This popular post from 2016 was updated to ensure it is still relevant and valuable to you.
As you think about web marketing, there are some key considerations for your online presence.
Here are the top 10 things that I think you should make sure that your website design and marketing strategy includes. If your web developer can't provide all of these things... make sure that you find one who can.
Core site content
Search engines love content. They need content to find your site. The more content you have, the more opportunity there is for your site to be indexed by Google, Yahoo and Bing. If you don't have compelling core site content, people won't find you.
Each page on your site should have unique descriptions. Most websites I see end up with the same descriptions on every page (if they have them at all). These should be accurate, but not too long, and should entice people to want to read more and click through to your website. Limit your descriptions to about 150 characters.
graphics and Images
The site content is key for search engines, but the graphics are key for the user experience. There is a fine line to walk here. Too many images make it harder for the search engines to fully understand what your site is about, too few may make it kind of boring. When you use images, make sure that you tag with alt tags properly to help the search engines.
Product and Services information
There is nothing worse than hooking your customer and then having them leave your site to learn more about your product elsewhere because they didn't find the information they were looking for. All of your product and service information should be on your site. It should be easy for your customers to find the information they are looking for. If they can't find it, then you need to rethink how you built your site and wrote your content to provide a better user experience.
You want to make sure that people find you. You need as many legitimate inbound links as you can get. Your partners should link to you... especially if you sell their products. If you write a blog, people may naturally link to you. However, you can also get inbound links from directories.
drive direct traffic
Don't expect that having a website means you'll automatically start generating leads. Sure, that can happen, but you need to focus on your direct marketing to get people to go to your website. As your customers learn of your website, they will start to frequent the website and will have an opportunity to understand all the offerings you have. Don't think of your site only as a way to attract new people, but also as a way to help your current customer base. If your employees don't talk about it and point people to it, you're missing out on a huge opportunity for sales.
Get the word out and point to it everywhere
Your website should serve many functions. Contact information, new information and cross selling opportunities are only a few of them. Make sure that you talk about your website in person and on social media. Ask people to complete a survey for a chance to win something. Better yet, provide valuable downloadable content! Have them come to the site to register for an event. Make sure that people know the website is important to you and it's a great connecting point.
Remember the audience
Remember that when you build a site, you are building it for your clients and leads- not for you. You are so entrenched in your business and your industry, you are likely disconnected from the way your customers think. In the end, it doesn't matter what you think... it matters what they think. So design, content, and promotions should be geared for them in every way.
Give it some time to grow organically in search
Obviously, the more you do to promote your site, the less time it will take for people to start to engage. If you take a very passive approach to your site, it may never really be a marketing tool for you. Your goal might be to market to new customers, existing customers or just provide a place for your sales reps to get content to provide to your customers. The most important thing is to give your site time. Give it plenty of time to start seeing organic results in search. If Google likes what you have to offer search users, they'll give you a lot of organic love. If you continue to see pathetic organic traffic, it's time to re-evaluate your approach to your website design and content. We can help with that if you need it.
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."
There's no doubt you have many choices when it comes to web design and web marketing services. Your middle schooler probably knows his way around CSS and HTML and every college kid is a blogger. The problem is, a site that looks hot but doesn't have well-thought out strategy, is like a certain reality show family we can't name for legal reasons: pretty, but worthless.
The difference between a web site and a web strategy is something that the experts at Tribute Media have mastered. Put us to work and we'll create a web strategy that will help you generate leads and grow your business.