You probably understand the importance of your company’s website to your marketing and business success. But gone are the days where simply having a website was “good enough”. 15 years ago simply having a website was considered having a “web presence.” Today having a strong web presence is about more than a simple website – it’s about how that website interacts with both customers and the search engine technologies that decide when and where your business will show up when a potential customer does a search for a business like yours.
There are two kinds of audiences that will visit and explore your website. One is your human audience, the other are search engines’ spiders (or robots). While people visit your website to understand what your business provides, the spiders scan your website’s information as part of a process of indexing your website under certain categories within its mega-engine-listing.
Search engines’ spiders also use the footprints of human traffic to your site to further determine which category your website really belongs in. These and many other metrics combine to enable search engines to bring up your website (and your competitor’s websites) when a person performs a search for keywords related to your business.
In order to build an effective Online marketing website, there are four important factors to consider when developing, or re-designing your marketing website to yield maximum results:
The first factor is the look of your website. Since your primary audience is people, you need to make a great first impression. You want your website to be more attractive to customers, than your competitors’ websites. The old adage to not “judge a book by its cover” does not hold true for websites. If your business website doesn’t meet professional standards your potential customers expect, they will likely leave your site and find one of your competitors.
Professional means your website looks good, communicates its main messages clearly, is easy to use and navigate, and loads fast. Customers should know well what products and services your business provides within the first 60 seconds of landing on your main page. Your navigation menus and links should also be user-friendly. If visitors have any trouble navigating your site, they are unforgiving – and they’ll leave.
In many cases your website is your one-time opportunity to convince your potential customers that your business is THE right one they should chose, as well as to retain clients once you’ve got them, so it’s critical to your business’ success.
The second factor is building a clean coded website. Almost as important as your primary audience (people), your spider audience also goes through your website periodically to learn about your business. Thus, developing a clean coded (or SEO-friendly) website is very important. If your website is not coded clean, search engine spiders might flag your website as SPAM, which could scare people from visiting your site.
You should be very selective when choosing a web design firm to develop your website. As much as you want to keep your web design cost low, try not to make cost the only criteria when selecting a web designer. If you do, and you end up with a website that is not clean coded, you won’t get the results you want, and you’ll only pay later to re-do your website all over again.
The third factor is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Online marketing. Once you have a professional looking website that is also clean coded (like many of your competitors), you will want to rank your website on Google’s page-one for a number of keywords in your targeted geographic. When it comes to Online marketing, Google’s page-one is the premiere marketing real estate on the Internet.
Since the majority of people today search Google for almost anything they need on the Internet, if your website does not rank on Google page-one in your targeted demographics for a number of important keywords related to your business, (and many of your competitors do) many customers will never see you, they’ll go to your competition instead. Imagine how many sales you could lose to your competition if your website is not listed on Google page-one, and theirs is?
Today, many web design companies say they provide SEO services, but from my experience, only a small number are delivering the kind of ranking results customers want. Be very careful when choosing your SEO provider. And here is how to select qualified SEO providers.
The fourth factor is to “get mobilized.” The use of mobile devices such as iPhone, Android Phone, iPad, and Android Pad is dramatically on the increase. In order to market your business effectively to today’s well connected and highly mobile customers, you’ll need a mobile responsive website.
Overall, these four factors are the keys to Online marketing success for any business website. If you need professional assistance in developing a website for your business, please call us at (612) 590-8080 to get started.
ProWeb365: Minnesota Web Design