is through viewing its website. With this in mind, it is important to be sure that the website design is appealing, professional, and gets the right message across. A first impression is a lasting impression; in fact most potential customers make the decision to keep searching within a few seconds of entering your website. The decision to make contact usually takes a little bit longer and typically involves additional viewing of your website.
The fact is that most website designers are not marketing professionals. They can build the site, but what does it say about your business? Through a combination of design, professionalism, usefulness, and content, the website should attract the potential customer to continue to view your site and portray a positive image of the business. In addition it should provide positive information about your business to your target audience, while offering the customer reasons to choose to do business with you as well as making it easy to do business.
Websites are a key factor in the marketing mix of many businesses and when developed properly will provide significant return on investment. When deciding to build your own site, use a cookie cutter template design service, or choosing a professional website designer, it is important to understand what you want the site to accomplish. Is the desired effect of the website is to act as an online business card, only being viewed by those searching for you business by name, or do you want the website to attract business from clients, customers, or patients who are searching for your product or service?