I don’t know how many years you’ve been “surfing the web” (which was a hip thing to say back in the 1990s), but if you’re anything like me, you’ve witnessed some astounding innovation in website design and technology.
In the early days, companies set up websites as a virtual brochure – their location, their phone number and maybe an overview of their products and services. And after setting up their website, they pretty much left it alone. After all, websites were difficult to set up, and updates weren’t much easier, so the content was typically static for as long as a company could bear to forgo expensive changes.
As search engine and ecommerce technology evolved, companies recognized they could invest in improving their website’s findability with a likely return on their investment in increased sales. And, that’s when web innovation accelerated. It only takes a quick tour of the past 20 years of web design to see the dramatic changes that have occurred.
Today, a company’s website may be the most powerful tool they have to attract prospects and convert them into active customers. But, as stated in the Using An Integrated Content Marketing Strategy series, your website marketing efforts will be far more effective when coordinated with your other communication channels and not just isolated activities functioning in their own silo.
How Important Is Your Website?
The strategic value of your website is massive. Every element of your integrated content marketing strategy should be designed to drive traffic to your website. Email blasts, social media posts and print ads are all vital in raising awareness and interest, but without your website as a central destination, your marketing may not result in action.
Not only can your website be your sales closer, it can also be vital in understanding your markets better. For instance, simple web analytics can help you determine the effectiveness of an email blast by including a link to a specific landing page, then comparing the number of email recipients to the number of visitors to that page. Similar insights can be obtained by comparing your social media followers to the number of visitors to the separate landing page you provided a link for in your social media blasts.
And, of course, you can learn even more by comparing the number of landing page visitors to the number of those who took whatever action you provided on the landing page, such as submitting a request for more information, downloading a featured resource or making a purchase.
If you would like additional insight on this topic, the 5 Tips for Converting Website Visitors into Customers article provides additional ideas about getting the most out of your landing pages. And, the 7 Essential SEO Tips and Techniques article provides more specifics on how you can increase your website’s visibility by focusing on search engine optimization.