In today's fast-paced, technological world, an online presence is a must for every business, no matter the market or the size. Whether you run a local retail store or head up a mega corporation with offices throughout the country, you need to not only be visible online, you've got to make your brand the centre of attention.
Over the last few weeks, we've been talking about what it takes to be successful when marketing online. While search engine optimization, Pay-Per-Click advertising and Social Media Marketing are all buzz words you've probably heard in discussions about online marketing, it's putting the cart before the horse if you don't already own a stellar website.
Now, by 'stellar' I mean not only visually remarkable, but also geared to perform. You see, how a website looks, is laid out and functions all goes together to create a user experience, and a good user experience is essential for success online. As part of a web development team that not only designs and builds websites but also offers search engine optimization and other online marketing services, I feel I'm as qualified as anyone to provide my two cents on why it is that successful online marketing starts with an all-round awesome website, and what that awesome website should include.
This might seem like an obvious one, but the look of a site, including everything from the graphics and layout to the logo and copy, can make or break a business' online marketing campaign, before it even starts. It's well worth it to seek out a reputable website design company that knows what a memorable site looks like and how to bring it to life.
But looks can only take you so far. One of the biggest determinants of whether or not yours will be a brand they remember, or a site that gets ranked well in the search results, or people feel comfortable purchasing goods and services from is the user experience. When people visit your site, do they find the information they're looking for quickly and easily, or are they left feeling frustrated and exit the site about as quickly as they came? Do you provide real value in the way of information, whether it's in the copy on your web pages or the posts on your blog? What about mobile compatibility? If your site can't be easily viewed from all mobile devices, you won't just be frustrating the growing number of people who use their mobile devices to search, but Google will also penalize your site with poor search rankings.
If your website isn't going to offer the best possible user experience, why market your brand to drive more people who will only get frustrated and leave without becoming a new lead or customer?
How many times have you visited a website where you swear you could have changed the oil in your car in the time it took to load the services page? That is, of course, if you didn't hit the back button upon discovering the painfully slow loading speed in the first place. Web searchers, and especially those on the go, don't want to wait forever to find what it is that they're looking for. If your site loads slowly, people will never wait to learn why it is that you're so awesome, and Google will yet again punish you with poor search rankings.
The saying 'content is king' still reins true on the web, but to succeed online today, you not only need well-written copy that's going to entice people to become your customers, but also copy that's been optimized with keyword terms that will bring the right searchers to your site. And, it's not just the bodies of text on your web pages that need to be optimized. All of the copy, from the title tags to the meta descriptions, need to include the right mix and frequency of keyword terms for your site to be ranked favourably by Google.
If you're thinking about investing in some professional online marketing, first take a long hard look at your site. Maybe your website is looking a little tired or lacks in one of the other areas I've mentioned here. Whatever the case, take the time and spend the money to ensure your website is not only going to be remembered but is worthy of all that highly targeted organic traffic you're going to be driving to it with a well designed and executed internet marketing strategy.
Need an expert opinion? Our website design company has both web development superheroes and internet marketing geniuses, and this killer combo is ready and waiting to take your online presence to a whole new level! Contact us: (780) 539-7258.
Saltmedia Inc operates on the traditional territory of Treaty 8 in what is now known as Grande Prairie. We value the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who lived and cared for this land long before Canada was founded, and we recognize that it is a privilege to operate our business here.
Our Prince George site operates on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh.
We are grateful to the Elders and Knowledge Keepers who are with us today, and those who’ve gone before us.