Is you current website an asset or a liability? Is it so outdated that you avoid sending prospects and customers to your site? It may be time to invest in your online presence.
The one thing that this recession has taught B2B marketers is to do more with less. This trend towards lower-cost content marketing is likely to continue well into 2010. It goes well beyond just cutting costs, today, it is more about accountability, analytics and engaging customers and prospects by using free or inexpensive social media tactics.
So, what should you do to revamp or redesign your current website? I’m not talking about a cosmetic facelift but turning it into a marketing powerhouse as you position your company for the recovery. Here are six essential rules that you should follow:
1. Optimize, optimize, optimize: That’s the golden rule of online marketing as is location, location, location in real estate. Unless your prospects can find your site when searching in major search engines, you are dead in the water. It is possible to do search engine optimization (SEO) by yourself but allow yourself time and there is a learning curve. Consider hiring a coach or an SEO expert to work up a strategic plan that you can execute.
2. Create fresh content: Don’t copy-paste static brochureware text and put it on your website. Nothing will turn off your prospects more than outdated and stale content. Search engines love sites with constantly changing fresh content. The content doesn’t have to be dull text; it could be a blog with posts written by in-house experts, “how-to” videos or white papers that position your company as a “thought leader” within the industry. The bottom line is for your content to engage your prospects and customers at every stage of the buying cycle.
3. Embrace social media: Yes, the jury is out on making a business case for social media but ignore it at your own peril. Make judicious use of Facebook, LinkedIn and Tweeter to communicate directly with your core audience and gather free market intelligence. Make sure there are well-established guidelines for employees to participate in social networks.
4. It is not about you: Shift the focus from you to them. It is all about the customer and not you and your company. Avoid common phrases like, “World-class manufacturing using cutting-edge technology.” Who cares? Instead, explain how those things benefit your customers. Use case studies to demonstrate tangible results.
5. Develop your message: Put some thought into who, what and why about your business. Provide this information in plain English with compelling reasons for people to do business with you. Don’t lapse into obvious corporate marketing speak to sound important (see point #4). Your website isn’t doing its job if visitors pick up the phone and the first question they ask is “Ummm…what exactly do you do?” Developing your unique value proposition is also a good way to differentiate your company from the competition.
6. Clear calls to action: Don’t slap your toll free number on your website and expect your visitors to call you. Provide clear calls to action as to what you want your site visitors to do. Encourage them to drill deeper into your site, well beyond the Home page. Don’t assume they’ll navigate your site the way you do. Provide multiple ways to access relevant information with minimal clicks.
Follow these essential rules of a website redesign and you’ll truly create a powerful sales and marketing tool.
Are you ready to get serious about turning your current website into a money making asset?
As the founder of Tiecas, I have been helping manufacturers and engineering services companies boost their sales with better do-it-yourself (DiY) marketing for over 20 years. Many of my industrial clients have in-house resources to maintain and update their company websites. What they sorely need, is some strategic guidance that will produce measurable results, typically more leads and sales.
Sometimes you need help with a specific marketing challenge. As the decision maker or a business owner, you may not have the time to go hunting online for the right information or read a 50-page eBook. Would you like someone who is knowledgeable and experienced to show you exactly what to do and how to get results quickly?
My one-on-one DiY Marketing Coaching is tailored to your needs. This is where I personally coach you to solve whatever marketing challenges that are holding your company back.