To have a successful online marketing strategy in 2015, the first and most important place to begin is your company’s website because it is the embodiment of your digital presence. To help prepare your website for 2015, our team has put together five initiatives that will be instrumental to your online success.
1. Make the Switch to Responsive Design
If you haven’t made the switch to responsive design, now is the time. Mobile visitors to your website have the expectation that they can learn about the products or services your company offers in a user-friendly fashion. If upon entering your website, visitors are instead met with text that requires them to pinch and zoom, buttons that are too close together to tap with their finger, or limited functionality, your customers will become frustrated and likely move onto your competitors.
Additionally, Google and Bing now penalize websites that do not provide a positive mobile-experience for their users. In 2014, Google rolled out “Mobile-Friendly” labels and Bing, which also powers Yahoo search results, recently began providing unique search results based on the device being used. Our Tampa web design team predicts these ranking penalties to only grow in the coming year. So, if you rely on organic search in any capacity, failing to have a mobile-friendly website will affect your search visibility.
2. Increase Search Visibility
SEO is still the single most effective way to drive new traffic to your website, and to generate conversions. If you’re company does not currently have an SEO strategy in place and lacks search visibility, this may be one of the most important and rewarding strategic changes you can make to your website in 2015, combined with responsive design. Since mobile search is becoming so prominent and search engines are giving preference to mobile-friendly websites, having a responsive website is essential to a successful SEO strategy.
3. Update Your Website to Meet Customer Needs
The best way to meet your customers needs is by understanding them. You can do this by asking your customers for feedback and reviews, or distributing surveys. Then, based on the feedback you receive, create a customer persona. Think about the varying stages of your sales cycle from the initial research stages to converted customer. Take time to review your website through their eyes. What is important to them? What questions do they need answers to? If they’re an existing customer, can they easily access answers to common questions, as well as great customer support? If their researching your company for the first time, is credibility established, is your unique selling proposition highlighted, and are their pain points addressed?
Once you have a good grasp on the information that matters to your customers, tailor your message and package it in a professional design.
4. Tailor Your Message
The content on your website should explain to your customers who you are, what you do, and how you can meet their needs. Keep your content fresh and engaging by listening to your customers. What questions are asked at initial meetings or at the point of purchase? What are your customers saying on social media and online forums? The pain points and feedback derived from the people who use your services or products will give you direct insight into what matters most to them. Content is all about tailored experiences. The more you can focus your message, the better the chance your customers will listen.
5. Know Where Your Traffic is Coming From
If you don’t have Google Analytics installed on your website, you are missing out on insightful customer behavior data. Once you know where your traffic comes from and how visitors engage with your website, you can evaluate the success and failures of your current online marketing efforts, and also gain a better understanding of the intention behind website visits. For example, if you own an architectural firm and you see that half of your traffic is resulting from searches for residential architects and one-third of that is coming from mobile devices, you can increase engagement and conversions by having a mobile-friendly website with a strong emphasis on the specific needs of both home builders and prospective home buyers who are looking to hire an architectural firm that specializes in residential architecture.