If you think your website is just a place to talk about your services and provide contact info, you’re severely missing out on its true potential.
Technology has pushed everything forward by leaps and bounds, and it has completely revolutionized the marketing industry. While traditional forms of advertising will always have a place in your marketing efforts, there are so many ways your website can push your marketing efforts forward.
On this post we will discuss 7 things your website could be doing for your company.
Your website can help you find new customers.
A simple “brochure website” (what we call a website that just lists your company details and services, like a brochure) can help customers find local businesses, but your website has the potential to do so much more.
One of the best ways to have sustained growth is through search engine optimization. While all the details and methods of are too broad to cover in this article, SEO is essentially a combinations of strategies that help to drive targeted and qualified traffic to your website.
Just because you have a website doesn’t mean people can easily find it. There are all kind of steps you can take to ensure search engines, like Google, understand your content and can recommend it through search engine results pages.
A professional website developer, or SEO specialist can help you structure your website with the proper markup and submit your website to search engines so that they can more easily suggest your content to the users who could benefit from it most.
While most SEO techniques won’t drive traffic to your website instantly, a well-developed strategy can give your website the opportunity to have long-term growth and help you build an audience.
Your website can generate leads as part of your sales funnel.
Once your website has been optimized and is driving qualified traffic to your site, it’s time to turn those views into leads for your business— it’s what we like to call “conversions”.
For the purpose of this explanation, I’m going to assume you have a for-profit company that offers products or services, but this can easily be adapted for any goal your business has in mind. Your own conversion can be any action you want the user to take.
Much different than SEO, converting visitors into customers is its own strategy that can differ greatly from business to business.
Visitors can end up on your website at many different phases of the buying process. All of these stages can be mapped out and put together as part of your sales funnel so that no matter what stage they enter your website in, you have an easy and enticing way to move them forward in the process.
The typical stages of the funnel are as follows:
Typically at this stage, your visitor knows they have some sort of problem, and they are looking for a solution. Or, they may be still trying to identify what their problem is. At this stage they aren’t ready to make a purchase, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be extremely valuable to you.
This is a great time to show empathy to their situation. You have to understand how they are feeling and what lead them to your website in the first place.
This stage is the perfect place for a blog or any kind of content discusses the problem, and shows them that they are not alone.
Now that your customer has identified the problem, they are looking for the best solution.
Your website now has the opportunity to showcase your product or service that could provide the solution they are looking for. Not only is it important to inform your customer about your service, but you can provide social proof through customer reviews and testimonials.
Your website is prime real estate for doing all of this. Because you control the entire experience (unlike on social media) you can present your solution in the best light possible.
At this point, your website has done its job of positioning your company as the best solution, now it’s time for the prospect to take action.
This is where the conversion happens.
Because the desired action for every business can be different there are many ways you can implement tools and functionalities that make conversions happen directly on your website.
Commonly conversions happen when people buy your product, inquire about hiring you, schedule a service or fill out a form.
Your website provides you the perfect platform to control and manage the entire lead generation process. Being aware of your customer’s journey and mapping out how you can be the best solution for their problem will help your website convert more visitors into customers.
Bonus: Learn more about Landing Pages and how they can help attract visitors into your funnel.
Collect data and analyze how people interact with your brand.
One aspect of digital marketing (like your website) that traditional forms (like print) can’t touch is the ability to collect data and monitor the interaction people have when viewing your company’s information.
Have you ever put an ad in the newspaper, or distributed flyers and wish you knew how many people saw it? Or read it? Or took action because of it? It’s a total mystery every time, and the only measurement you can hope for is people mentioning the ad to you, which is unlikely.
With a digital presence, all those things are easily measurable.
Tools like Google Analytics, that can be easily installed on your website, give you insight on your customers behavior that can be a gold mine for fine-tuning their experience.
Not only can you track how people use your website, tools like “Pixels” allow you to re-target ads to customers who have shown interest in your brand before.
Analytics tools give you the ability to collect a ton of data, including:
- Number of website visitors
- How people found your website
- How much time they spent on your website
- What content on your website interests people the most
- Where visitors are located
- Demographic information such as age and gender
- Visitor’s interests
All this information is a perfect way for your discover more than you could have ever imagined about how your marketing efforts or working, and how you could adjust them to achieve even better results. Understanding more about your customer is crucial to any marketing success.
