The new year isn’t just a great time to evaluate yourself–it’s a great time to evaluate your digital dollars and how you’re spending them.
One of the biggest blunders we see in digital media is people who invest a lot of budget and hours into a beautiful website, only to leave it gathering dust on the internet. Don’t get me wrong; having a website is definitely better than not. But if you’re not utilizing it, it’s as good as buying a treadmill but never stepping foot on it (yes, that’s a personal example).
Have clear goals.
It’s 2018. A website is not enough. It needs to be working for you the same as your other sales tools. But what do you want it to do? Make your goals as specific as possible and share them with the entire team. Goals for your website should line up with goals for your company. If your goal is to increase sales, consider adding an ecommerce component to your site. If your goal is about presenting your company’s image better, make it a point to add pictures and write fresh content that reflects your business’s voice.
If it’s possible, add a metric to your goal to know if it’s working. There are dozens of tools both online and provided by tech agencies at your disposal that will help you determine the success of your website–number of visitors; their path through the site; and where they leave. By adding a metric to say, “We want 50% of our online customers to complete their purchase within 5 days of adding an item to their cart,” you not only know what you’re looking for but you have measurable success at your fingertips and you can change your website patterns to meet that goal.
Know your audience.
Ever heard the marketing saying “If your audience is everyone, your audience is no one?” It’s true. Even if you have a relatively universal product that everyone uses (say, food, for example) there is still a specific group making the decisions about when, where, and if to purchase your product. Don’t be afraid to put some extra budget behind market research and determine the specifications of your audience. Once you know who you’re communicating with, your messaging will improve tenfold. Spending the time and resources to learn your most popular demographic has an ROI you can’t argue with.
Keep content fresh.
Google and other search engines work for the consumer. By prioritizing businesses that seem engaged and valuable, consumers find what they’re looking for online faster and with more accuracy. Be one of those businesses by demonstrating that you are the expert and you take the time to care for your business.
- Make sure your web information is up to date; that means hours, contact info, locations
- Verify that all links on your site are working
- Write blog posts; change up your page content and layout; add new images frequently; try to get personal photographs of your actual business instead of using stock images
Make it everyone’s responsibility.
Not everyone should have total control over your business’s website, but everyone should be invested. At the bare minimum, everyone on the team should be periodically checking on the site to make sure it’s working well and has the most up-to-date information. But don’t hesitate to get people more involved. Assign someone to write blog posts; see if anyone has a knack for analytics; give a team member ownership of taking pictures of company events and day-to-day operations to use on your site. However you get your team involved, make sure that everyone understands the success of your website affects them, too.
Invest the time.
Assuming that your website will work for you just by existing is a pretty common trap. After you spend so much time creating and crafting it to be exactly right, it makes sense that once it’s live you would want it to do the majority of the work from then on. However, just like everything else in life, you get out of a website what you put into it. You can spend the marketing dollars on a one-and-done website and that would be sufficient for probably a year, maybe 2 with the speed of technology. But if you continue to invest time into tending your website, keeping it fresh, and setting goals to make it work for you, then you will get more life and more return on it as a tool. No longer will it be an expense, but an investment. Isn’t that what you were hoping for anyway?
If you’re not sure where to begin setting goals, give us a call. It’s what we’re here for.
Happy new year!