To read part 1 of this series, click here.
Now that we understand the importance of your website being the absolute best it can be, when it comes to marketing effectiveness, if your site has been under-performing you are on your way to changing that! Last week we covered the first three crucial points:
1. Good aesthetics (eye candy)
2. Proper use of space and layout
3. Quality content
1. A Blog
2. A Conversion Form
3. The Bribe! (A freebie download for subscribing)
4. Social media functionality
You are reading this article in my blog, on my website. Now think this through. I gave you quality content that provides educational information and a solution for you; hence you found it valuable enough to want to read. So you clicked on the link in Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Delicious, LinkedIn, Google+ or wherever else I posted it and SHAZAAM! you are on MY WEBSITE! I just drove traffic to my site via my blog.
Now I hope that my site is well done that you may choose to look past this article and go deeper into my site. Moreover, I hope you found the article informative and useful enough that you would choose to subscribe to my blog. In doing so, I provide you with great information, you get to know what I am best at and about my expertise, so that if:
a) You need my services in the future, you will consider me, or…
b) If you know anyone who may have a need, you may say, “You know, I read this great article about that. I think it may help you. Let me send it to you.” In doing so, you just referred me!
Do you see how it all ties together? Do you see how connecting the dots of your marketing program with a well-designed website changes the dynamics?
Once you got the visitor to your site/blog, you need a way of capturing that information. You need to be able to have that dialogue and send them more great information. If there is no form they can fill out to either:
a) Contact you and ask a question, or…
b) Subscribe to your blog
…you will lose the opportunity to keep your company and expertise on their mind for that eventual day.
There is no way to measure what persuaded a person to buy. If they desperately need what you offer now, they’ll buy now; but typically people are doing their homework. So you need to make sure they don’t forget how you helped them with great info when it’s time they need what you offer. This is how you ensure future sales!
If your content is very good and your articles are worth reading, people will subscribe to your blog by osmosis. However, since we tend to think that if we wrote it, it’s GREAT, we are the worst judges of whether it will work or not. So, you want to tip the scale in your favor.
Put together a free download or offering for the subscriber. It could be a white paper on your expertise, a training video or podcast, a software tool—whatever. Just have something that would make them think, “I want that information and all it costs me is a free subscription.” You do this and your subscriptions WILL increase (assuming you have a good marketing plan to drive the traffic to your website). One thing that is a must for your plan, social media marketing (not to be confused with social networking)!
Since social media is how you use your blog to drive traffic to your website, understand that if someone likes what they read and wants to share it with THEIR friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or LinkedIn (to name a few), you need to make it as easy as possible. Not to do so is to miss an opportunity for expanding your following and garnering more awareness and credibility.
So make sure you have buttons that allows them to follow you on your different accounts, but also for them to post, tweet, like and share your content through their social media network.
As I mentioned previously, this is not an exhaustive list. There are other considerations on the technical side that also help you to tip the scale in your favor for a successful online marketing program. However, without a well designed website for effective marketing, all the rest matters nothing.
If you want to convert your blog to a website (which I would recommend) you would have to export your followers and import them into your new blog. Since blog traffic is generated through social media, it should not affect you very much at all; if you have an effective social media program. If you’re not promoting it, then it those who already get it will continue to do so. However, if you want to grow, social media and article banks are crucial. Hope this helps!