Here at The Formula, we often refer to your website as being the central and most critical component of your digital marketing strategy.
All the internet marketing tools that you do engage, should ultimately refer prospects and customers to your website, where they can find a wealth of valuable information and a reason to take the next step in the purchase process.
Although it is our speciality to guide you in deciding what information to place on your website, as well as where and how to place that information, if you are looking to create a new website or improve what you have because it is perhaps not working for you, this article will provide you with a solid foundation of key pointers to help you achieve internet marketing success!.
1. Keep the layout fresh and clean
The average web surfer has the attention span of a flea and your website layout needs to look bold enough to grab attention quickly, while spelling out what you do and the unique way in which you do it – in mere seconds. For bigger brands such as Coca-Cola or MacDonald’s, this remains less critical, but for most businesses who battle daily in the unceasing fight to be remembered – a clean, easy to understand, quick to load website home page is absolutely essential.
By way of example, take a look at the Cape Leisure Tours website.
2. Ensure contact details are easily visible & consistent
There is nothing worse than having to hunt for contact details on a website, so be sure have your central phone number easily visible and accessible somewhere prominent on your website. In addition, be sure that all your online listings are up-to-date. These can include social media pages such as Facebook and LinkedIn, or online directories. Your phone number, email address, postal and physical address details must be also consistent wherever these are to be found on the internet.
On the recently upgraded LIPCO Legal Aid website, the companies contact details have been made easily visible.
3. Ensure your website is optimised for mobile
There are currently more active SIM cards in South Africa than there are people. Fact! [Tweet this]. More people are browsing the internet using their Smartphones and Tablet devices than ever before, so it has now become a non-negotiable requirement to ensure that your website has been optimised for viewing on mobile devices.
While mobile websites (Mobi Sites) in the past were overly simplistic, smartphone technologies and more advanced software options enable a far better mobile viewing experience. Take a look at our mobile version of the recently created Build It website.
4. Capitalise on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
The search engine optimisation of a website incorporates a few factors which must be considered when creating your new, or updating your current website.
Copywriting: The content that users read on each page of the website must contain the keywords that are relevant to the words and phrases that they would use to search for your products or services. This is because Googles new Hummingbird Algorithm searches web pages for natural search terms in a bid to deliver a better, more accurate result for web surfers. Websites devoid of these keywords and key-phrases are therefore, far less likely to be featured as a search result.
Development: Making sure that your website developer knows which keywords and key-phrases (Meta Data) to list is critical to ensure that the optimisation which happens behind the scenes of your website, ties up with your website content.
Create Links: Spread your website URL’s across your active social media pages, blog posts and online adverts to create a network of valid, qualified links. Search engines reward pro-active companies with relevant (non-spammy) links throughout the online locations where the company is active. This helps to push your website higher in search results.
We cover SEO in more detail in our earlier blog post ‘The Top 5 Essentials to Consider in SEO’
5. Be prepared to update content regularly
Gone are the days where stagnant websites were acceptable and productive, so in line with your SEO strategy, your website must be updated regularly with new and relevant content that is valuable to your customers and prospects. This is becoming almost non-negotiable in today’s competitive online marketplace. There are two ways of achieving regular updates fairly easily. Firstly, make a promise and set aside time to review the content of your website every 3 to 6 months. Have you additional products and services that you haven’t featured on the website? Do you have new suppliers that you should be listing? Secondly, maintain a company blog or news page where you post interesting and informative articles at least once per month. If you don’t have time to write these yourself, ask a professional such as The Formula to assist you. We’ve written a fairly in-depth article regarding the approach you should take to content marketing. Read it here.
6. Factor in some maintenance
Apart from the fact that websites which contain broken links or unavailable pages are guaranteed to deliver an unprofessional experience for customers and prospects, these are also penalised by search engines which will be less likely to list such websites in search results. Even though your website may have worked perfectly on the day of its launch, software upgrades and technological advancements mean that things can go awry and malfunction. As with anything, your website requires maintenance and so apart from checking the content of the website, as we indicated in point 5, arrange to have your website developer run a maintenance check on your website every 6 months to ensure that all pages and links are working as they should.
7. Monitor analytics and adjust
What may upon your website, appear to you to be a winning visual and literal formula, your customers and prospects may perceive things a little differently. In addition to requesting their feedback as to how specific pages such as the Home page and Services, Products or Online Shopping pages may appear to customers, be sure to review your website statistics monthly to understand over time what is working, and what isn’t. Look at which pages are viewed most regularly and optimise these further with additional content or links to external sources such as your blog or video channel, or note which pages visitors are accessing on the website first. Your website statistics should help to inform how you progress and hone your online marketing efforts. If that sounds a bit complicated or time consuming, consider collaborating with online marketing experts such as The Formula, and you will in time realise the full beneficial impact that pro-active online marketing will have on your bottom line.
At The Formula we are motivated by witnessing just how our clients flourish with the help of a solid internet marketing strategy. Give Garth Dahl or Shiraz Khatib a call on 021 556 5661 or email us: email@example.com – our consultations are free and we look forward to helping your business grow!