Your company is in the ring. There are 12 seconds left in the last round. Will your digital brand take the knockout throw, or will it crumple on the mat? That really depends on one major thing: your company’s website.
As more and more people consume online content, the importance of standing out from your digital and industry competition becomes more important than ever. Internet users treat their online experience like speed dating, and your brand has one shot to make a lasting impression that will keep users glued to your site.
Which brings us to your company’s ultimate, heavyweight marketing champion of the world: your website. Given the proper attention, your website can duke out all your online marketing needs for you. Let’s see how.
Round 1: Mobile-friendly design
Mobile compatibility for your website is the new marketing “black.” And with 58% of Americans owning a smartphone and 42% owning a tablet, it couldn’t be more important.
Say you’re a clothing company and a customer is trying to buy a new blouse on her phone. Would you include the same elements on the mobile site as the desktop site? Probably not.
You’d prioritize targeted calls-to-action (CTA) that direct the user to easy-to-follow checkout buttons; you’d hopefully optimize “one-click” options and simply your content; you’d focus on performance and page loads.
Round 2: Website hierarchy and call-to-actions
The hierarchy of your website is a huge determinate for how users interact with your brand and complete certain actions. Whether your business thrives on users buying items from an online store or on users signing up for weekly newsletters, your site needs clear calls-to-actions and an interface that guides them directly to that action.
Let’s compare an example of a good CTA and a not-so-good CTA.
The good CTA: Spotify
- Spotify conveys the value of their service in no more than 20 words
- The visual design is simple and doesn’t distract from the CTA
- Bright green directs the eye to the “Download Spotify” CTA
The bad CTA: Macy’s
- Lack of brevity
- Content is over-saturated and cluttered
- Distracting content draws away from the most important CTA, “Shop Now”
Round 3: Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is a way of increasing your site’s appearance and ranking in search results. Because search engines are huge answer-seeking machines, they function to give users results that are relevant and rank those results based on usefulness. There are a few things to consider when making the most of your site’s SEO capabilities.
- Performance: Does your site run properly? Any issues with slow page loads should be addressed to improve SEO.
- Industry authority: Consider how the content you publish adds, or detracts, from your brand’s authority as an expert in whatever industry you represent.
- User experience: As obvious as this sounds, no one and no search engine likes to look at visually unappealing sites. If your site looks bad and is difficult to navigate, your site can’t successfully market your brand.
If you’re new to the world of SEO, Moz has a great guide that will give you a really simple overview of what you need to know about this topic. If you’re hiring an SEO consultant it’s a good idea to do a bit of prep and know what they’re talking about. The SEO world today is not as straightforward as some might make it out. Today, great content is more important than ever before so, if you don’t already have a blog or a reason to maintain one, this is it!
Round 4: Engaging content
There are three principles to writing good content: be consistent, write for your users, and value conciseness over cleverness.
- Consistency: Consistency is necessary for user-centered content marketing because unified language and tone make for better user experiences, reduce redundancies, and remove distractions.
- Write for users: Content must address the needs and wants of the user. Whether you write for a blog or multinational corporation, your content should mirror the motivations and cognitive frameworks of your audience.
- Conciseness first: Don’t get so lost in the style of your writing that you lose your message. Everyone has a distinct voice when they write, but to sacrifice conciseness for style would be a mistake.
With the proper commitment and attention, your website can be your most important marketing asset on the web. As the Internet continues to grow, the need to differentiate your brand from hundreds of thousands of others becomes even more important.