Your website isn't your be all and end all of Marketing. As much as I stress the growing importance of the Internet in your Marketing Strategies, it is still only a part of it. This month I wanted to discuss where your website fits in and what are the advantages.
This is generally what people think a website is all about. They think that if they get a website, people will find it and then contact them to buy their Product or Service. This does happen, but probably not as much as you'd like to think. To achieve this, you really need to take Search Engine and Website Optimisation seriously (can be expensive) and consider Google Adwords etc to drive traffic to your website.
Websites are becoming more and more important for your Business's Credibility. The majority of people will research your business on the Internet to decide if they trust you enough to buy from. A recent builder client of ours lost a sale because the prospect couldn't find out anything about him on the internet.
Support other Marketing Strategies
Websites can improve on your other marketing strategies. A good example of this is Yellow Pages Online. You and your competitor ads all look similar, but if yours has a link to your website, then you have more chance of converting the sale. Our clients with Yellow Online ads, get a lot of visitors to their sites from these ads. Similarly, Google sponsored research showed a large number of prospects viewing a newspaper ad, will conduct further research online before purchasing from that business. See the full report here.
We all know that your easiest sale comes from existing customers, so make sure that you look after them. Your website can be used for such a thing, with Support Forums, Feedback Forms, Downloadable Forms & Info Sheets, Secure Zones and Customer Support Ticketing to name a few. Use you website as a way for your customers to communicate with you.
I've saved the best for last. I truly believe that email marketing is the one must have in any business. Research shows that if you don't contact your customers and prospects every 90 days, they will start forgetting about you. And if they forget about you, they may buy from someone else. Email Marketing allows you to easily (and virtually for free) send out regular Newsletters with useful info (and maybe some buy triggers) to your database. It is even more effective if you use it in conjunction with your website.
These are not all the ways you can use your website, but is hopefully enough to help you stop thinking about websites as purely a lead generating tool. With the growth of the internet, you need to start thinking of ways to use the internet to improve all that you do. If you haven't talked to someone who is up to date with the latest technology in the last 2 years, then you should.
Download the Website Strategies info sheet for a more info.