A great, strategic website is almost like the difference between seeing a picture of the Grand Canyon—and actually being at the Grand Canyon.
On the one hand, the image is flat. Lifeless. Yes, you see something pretty, but that is all it is. Yet, being at the Grand Canyon is an entirely different experience. You are breathing the air, looking over the edge, looking at the amazement of how vast and abundant everything is. You are walking around and have an immersive sensory encounter.
Unfortunately, so many businesses are underestimating the potential of their websites in this very way! There are plenty of efficient sites that serve as a great introduction to a company, but is it useful? A website, done well, will serve as a valuable tool—not just an online brochure. It is not helpful to put up a lifeless “pretty” site and think it’s going to attract new or returning clients. For your website to work effectively, you must apply a strategy for your website to do its job! Otherwise, it’s not worth spending money on.
With a smart, strategic website, you can:
- Speak directly to the needs and pain points of your ideal customers
- Share how your process and method can provide solutions to solve their problems
- Truly connect with your prospects in an informative and resourceful way
- Show what it’s like to work with you by displaying recent client testimonials and successful results
- Clearly show what it is that sets you apart from your competition
- Provide useful information and resources that connect you to your ideal customer
- Provide effective calls to action that entice your customer to do something
- Convert visitors into customers, directing them to take the next step in buying your product or service
Here are a few things to consider when thinking about your website:
Is your website a pretty introduction or an immersive marketing tool?
Think of your website as more than just an online brochure. Use it as a tool in your marketing…one that can generate a response! When a person is looking for something you offer, the first they’ll do is visit your website to get more information. This is an amazing opportunity and should be treated as such! You want to ensure your site is professional, modern, and reflective of you as a company. It should be specific and helpful—a good representation of who you are, what you offer, to whom, how, and why! It should show that you SOLVE their problem and describe in detail your process to do so.
What do you need your website to do?
Do you want a website that simply serves as a place where somebody can contact you? Do you want to provide education or resources that people will come back to? Is your site a lead generation website that can take the burden off your networking efforts? Is your site an e-commerce website, highlighting your product or services that your customer can instantly buy? It is vital that you customize your website to be unique and speak to your organization’s goals and needs while also providing ongoing, engaging content to entice return visits.
Are you offering something of value?
Without value, you’re just showing a picture of someplace they’ll never go. Do you have an offer? Are you provideing a useful download? Do you have call-to-actions and next steps? Are you keeping your content up-to-date and relevant to encourage return visits to learn more? By providing something your customer needs, you will foster a connection that has a lot of potential. Your audience will return for the content that will help them and their business if you are consistent in adding new and relevant resources.
Why authenticity matter
With everyone making decisions online, how can a prospect determine who’s the real deal and who’s not? You have to turn the online personal. You want to show your ideal customers that you understand them, and you want to help them understand you. Your website can be the beginning of a beautiful, ongoing, lasting relationship—if you let it. If you put the effort and intention into it, it will repay you.
What’s in your toolbox?
When creating a website, it’s essential to know what other kinds of marketing you’re doing so that everything can support, and tie into, everything else. Does your social media direct traffic to your site? Are you sending out your email newsletter consistently? Do you have a resource section providing case studies, white papers, or handy downloads of tricks and tips? Are you timely with your blog content to draw your customers back to your site for more valuable information? Are you adding new products or highlighting products that may be on sale? How do all the things in your marketing plan work together?
Finally, is your current website giving you what you need?
These days, when people are making decisions online more than ever before, it’s so important to have a website that authentically represents your business and helps you. When creating strategic websites that work for your organization and connect with your human audience, I use design thinking. Maybe this process will work for you and your business as well?
Do you need help creating a website that works for your business? Or maybe just a comprehensive audit of how you might improve how your website works for you? Give me a call. Together, let’s figure out how best to utilize your website as an essential tool for your ongoing marketing initiatives! I am here to help.
About the Author: Jillfrances Gray
I am a creative director and designer with 20+ years of experience helping clients innovate and execute their marketing initiatives. Services include brand strategy, brand identity, website design, graphic design, social media marketing, and email marketing. I am obsessively detailed oriented and have a passion for solid, stunning aesthetics. Plus, I’ve been told I am a lot of fun to work with.