No print marketing piece could ever do that for you.
Your website can provide support to your existing customers.
We all know that retaining customers is much more cost-effective than acquiring new ones, but it seems like we are always chasing that next big sale.
This often leads us to put existing customer’s needs on the back-burner, even if it’s not intentional.
Most websites are underutilized for providing ongoing support for existing customers, but the ones that do see a noticeable increase in customer satisfaction and retention.
Once you have converted a prospect into a customer, your job is not over. You need to nurture that relationship in order to keep it healthy. Otherwise, they might find a new solution— the grass is always greener on the other side.
There are several ways you can provide ongoing support to your existing customers.
One of the most effective ways is to create content specifically for them. Blog posts about new ways to utilize your product or service is a great way to start. Your website is a library of information dedicated to you.
You can write articles showcasing the success others are having with your service and how it could be easily implemented for your other existing customers.
Or, you could create a knowledge base that goes into greater detail about how to use your product or service and how to get the most out of it. Or a generous FAQ section that might help those who are struggling with a particular aspect of your service.
These types of content keep people coming back to your website and keep your brand top of mind. It also provides great opportunity to up-sell or cross-sell to existing clientele.
Selling your product online.
In its earliest form, online shopping was difficult to implement and mange for small businesses. But as technology has evolved it has never been easier to sell your products online.
Online shopping has skyrocketed across America. More and more people are picking up their phone to get their shopping done rather than hopping in the car. If your only option is to buy in person, you could easily get pushed aside by competitors who offer an e-commerce platform.
What better way to make conversions and solidify your sales funnel than to offer a way to complete the entire transaction right then an there?
Most of the online shopping platforms today offer a high degree of flexibility and automation than they once did. Online shopping has steadily increased year after year, and it won’t be long before customers expect you to offer your product online.
While there are some headaches that can be involved with managing a digital storefront, the good outweighs the bad. Most businesses find that it lowers their overhead, provides better margins and increases customer satisfaction overall.
The good news is, you can add an eCommerce solution to just about any modern website and be offering online payment and automated shipping within days.
Book and schedule services online.
If you are a service based business, don’t feel like you can’t have a perfectly convenient eCommerce solution too! In fact, this is one thing I implemented in the last year or so that has drastically improved my businesses operation.
Allowing customers to book appointments or schedule services online is a total win-win for both you and your customer.
First, it reduces the barrier of entry. Some people don’t call or come in to schedule a service or book an appointment because it’s not convenient.
Online booking and scheduling reduced that barrier of entry by making it easy to schedule online at any time from any place.
It’s also GREAT for your schedule. When people book online it frees up resources. If you are busy managing a calendar, taking appointments and dealing with rescheduling customers that takes you away from providing your service.
Online booking makes it simple to keep track of appointments and allows customers to schedule, cancel or reschedule without having to take you away from what you are doing.
Since implementing online booking for my consultations, discovery meetings, and support, I have increased my volume and streamlined processes that had been bogging me down.
There are both free and low-cost options you can add to your WordPress website to start implementing online booking immediately. The only drawback is for those folks who have to manage both online and offline bookings. In order to keep your online platform up-to-date you have to be diligent about entering any offline bookings into your system so that you don’t accidentally double book yourself.
All that is made easily with integrations into calendars you might already use, like Google, Apple or Outlook. Most of these platforms will allow you to book a variety of services with different time limits and costs as well as book for multiple employees.
Offer online courses and education opportunities for passive income.
Are you an expert in your field? Could people benefit from the knowledge you have stuck up in your head?
Get that out (and monetize it) by offering online courses!
Much like selling products or booking appointments online, offering online courses is a great way to introduce a new revenue stream into your business.
No matter what you are passionate about, there are people out there looking to gain the knowledge you already have. Sites like Udemy or SkillShare have thousands of users every day continuing their education online. Users find it convenient to learn new skills from the comfort of their own home, and often the courses aren’t things you would learn in formal education.
You can turn your knowledge of your industry or field into cold hard cash. One of the biggest benefits is that it can be an ongoing revenue stream that provides passive income!
There are many platforms that allow you to host courses on your own website. Once your course is created users can enroll in it for months or even years to come. Passive income is great for any business, especially if you are already maxed out on how much time you have to offer.
Online courses are extremely cost effective to implement and your course prices can have a wide range depending on your expertise, interest and scarcity of information.