Asking if you have a website is no longer a necessary question for most companies today. The internet dominates our daily lives when buying on-line, informing ourselves on-line, working on-line or entertaining ourselves on-line.
Having a company website is one thing but having a true communication tool is another…
Why a corporate website?
A website, like any other company project, should respond to a need. What was your need to create a company website?
If you did it because your competitors have a website or if you thought your company needed a boost, you created a website for the wrong reasons.
Consequently, you will not obtain the desired results. So why should you create a company website?
- Because your clients and prospects use the internet. 78% of all Europeans use the internet daily. An internet search has become our first reflex when needing information.
- To increase your visibility. If local visibility is no longer sufficient, a web site will help to expand your territory. Your products and services can be recognized and available globally.
- To improve the quality and scope of your services. A web site can help to extend your existing services to a 24 hour support, on-line ordering, order tracking, etc.
An efficient website
Whatever your objective (selling, promoting your expertise, creating visibility for your products, etc.), your website will only be useful if it generates traffic and transforms visitors into clients.
Here are a few ways to achieve this:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Your website is just a tiny drop in the vast ocean of the internet which is adding thousands of new sites every day. It is essential that you use the latest techniques to bring your website to the attention of prospective clients. These include using Google AdWords, increasing external links to your website to improve your PageRank, having uniquely valuable content, making your site accessible to crawlers and bots, and using keyword targeting. There is an entire industry devoted to optimizing websites for search engines and you should use a professional who can advise you on the best solution to fit your website and your budget.
- White papers and case studies. These are used principally in a B2B context to help position your company as an expert and to help your potential customers to better understand your added value.
- Maintain a blog. This means producing articles and providing links to existing articles on a regular basis. Not only will this help to improve your SEO but it will also help to position you as an expert.
- Offer free stuff. This can be e-books, webinars, products or services to win, etc. This will not only help promote your expertise but will also collect email addresses that can be used later in your marketing efforts.
- Customer satisfaction testimonials. This will reassure your visitors and encourage them to contact you.
- On-line quotations. Provide the functionality for on-line quotations and you will open a dialogue with a potential customer.
- Press releases. This is a great way to inform your visitors of company successes and to turn them into customers.
The trend today is mobile with 44% of internet users connecting over their phones and tablets (annual study from We Are Social in January 2016)! This means it is essential that your website displays correctly on mobile devices and that the key functionalities are available (ordering, contact, etc.).
Your website is not just a window onto your company. You want to convert window shoppers into buying customers.
Your site should be the starting point for a web-based marketing strategy which would include being prioritized by search engines, marketing on social networks and carrying out email marketing campaigns.
Charles UPCHURCH, executive coach