Your website is perhaps the most important marketing tool in your arsenal. It’s crucial to make sure that it’s updated regularly, not only for the search engines, but to encourage repeat visitors. Think of your website as your “home base” for your marketing plan, as any advertising you do will undoubtedly link back to it. Here, we will discuss some things to ensure that your website is doing the most work that it can for you.
Make Sure Details Are Always Accurate and Up-to-Date
Many marketing experts will remind you that the number one thing to keep in mind about your website is that it’s more than just a glorified business card. For many years, that’s all a website was to many businesses. However, it’s still very important that you give clear access to your contact information and that it’s accurate. Many visitors come to websites just for contact information. Some things you should always make sure are up-to-date:
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Mailing/physical address
- Contact names
Beyond that, having specials with end dates that have already passed or announcing events that have already happened doesn’t look good. If your site has a blog – and it really should – make sure that the latest post wasn’t months ago. You always want your site looking recently updated because static sites are not as useful as they once were.
Website Visitor First Impressions Are Everything
Keep in mind that website visitors will form a subliminal opinion of your site within one second of viewing it for the first time. This is where design becomes just as important, if not even more important, than the content of your web pages. Having a crisp, clean website design that’s easy to navigate is crucial to making that first impression a good one. It also helps if your design features complementary color schemes that make it easy on the eyes and simple to read.
Making your site simple to read includes using bullet points and straight-to-the-point copy on the homepage and leaving more descriptive text for the inner pages. Like with all web writing, keeping your paragraphs short and using headers and the aforementioned bullet points makes for happy readers. Visitors that see blocks of copy as soon as they reach a page turns many of them off. Most visitors want to see what value to have to offer within seconds and don’t want to sit there and read marketing copy – no matter how good it is.
Being easy to navigate is also extremely important. Leaving “breadcrumbs” on each page provides the best user experience. This means using in-text links within copy to make it easy for interested users to learn more about a particular topic or aspect of your business. It’s also important to try and keep the number of top-level pages on your site to a minimum, focusing on only the most important aspects of your business. If you find there are topics you want to cover or common questions, these can always be discussed on the site blog, which you can then link to from the main website pages related to those topics.
The Key to a Successful Marketing Plan is a Healthy, Responsive Design Website
Now that we’ve considered the various things that go into keeping your website up-to-date and looking good, we must consider the most important aspect of any website: responsive design. If your website is hard to use or displays badly on mobile devices, you very well could lose a very large portion of your potential audience. Since so many people practically live on their mobile devices nowadays, make sure your site displays well on phones and tablets.
While it seems like people talk about mobile-friendly design until they’re blue in the faces, it’s because so many businesses (even major businesses) seem to ignore this, or have extremely stripped down versions of their main websites that don’t always offer what the visitors are looking for. By having one responsive design website, eschewing specialized mobile versions, you’re only ever updating your site once at a time, which saves time and money.
If you have a healthy, responsive design website that is kept up to date with a user-friendly good-looking design, you can rest assured that your marketing plan will have an excellent home base to depend on for 2015 and beyond.