Inbound Marketing Success - Start with Your Site
It seems obvious, but one of the most overlooked aspects of achieving inbound marketing success is to have your website set up in a way where it serves as the central hub - the foundation - for all your marketing activities. For many businesses, the creation and launching of their site was most likely an exhaustive, time-consuming and expensive endeavor. For others, they may have had minor involvement because they opted to have a contracted resource build it using a basic, one-size-fits-all template.
Regardless of how you had your site built - and even how recent the experience was - the necessary challenge to complete is to step back and take stock of how good a job it's doing to create incremental revenue opportunities for your business.
For most businesses, this is a more difficult exercise than it should be for a few reasons:
- It's tough to be completely objective about your site because you're too close to it to view it through your customers'/potential customers' eyes
- In the case of those businesses who recently completed a site build and launch - that's the last thing they want to do because they just went through an ordeal and want to get back to business
- Many businesses don't know how to do a thorough, objective assessment of their site
It's this last reason I want to focus on in the balance of this post - how to do a thorough enough assessment of your site so you can implement meaningful change to make it produce better results.
- Check the aesthetics of your site. Is it appealing to look at and does it accurately reflect your company's brand? Is your logo properly featured and are the colors supportive of your logo? If you were a potential customer, what would you think of your company after a quick scan of the home page?
- Review your site's navigational structure. Is your site easy to navigate? Is the right information displayed in a way that's intuitive enough for people who don't know you well to understand what you do and how you do it? Do you quickly answer the question every visitor has - how can this company help me with the specific need that brought me here?
- Check your content update frequency. Is the information offered on your site growing in depth relative to the questions you get from potential customers in your everyday interactions with them? Does your site provide answers to the top ten questions you hear from customers and prospective customers? Do you have a blog on your site and post regularly?
- Review your site analytics. Can you track visitor activity on every page of your site? Is Google tracking code installed on every page of your site? Are you getting regular updates on site activity? Are you regularly reviewing these updates? What are you learning about your site activity?
- Get feedback from real people. Ask new and existing customers what they think of your site. What information is missing? What features might be helpful? What can you do to make their decision to do business with you easier?
This is by no means a comprehensive list of assessment techniques but my intent is to get you thinking about simple ways to improve your site so that it does a better job of propelling your business. You may skip over some of these - if you are absolutely convinced you're doing everything you can do in that area - and you can take a deeper dive into any one area if you feel the need is greater. The key is to take action - do the assessment and do it at least once a year to make sure you're evolving with your site. Your site is not a static online billboard - it's a dynamic tool in your inbound marketing arsenal - as long as it's regularly tuned up.