Understanding Online Marketing, Part 1: Your Website

Understanding Online Marketing Web Design

Do you find online marketing confusing, frustrating or overwhelming?

If so, you’re not alone. It’s easy to get caught in the marketing maze, not knowing which way to turn, or what to work on first.

In this series, we’ll take a holistic look at six major areas of online marketing:

  • Your Website
  • User Experience (UX)
  • Conversion
  • Blogging
  • Social Media
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Why a Holistic Approach?
Your online marketing efforts are each part of a larger unit, kind of like how hundreds of car parts come together to make one automobile. When constructed correctly, in the right order, your car will move, keep you safe and get you to your destination.

From the engine, to the wheels, to the AC — and of course the coffee cup holder — all of these parts work as one cohesive unit.

The same is true of online marketing. Projects and tasks need to be completed in a certain order, and in a certain way. Otherwise you wind up with a lot of parts that aren’t working well together (which often results in wasted time and money).

So where do we begin? What’s the starting point on the road to successful online marketing?

It All Begins with Your Website
Your website is the foundation of your online marketing efforts. It’s the place where people come to learn more about your company, buy a product or service, or find out how to get in touch with you.

Your website comes first because it is literally the hub in the wheel of your efforts.

For example:

  • Your social media needs to drive people to YOUR website, not somebody else’s.
  • Your blog needs a place to live where it can inform and build trust. When your blog is built into your website, it’s an easy trip for customers to learn more about what you do.
  • You can’t optimize a website that doesn’t exist! When we build websites, we brew SEO into every nook and cranny so it’s optimized when it goes live.
  • You need a website to build good UX and conversion stragtegies on.

Although these points all seem like no brainers, you’d be surprised how many clients come to us feeling like they have to get started with social media or blogging when it’s their website that needs attention first!

Web Design Best Practices

Here are some of the best practices you should follow when it comes to web design.

Benefit-driven Content
Make it customer facing. In other words, make it about your customers and potential customers — not about you. It’s tempting to talk about the “25 years of experience” your company has, or highlight your awards. Frankly speaking, nobody really cares. Customers want to know if you can address their pain points. So keep the content benefit driven!

Mobile Friendly
Your site absolutely needs to be mobile friendly. Even before Google rolled out their mobile-friendly initiative in April of 2015, it was still an important component to ensuring a good user experience.

Your website needs to be optimized with solid SEO to help attract visitors. Learn more about what goes into search engine optimization.

A blog that’s part of your website (a subpage, as opposed to a subdomain) helps build the site’s authority (credibility), and also helps you connect with customers and potential customers. In competitive industries, the blog can help tip the SEO value of a site.

User Experience
Just like in the real world, or what I call the “analog world,” the user experience on your website is super important.

Setting up a website to “convert” visitors is important. Tied closely to UX, conversion strategies help drive a visitor to take a next step. This is often accomplished with well constructed (and well placed) call to action (CTA).

We’ll be diving deeper into SEO, UX, conversion and blogging in later installments of this online marketing series.

Until then, take some time to review your website to see where it stands with the best practices mentioned above.

Want to learn more?
Sign up for our complimentary Holistic Approach to Online Marketing webinar.

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Posted in How To, Marketing, Web Design
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