We all know the famous quote, “If you build it, they will come.” Unfortunately, this just isn’t true when it comes to company websites. Websites are still an essential component of a company’s digital footprint, yet too often they fall short or are all together forgotten.
A corporate website is an important part of any effective integrated marketing strategy and should exist in concert with social media profiles. Not replace social media or vice versa. Thanks to advanced programming protocols, while corporate websites can have their own standalone identity and purpose, they can also easily connect to a company’s social graph, allowing the website to be interactive sharable. Here are a few things to consider when designing, re-thinking or even upgrading a company’s web calling card.
- Search: More than 11.9 billion Google searches are done each month. Needless to say, companies that are not worried about search are missing out! The key to a successful digital campaign often starts with Search Engine Optimization or SEO. SEO can help make it easier for audiences to find a company online when using search engines, like Google. The goal is to find relevant, high traffic keywords for your business and by incorporating those keywords into web content, the site becomes more easily searched. Like with anything, the more work that is put into building and maintaining SEO, the more likely it is that it would be successful. The website Moz provides valuable resources on this topic.
- Responsive Design/Mobile viewing: Web traffic is increasingly being impacted by smartphones and tablet access. It is no longer a matter of whether to design for mobile access; it is a matter of how. Websites that feature responsive layouts changes based on the screen width of the device, offering consumers a consistent and clean experience no matter what device they choose to use. Responsible design is critical to deliver easy access to content for a variety of website visitors. Fellow blogger Kristi gives a great example of how TOMs is using responsive design responsibly.
- Integrate visuals, especially video: An effective social media marketer must tell stories that are worth sharing. Images and videos must come together to engage consumers and make a brand part of a community rather than someone just trying to sell a product. Video can also be added to external platforms such as YouTube to help maximize shareability and brand exposure.
- E-Commerce: In the U.S. Forrester is projecting online retail sales will reach $370 billion by 2017, up from $231 billion in 2013. Forrester also notes that online retail will continue to outpace the growth of physical retail stores. Web sites must integrated e-commerce so that they can help companies reach dual objectives of both communicating value and selling products.
- Continually changing content: Today, websites must include dynamic and/or frequently changing content. Dynamic websites almost always perform better in search and they are more engaging for consumers. This can include new articles, videos and even updating photos on a regular basis. If the content never changes, a consumer has no reason to visit the site time and time again.
A website is an important part of any business and as marketers we need to treat it as such if we hope to be successful in any overarching marketing effort.