Today, websites have to do more than simply “exist.” With high levels of competition in the digital space, a website must be fully integrated to a company’s business objectives and goals. Investing in a website that integrates your sales and marketing messages into a compelling design can improve user experience and directly impact your business’ sales funnel.
Make a Lasting First Impression
You only have one chance to make a first impression, and in marketing, that first impression is your website. The Internet has become such an integral part of our lives that most people search online and make a judgment call about a business based on their company website before ever interacting with them or using their products. Having a website that looks like it’s from the “dot com era” tells site visitors that your business is outdated. Even if that isn’t the case, it’s difficult to overcome this perception if a customer has no other reference to your company or product.
Keep in mind that over 51 percent of users surf the web on their phone or tablet over a computer, making it vital that your site is also mobile friendly. Not convinced? A whopping 40 percent of people will choose another result if their first choice is not mobile friendly. Google’s search algorithms continue to heavily favor mobile-friendly sites, and a non-optimized site can leave you out of your prospects’ mobile search results.
Hone Your Message
As companies grow, expand and evolve, your message and value proposition needs to keep up. Your website is the best place to share the most important benefits of your company and product with customers and prospects. Your website copy needs reflect where your company and products are today, not what they were previously.
While crafting your message, be careful with the claims you put on your website. Overstating your business’ capabilities can lead to disappointed users who expect certain outcomes based on your site but have received a lesser version of the product they imagined. A proper marketing strategy should hone and focus on the best ways to highlight the strengths of your product without making outlandish or disputable claims.
One way to create an effective message is through Geoffrey Moore’s positioning framework. Moore’s framework helps to clearly define the target market and their main pain point, your product/business and its key value offering that solves your target market’s pain point, and how to best differentiate your product/business from the competition. With each of these points clearly defined, you can ensure your messaging draws in your target market and leaves them with everything they need to know about your product/business and why your solution is the best solution.
Integrate the Sales Pipeline
The best websites map out the user experience that eventually leads to a call to action (CTA) to either learn more, start a trial or buy the product. Proper placement of these CTAs will drive user engagement with your brand and have the potential to drive sales for your business. There are many tools available to track user behaviors on the site, (one such tool is CrazyEgg) so that your business can best optimize its CTAs and find the most user friendly design for them on your website.
Complete omission of CTAs and other sales-driven actions can result in lost revenue. Your website has the ability to drive sales leads from individuals who engage by requesting more info or a free trial of your product. From there, the sales team has a much greater ability to convert this lead, since search-driven leads have a 14.6 percent close rate compared to the 1.7 percent close rate for cold leads.
Among the long list of responsibilities for a business, its website must remain a top priority. While there’s no set rule regarding when a business should perform website updates, businesses should be updating their websites when they fail to incorporate modern user-interface elements and when they hinder a business’ sales funnel. But by making web maintenance more routine, a website becomes less burdensome to maintain, and with the proper messaging strategy and design execution, a business can create a modern, user-friendly site to reap the benefits a great website has to offer.
By: Jaimie Yakaboski
No worries are necessary though, as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), aware of the growing concern of citizens, issued a blog post yesterday on how to handle a zombie apocalypse – “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.”
While in reality, this is probably not a major concern for most people, and it’s definitely not the type of content expected from the CDC, it’s proved to be a win for the organization. Social media channels are flooded with talk of the post, and the CDC’s blog has crashed from the amount of traffic flooded its way.
Why was this post such a hit for the CDC?
- Capitalizing on a trend. Zombies are at the forefront of pop culture these days, with the Resident Evil franchise, Zombieland movie and the popular AMC show, The Walking Dead.
- Monitoring the media. The plot of The Walking Dead, a show based on surviving in a zombie apocalypse, regularly includes talk of the CDC, leaving the door open for the CDC to chime in on how they really would handle such a situation. And thankfully, they took the chance and addressed it in an entertaining way.
- Personality. The post is full of personality and gives a major government organization some character, showing that they know how to have a little fun – something we all can appreciate.
- Engaging content. A lot of blog content is nothing new – it’s out there somewhere else in the blogosphere. It’s hard to stand out; but, when you provide a new take on an interesting topic, people will want to read it – and share it.
On an average day, would most people stop by the CDC’s blog? Probably not. However, this post illustrates the importance of timely, engaging information that capitalizes on a trend in an organic way. Even better? We are now all prepared to handle a zombie attack should the need arise. I know I feel safer.