Don't Forget Your Website
Your Website Offers You the Greatest Opportunity for ROI.
At this point in time, no one would dispute how critical digital marketing is for any business. Having a digital marketing strategy is so central at this point that the conversation has moved on to other topics: omnichannel marketing, content marketing, social media.
But even as digital marketing evolves, becoming more sophisticated and responsive to the journey of your users online, the website is still considered the centerpiece to all digital strategies. Your website has the potential to be the most flexible, powerful tool in your digital marketing strategy. It’s a visual activation of your brand, tells your story, sells your product, is the vehicle for promotion, conversion tactics, brand awareness, data insights, and so much more.
Digital marketing trends come and go, but here’s why the website will always exist at its center.
Completely Control How You Engage With Users
The primary benefit of a website is that it’s the one place online where you have total control. You can present any user experience, display any design. You have complete control over how your brand is represented. You can differentiate and tell your story. More than just a promotional tool, it’s an opportunity for a branded experience.
You also have complete control over how you engage your customer. You can tailor your website to create interaction points that are unique to your website, creating new ways for your user to shop online, find new information, or communicate with you. The benefit of this is convenience on the part of your user, and a memorable experience that will motivate them to return, but it can also lead to specific data insights or conversion points. On your own website, you can set the stage completely from design to the UX, and tailor it to the audience that you know best.
Promoting your brand through social channels and portals - often it is interesting technology, but at the end of the day it’s a generic experience trying to support ALL brands that are on it. A single brand means nothing to them. They have control on their platform how their users interact with your brand. You might be able to control elements of your company’s page on LinkedIn or Facebook, but it’s limited at best, and you’ll never really have a direct relationship with the customer.
You don’t have a single customer, vendor, prospect, employee who hasn’t been on your website. Even websites with a low amount of traffic volume are still visited by thousands of visitors each month. Before these users speak to any of your employees, walk through your business’s front door, or even find you on social media, their first interaction with your brand will be your website.
A negative experience is unfortunately just as memorable as a positive one. 75% of online consumers report that website design impacts their judgement of a business’s credibility.
In the chart below, you can see that 21% of online shoppers say that they research their purchases on the brand website prior to purchasing.
Image via Consumer Barometer
In many cases, the cause of an underperforming website is neglect. An outdated web design, slow load speeds, poor navigation, or lack of screen responsiveness are all user-facing signs of a website that hasn’t been updated for quite some time.
Learn How Users Engage With Your Brand
In addition to having complete control over how your brand is represented, you also have more control over data insights on your website.
Your website provides direct insight into how users are engaging with your brand. You own all data, you can see every aspect of who’s visiting your website, where they come from, how long they spent on each page, and much, much more. Data-driven marketing is critical to digital marketing because there is now a greater access to data than ever before. On your own website, nothing is held back from you, the owner.
The website is an immensely valuable source of data, and unlike anywhere else online you can designate what data is collected and how its reported. You can better learn how to engage with your users, grow your email lists, and foster a loyal brand following.
No Matter What Your Priority as a Marketer Is, Your Website Can Support That
What are your goals for your digital marketing strategy? Raise brand awareness? Increase SEO? Drive conversions? All of the above?
Your website can handle all of these tasks at the same time, no matter what your particular strategy is. Whether you’re using your website as a recruitment tool, for a downloadable content subscription, B2B leadgen, B2C commerce or all of the above, your website can be configured to do one or all of those tasks. No other channel has the same multitasking capability.
Websites Aren’t Going Away
As developers, we frequently hear: “I have this simple little site, I don’t need that much from it.” Regardless of how you’re using your website, what’s most important is that you’re not neglecting your website. Having an up to date website is even more critical today than it was before, and changes in technology and browsing behavior are making it increasingly necessary. Your website, as the most accessible point of your company, is arguably one of the most important parts of your marketing.