Take a Hard Look
What is the first impression your website gives? If it went on a job interview, did it show up in pajamas or in a suit? Your website is your calling card to the internet world. A few key things to look for: clear and consistent branding, diversified content, and a killer homepage.
Clear and Consistent Branding
Professional websites with great presentation are vital to capturing and retaining your audience’s attention. It’s important that your website presents a clear picture of your company’s purpose and what is has to offer. Use visuals to engage your audience and distill messages so they can quickly determine who you are and what you’re all about.
Engage your audience with different types of content. To capture and retain their attention, give them more than written content. Include visuals and video that communicate your messages and engage your audience. If your site is devoid of visuals, you’re likely losing people due to word overload.
Your homepage is the front door to your website. Is it professional? Visually attractive? Most importantly, does it invite us in to learn more? Using a video introduction or slideshow on your homepage is a fantastic way to grab and retain audience attention.
Your homepage should also feature various calls to action that target people at different stages in the buying process, so they decide to stay awhile and learn more…which brings us to our next topic: how you attract more traffic and capture leads.
Know Your Audience
You can’t target your audience if you don’t know who they are, so first analyze them. Look at times of day and year your site is most visited. Identify when and through which channels you’re making sales. Look at the demographics of your audience (through social media or surveying them on your site). All of this helps you craft content targeted to your customers and go to where they are. If your customers are on Facebook, encourage them to like an awesome new infographic you made. Start a conversation on the most recent industry trend on Twitter and use hashtags to expand and track the conversation. Post shareworthy photos on Pinterest for your fans there. And link these all back to your website! Bottom line: go where your target audience is and invite them back to your website.
Sidebar: Today’s customers want to feel they are interacting with people, not faceless corporations. They want to feel connected to your company as an individual, so start a dialogue with your customers. Ask for input and comments and respond in turn. A diligent and active presence on social media sites is crucial to your bottom line.
Use calls-to-action on your homepage and in key areas of your website to keep prospects engaged and move them through the sales funnel. You can have a great website, but will lose leads if you don’t ask them to continue the conversation. Invite people to read your blog, download a free ebook, sign up for a webinar, or browse your product offerings…and ask for an email address in return. Include CTAs that target people at different points in the buying cycle – blogs for those just looking for information, product offers for those looking to buy, and various content offerings for those in between. Then use their contact information to nurture leads until they’re ready to buy. And don’t forget the power of keywords – use relevant ones that will bring leads to your landing pages.
Now you that you know the components of a strategic website, go make yours a lead and sales generating master.
About the Author: Katrice Svanda is the Director of Business Development and Founder of Digital Impact Agency, an interactive media and inbound marketing agency.
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