In today’s business, the question should not be whether or not you have a website (that should be a given); but the real question is, "What is your web strategy now that you have a website?"
Without the proper web marketing strategy, the odds are that your website is taking up real estate on the most powerful and useful tool for growing your business that you have at your disposal (outside of personal interaction), but not doing much else.
Having a website is key if you are planning on maintaining and growing the presence that you have in your respective industry. It is no secret that people are continuing to move away from the "traditional" (circa 1980) ways of advertising and beginning to utilize the power of the internet to continue to bring in more customers that they can deliver their stellar products and/or services to.
But, being on the web does not guarantee results.
So what can you do to maximize your return on investment? Below is a short list of key things to think about.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
What is your current search engine optimization (SEO) strategy? As is the case with most businesses, the odds are that you are not the only one in your industry, so you need to make sure that you are being found on the major search engines more often than your competition. SEO should be included on your website from Day 1; otherwise, you will miss all of the first potential customers while you try to build your relevance and recognition.
How do you maintain contact with visitors and existing customers? Emails, blogs and any form of social media are a MUST when maintaining your web presence. If a person comes to your website, likes what they see and leaves the site, how do you know if they will ever come back? The key is:
Staying in front of them
Giving them a compelling reason to come back
Send emails, write interesting blog topics and build relationships using social media tools to continue to build the trust and commitment that you and your customers need.
Does your website convert prospects into customers? Without a "Call to Action" (i.e. Contact us, Call us now, Request a Free _____ Today), odds are that your potential customers know a lot about your company. However, they may not have acted on the urge to enter into a relationship with your company because they haven’t been "invited" to do so.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE NOW?
Well, now is the time. You need to consider your next steps. I haven't included descriptions in these but just the high-level of what you should do:
Set up Google Analytics to track your visitor performance.
Set up Google Webmasters' Tool to track your website effectiveness.
Make sure you blog often, even daily, if possible.
Ensure your content is reader-friendly.
Look at your calls-to-action. Are they pointing to the right landing pages?
Craft a stellar email campaign.
Be active in social media. Truly active. Don't shout at people, but invite them to the conversation.
I know there are many, many more things you should do, but hopefully, these will get you started. Think SEO, Traffic, and Conversions and always focus on improving your efforts.
Corey Smith is the founder of Tribute Media and serves as the Digital Marketing Strategist. He is also the author of "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter."