So your website's live, congrats! You might be thinking, what next? Well now you've got a website to show off, it's time to start finding your audience: website marketing.
When it comes to online marketing, what you’re thinking about is how you utilise features on your website to help your website achieve its goals.
If that’s going to be gaining a customer, sale, or follower, there are digital marketing strategies very specific to websites that will help you do it.
Dealing with website enquiries
Regardless as to whether your website is selling, advertising, or educating, you’re going to be communicating with customers online. It could be for the purchase of items, enquiries of service, or plain discussion.
What this means is that the customer is interacting with you, through your website, to gain further knowledge. And website communication works a little differently, because your customers must first reach out to you.
This means your website marketing strategy becomes your plan for communicating.
Your website needs to lay out the guidelines for online conversations - because your customer will want to know what they can expect from you and when they can achieve what they want, through your website and business.
1. Consider your enquiry system
Your website should always lead to a more personal conversation option where you do the selling.
If you’re a smaller business you might just look at listing your phone number or contact details online. But if you’ve decided to really utilise online communication options, you might look at incorporating form submission which can give you more valuable leads.
2. Specify your response rate
If a customer is considering buying a product or hiring a service, they’re probably looking at getting it done soon. Either that, or they’d like to know when it can be achieved.
Giving your customers a realistic timeframe for when they can expect to hear back from you is an important thing to consider putting on your website or any further communication platforms. This is especially important for those using online form submission and email enquiry.
3. Formulate a template for your responses
Some business opt to design automated reply to any inquiries submitted through their website or on email. This option gives your customer validation and assurance of your reputability, and it’s also a good place to specify your response rate.
It means they know what to expect, and when. You can expect to keep your customers more engaged when they have a realistic idea of when they will hear from you.
4. Know how to move enquiries forward
This starts to go into a little more detail, but it’s very important. When communicating with customers online, remember one simple step: make every interaction count.
This means always outlining their options when it comes to utilizing your product, service, or information, and giving them suggested actions and next steps.
You could do this through a structured email footer, or just by actively using wording that demands an action.
Dealing with enquiries correctly will drive traffic towards your success.
Having a good system in place for dealing with enquiries is important for your website marketing strategy – it is your marketing strategy!
Using online forms and enquiries means that your website is effectively bringing customers to your business, and handing over the responsibility of selling, advertising, and educating to you – the creator and director.
In other words, a sound response system will help you fulfil the purpose behind your website.
Making a sale on your website
Even if you’re not designing an e-commerce website, you can still essentially make a sale online. But think about it instead as gaining a new follower, customer, or enquiry for work.
Using effective techniques to help make the act of buying a product, enquiring, or subscribing simple and easy, is required. This is not only to increase sales, but also to stand out amongst your competitors.
Here, your digital marketing strategy becomes assisting the ease of making a sale.
There are several online marketing strategies you can use that will assist the sales success of your website, and they’re unique to the online realm.
1. This ones for advertisers and sellers: consider Adwords
Adwords is Google’s online advertising system. Basically, businesses use adwords to place ‘bets’ on certain keywords that result in their ad being shown on Google searches.
It’s a great option for advertisers, and can be used effectively to get more traffic into your website. If you’re not a bidder, you can still create a Google Adwords account to advertise your site.
But if you are biding, be wary of extremely common keywords. You’ll have competition to consider!
An Adwords campaign can be a great website marketing tool. If you're launching a new service, product or want to re-engage your customers, creating a specific landing page with a clear call to action (e.g, download an ebook, or call for a consultation) can be extremely valuable.
2. This ones for educators: calls to action (CTA)
They’re essential for every website to effectively direct customers to take action on your product or service.
But for websites educating on information, calls to action are extremely important too. They’re often the primary way you encourage customers to subscribe to your content.
Calls to action should be used at the bottom of blog posts, and on every page where you deliver information. Make sure they lead to a contact or enquiry form, or provide a simple way to subscribe.
3. This one’s for sellers: checkout friction
So what you’re wanting to do here, is reduce it. When creating an e-commerce website with a checkout, customers generally load up their cart to purchase items.
When you’re looking at assisting the ease of making a sale, actively taking steps to reduce friction at the checkout will make your customers enjoy the process much more thoroughly and not abandon their cart.
You can reduce friction by eliminating unnecessary forms and steps, giving a strong call to action that creates a clear pathway to purchase, and offering several payment options.
Making the sale process easier will help you move forward.
Selling a product or gaining a customer is how your business will achieve its goals – step by step.
It’s worth considering how you can optimize the process of doing this, and this is the unique marketing involved in running an effective website.
Using calls to action
We’ve already briefly mentioned how calls to action can be used, but they actually have a great importance to your website marketing.
Why? Because a call to action is what gets your customers moving forward.
It’s what they look for to use your service, buy your product, or subscribe to your content. So what it needs to do is convince them that they should.
There are some guidelines that you can use to effectively get your customers engaged:
1. Provoke emotion
A call to action can use emotive language that pulls on your customers heart strings. Or just the strings that control their desire towards your business.
Don’t be afraid to be creative! You can capture your customers by short and snappy excitement.
2. Give them a reason why
A call to action doesn’t have to just be a couple of words. You can extend it to a sentence, with room to give them a reason as to why they need what you have.
This is a beneficial way to convince your customers that you have exactly what it is they need.
3. Strong commands
As always, using powerful and strong language is the way to go when it comes to demanding something from a customer.
Using direct wording like ‘buy now’ is a way to give customers a straightforward instruction.
Calls to action on your website demand a response, and often they achieve it.
They’re a strong player to your online marketing strategy, and easy to incorporate to your website design. Directing your customers with a clear pathway into approaching your business just can’t be done without captivating calls to action.
Positioning them in the right places, enough times, means your website will be attracting customers, purchases, and followers, much more effectively.
How to use it to advertise your website
Even though you’re looking at creating a website now, you might already have a bit of an online presence. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram – all platforms you could be already using or looking at starting up.
They’re great assets in advertising and expanding your presence, and can also work to assist your SEO – if you’re present in more places, you’ll get found more easily.
Each platform comes with a specific nature. Learning how they can help advertise your new website is a great idea:
Facebook is used worldwide. It’s undoubtedly the largest platform for online communication. Allowing anyone to create a business page, it is a free form of advertisement where customers can easily follow your updates daily. And, your posts come up on automatically on their feed.
When it comes to launching a new website, facebook is a free and easy platform to post updates and advertisements surrounding its launch.
Use Facebook for larger events surrounding your business’s online marketing. Keep it formal and purposeful.
Instagram is used primarily to share photos and videos, and typically it’s a more casual platform to communicate on.
As far as advertising and promoting your website goes, Instagram is best utilised for the day-to-day updates. This is also where you can look at re-using your content! It’s also a great platform for talking about any campaigns you might have coming up.
Use Instagram to provide samples of blog posts and articles that may feature on your website. If you’re selling a product, post photos and videos of new releases. Just remember to always include links to the relevant part of your website!
LinkedIn is predominantly used for professional networking, job searching and B2B digital marketing. It’s a well known site that your business might already be using to advertise work or employees on.
When releasing a website – specifically for advertising work – connecting LinkedIn to your content can do a great job in optimizing your advertising.
If you’re planning to build your own website that includes biographies or detailed information about your work, you can use your staff profiles on LinkedIn to advertise and promote this content.
The internet has many useful platforms, all with unique strengths.
You’re introducing a brand new website to the internet. It’s a great start if you haven't got a presence on any other social media, but don’t forget how powerful it is to spread across a range of platforms to reach your audience.
Using a range of platforms online is a very specific strategy for website marketing. It’ll help your website get seen, used, and as always – achieve its goals.
Creating an online marketing plan
What is set up, and what is ongoing?
When looking at what strategies you’re going to use to market both on and off your website, it’ll help to have a plan put in place.
Know what you need to organize before you release your website, and what you’ll need to maintain once it’s launched.
Before you launch: you’ll need to think about what marketing techniques you use on your website, how, and where. You don’t want to be making any major changes right after you launch your website, so make sure you already know what strategies you’re going to make your priority.
After you launch: you should be looking at how you maintain the ongoing demands of using social media. Since you’ve now got a running website you’ll need to know how it can keep growing, and where your marketing is also growing. In other words, think about what your plan is once your website has gone live.
Marketing your website means using it as a business tool
A website is a tool for your business, regardless of its goals and what you want it to do.
It will always be targeted at helping you or your company achieve exactly what it needs to grow, develop, and succeed!
When looking at how to design a website you can’t miss the important strategy of digital marketing, and assisting the ease of achieving your step by step goals.
Now there’s a little more detail you’ll need to know about strategy – how to track the effectiveness of your website marketing.
Basically, your website performance and analytics.