Transform Your Website Into The Ultimate Marketing Tool
In the digital age, it’s almost inconceivable for any business not to have an online presence. Indeed, when such a vast online audience awaits, why would they not have a website for customers to find? However, while most businesses now see the need for one, the efforts of some, unfortunately, end with just creating one. That’s a tremendous oversight when website marketing is often deeply fundamental to other forms of marketing. Think of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC), for example; they both directly hinge on your website. Thus, you should likely not settle for a basic one that fails to attract, retain, and convert potential leads. Instead, you may transform your website into the ultimate marketing tool – and we’re here to help you do just that.
What is website marketing?
Initially, let’s define what the term really means. “Website marketing” is actually a relatively loose term in that it can have many colloquial meanings.
In essence, website marketing covers all marketing strategies that directly involve your website. These will typically include:
● SEO and link building
● Content marketing
● Social media marketing
In short, you may think of it this way; does it promote your website, or lead to your website? Then it’s website marketing, and by extension, it’s crucial to success. To drive this point home, consider some notable 2021 statistics Responsify reports:
● 53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority.
● Brands that have a blog can expect about 67% more leads every month compared to ones that don’t.
● For B2B content marketing, website articles rank 3rd (81%), just ahead of blogs (80%), and just behind eNewsletters (83%). Social media content still ranks 1st at 92%.
However, website marketing is by no means an easy endeavor. Transforming your website into the ultimate marketing tool is evidently possible, but it takes 2 crucial pieces of insight. Namely, which metrics gauge effectiveness, and which assets and practices best enable it.
Which metrics define the success of your website marketing?
To answer the first question, let us begin with metrics. Especially in such uncertain times as the Covid era, you will need clear indications of success – or failure.
#1 Website traffic
First and foremost, all forms of marketing hinge on visibility in one way or another. SEO depends on organic search engine visibility; PPC on inorganic, paid traffic; social media marketing on outreach and impressions. In this context, then, that’s our first crucial metric; website traffic.
Your website’s ability to attract a sufficient number of visitors to drive revenue is among the clearest metrics to observe. Without traffic, there are no leads; without leads, there are no conversions and sales. That’s why most marketing strategies will begin with visibility and traffic before delving into anything else.
#2 Visitor retention
Of course, visibility is only the first step. Once visitors arrive at your page, they need to stay – and that’s where visitor retention comes into play. Such practices as SEO will swiftly focus on keeping audiences engaged and interested, because that’s how traffic pays off.
From content quality, which SEO rightfully stresses is “king”, to a responsive web design, multiple elements dictate if visitors stay. It’s this challenging step one needs to overcome to finally secure conversions.
Finally, it is conversions that dictate how many visitors your Calls to Action (CTAs) convinced to take desirable actions. Those may be completed purchases, or newsletter signups, estimate or contact requests, and so forth. But in all cases, conversions drive sales.
Luckily, calculating your conversion rates is fairly simple; (leads/visitors)*100. Therefore, if your monthly visitors are 1,000 and your monthly conversions are 50, your conversion rate is 5%. Understandably, that’s an invaluable insight into your website marketing’s effectiveness.
Transforming your website into the ultimate marketing tool
Now, to answer the second question, let us explore which assets and practices can best refine your website marketing efforts.
#1 Conduct a website audit
As highlighted just above, there are multiple clear-cut metrics that can provide insights to inform your efforts. Thus, after employing Google Analytics, you may conduct a website audit to gather as much information as possible. Consider such insights as the following:
● How is your website’s technical health? Are its security certificates and sitemaps up to date?
● What is the Click-Through Rate (CTR) of your pages and ads?
● Where is your traffic coming from?
● How long do visitors stay on a page, and how many pages do they navigate to per session?
Of course, different types of audits will shed light on different aspects of your website’s and marketing efforts’ performance. Luckily, however, the digital age offers an abundance of professional options as regards this step.
