Having an online presence is your gateway to the world, an opportunity to grow your business and reach new heights. How your site looks, feels and performs is critical in maximising this potential.
Your business will have goals and your site should created and managed with these goals in mind. A website is a component of a marketing campaign and, just like with any other marketing idea, your site should have clearly defined goals and objectives.
This might be to sell a specific product, or promote a service. Your website may be best off acting as an information resource that helps cement your company’s reputation within your industry. Having a focus in mind before the site is built will help you turn traffic into business.
Did you know – a cluttered websites with too much information frustrates and irritates users, ultimately meaning your business misses out on generating enquiries as users look elsewhere.
Your sites’ look and feel is a pivotal aspect of how it ultimately performs. Branding and identity have a huge impact on the impression your business gives to potential customers, and your website is a big part of that.
One of the most important design choices is colour. Your site may already be restricted to the colours of your brand, but it’s always important to consider how different colours have a different psychological impact on users.
For example, some websites find a significant increase in conversions on a call to action, by changing the colour of the button. One example, Ript, changed their call to action from green to yellow and saw a 6.3% increase in conversions.
Layout and composition of the elements on each page of your website need to be carefully considered. The page layout should aim to guide the user towards making a conversion or fulfilling an action. A website design can achieve this by de-cluttering, and considering the composition of images and calls to action.
An great example of this approach is exhibited by Apple. Over the years, Apple have mastered the ability to create minimal yet engaging web pages that are incredibly effective in providing the users with the information required, and funnelling them towards a defined action.
On their home page, Apple only displays and promotes heavily a single product. Navigation is simple and clear, and the page is free of distractions.
This helps Apple to influence how users navigate a website. Think of it like a road system. By choosing where the roads take the traffic, you can be in control of the destination. Achieving this can be done by giving careful consideration to a sites aesthetics and aiming for simplicity.
As much as budget constraints can make this tricky, your website should cater to as wide an audience as possible. This means ensuring two key aspects.
It is common for mobile and tablet visitors to make up 1 in 4 of the traffic a website receives. In some cases, mobile visitors can be more common than desktop browsers, so having a responsive website is a must.
Cross-browser compatibility is also important to consider in order to ensure you are not losing out on any potential business. You’ll need to weigh up the cost of catering for older browsers when building a website, and whether the traffic through older browsers is worth the extra development costs.
Accessibility is also an important factor, and we are not just talking about screen readers for those that cannot browse the internet through sight. Accessibility also encompasses other issues such as colour, contrast, font legibility and proportions. Your text and content should make sense whether read in your head or out loud, and the aesthetics of your site play an important role in helping those with other sight problems such as colour blindness still be able to navigate.
A good example is colourblindness. Some users may have difficulty identifying between certain colours, and this can lead to an inability to read headlines, your content or a buy-now button. This can affect how the user navigates the site and may result in a lost sale or sign up.
“15 – 20% of American internet users have a disability”
By catering to all users regardless of their age or disability, you are not just helping maximise the sites return on investment but it also means you are not discriminating disabled users.
Usability as a whole is also a factor that can play a role in helping as many people as possible use your website.
It doesn’t matter how impressive, well designed or user friendly your website is if you don’t have any visitors. This is when marketing plays the pivotal role in driving traffic to your site. Your marketing should align neatly with the site, communicating the same brand story and message to the users.
An effective campaign can be delivered through multiple channels – search engine optimisation (SEO), paid advertising, social media, video, rich media platforms and more in order to reach the widest possible audience. Campaigns should, ultimately, achieve your business’s objectives and goals.
“60% of all organic clicks go to the top 3 organic results”
Digital marketing is equally important for established household names, driving sales and improving brand image.
Here are some of the various components of successful online marketing:
Good, effective web design is what will help your business grow online. Design is not just about aesthetics, or looking pretty, but about every aspect of how your site behaves for the users, including functionality, layout and content.
“Good design is good business” – Thomas Watson Jr.
It’s also about the design of your wider online strategy, including marketing, and how the online side of your business will drive sales and bring your business into the digital world.
Almost 1 in 2 people on the planet are now online, an audience you cannot afford to miss.
In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.
By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.
In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.
At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.
There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).
They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.
The free version of this software lets you:
Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.
But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.
We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.
By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.
There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.
Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.
Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.
Hotjar tools include:
Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.
While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.
For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.
Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.
What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.
If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.
Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.
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