#2 Optimize your website and pages
With insights in hand, you may proceed to optimize your main page and landing pages. Here, you may consider such practices as the following:
● Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO); practices that enhance your conversion rates
● Landing Page Optimization (LPO); practices that optimize your landing pages for engagement and conversions
● Content optimization; SEO and other guidelines that optimize content itself for more enticing copy
Should you not seek professional help for this step, you may begin gathering on-page insights with heat maps. Scroll, move, and touch and click heatmaps will reveal precisely how visitors engage with your pages. Are they not scrolling down enough to see your CTAs? Then maybe your content creation strategies need work. Are they not clicking on your CTAs? Then perhaps your layout obscures them, or they don’t seem clickable. Transforming your website into the ultimate marketing tool strongly depends on your ability to identify such shortcomings and remedying them.
#3 Enhance the User Experience
On the subject of analytics and visitor behavior, these optimizations all intend to enhance the User Experience (UX). In brief, this metric gauges the quality of the experience your visitors had, from first contact to final purchase.
To do so, you may begin from the very first contact; when your pages first load for visitors. To illustrate just how crucial loading speeds are, consider Google’s own research into how they correlate with bounce rates:
To tackle this concern, then, you may begin with loading speed optimizations. Consider the following options, among others:
● Image compression; a file size of <100Kb is typically ideal
● HTTP request reduction
● Use of CSS sprites where possible
● Reduction of 301 and 302 redirects
After ensuring your visitors don’t bounce, you may track their customer journey and apply precise modifications across it. This is usually achieved through customer journey mapping, a process that draws from your customer segmentation and analytics to craft buyer personas. This practice would require its own article to cover, however, so let us revert to some universal UX enhancement examples:
● A responsive web design; responsiveness guarantees your visitors don’t struggle to navigate your site.
● Mobile-friendliness; as more and more traffic comes from mobile devices, it is imperative that your website caters to them. Examples of mobile friendliness include a clean User Interface (UI) and page layout, visual consistency for dynamic on-page elements, and more.
● A short, clear purchase process; making your purchase process as short and straightforward as you can will enhance your visitors’ UX. Examples include not requiring logins to place orders, simple yet powerful product filters, and more.
Needless to say, it is an impeccable UX that will let you transform your website into the ultimate marketing tool.
#4 Let your website frame your branding efforts
Moving to brand perception and awareness, your website is likely your primary digital presence. Other marketing strategies lead to it, and it is how search engines will gauge your authoritativeness in your field. Thus, you will need to let your website spearhead your branding efforts.
This step, despite its complexity, is arguably twofold; how do you promote your brand, and how do you inspire professionalism? To address the former first, consider some common branding guidelines to begin:
● Does your website design fit your brand image and projected identity?
● Do logos, colors, slogans, and graphics offer a unique, memorable image?
● Is your image consistent between your website and other digital profiles, like social media pages?
On the latter front, you may begin with such questions as the following:
● Do you offer fresh, accurate, and relevant information for audiences of your industry?
● Do you build content around valuable long-tail keywords?
● Can you earn backlinks from other authoritative sources within your industry?
Most notably, all of these factors that boost your authoritativeness also affect SEO. In fact, Google values authoritativeness very highly, which is why Follow backlinks are so coveted. Thus, by ensuring you deliver valuable content, you may satisfy both human visitors and search engine algorithms.
#5 Promote your website
Finally, returning to visibility, you may only transform your website into the ultimate marketing tool if you promote it. The “if a tree falls in a forest” question is crucial to digital marketing; if people don’t see you, how can your efforts pay off?
Thus, while optimizing your website for engagement and conversions is, of course, invaluable, you need to make it visible. Luckily, website marketing encompasses many marketing practices and methods you may use to do so:
● SEO; a potent SEO strategy will make your website visible to search engines.
● PPC; paid ads, be they search ads or otherwise, can lead to your homepage.
● Social media posts; your social media campaigns can drive referral traffic to your website.
● Email signatures; adding a simple link in your professional emails’ signature can work wonders for visibility.
● Internal links; your landing pages can, and likely should, offer links to your main page.
These, and likely other, methods can help promote your website. With engagement and conversion optimizations in place, traffic of all kinds is the one metric you may always boost.
To summarize, there are multiple ways to elevate your website marketing to the next level. You may start with an audit to identify oversights and omissions and then proceed with optimizations. With analytics in hand, you may enhance the UX across the customer journey, from loading speeds to checkouts. Finally, your website can help frame your branding efforts, inspiring confidence and building brand trust. With promotion to drive traffic, content quality to ensure retention, and great CTAs to drive conversions, your website can indeed be your most valuable marketing asset.