Make Your Website Your New Year’s Resolution.
When you’re juggling social media, online advertising and blogging, it can be easy to overlook the most important aspect of your digital marketing: Your company’s website. Both radio stations and local businesses have had websites for years, but many folks are guilty of a “set it and forget it” mentality. In today’s fast-changing digital world, websites need to keep up with changing user behavior. It’s not enough just to have a website — they need to be tended, pruned and nurtured.
For many consumers, your website is the gateway to your brand. Whether a user finds you via a keyword search, a social post or a display ad, your website is the first stop on their consumer journey. What they see is their first impression, so your site better be ready. That means it should load quickly, offer appealing and contextual images and be easy to navigate.
While this may sound counterintuitive, a large number of websites don’t offer these basic qualities and, when users are frustrated with the experience, they quickly move on. So, in 2020, commit to making your website a top digital priority. Here are a few things to consider:
Is your website responsive?
Many websites were designed before the rise of smartphones and do not adjust for smaller screens. Since the majority of Americans now go online via their smartphones, it is important that your website is easy to read on a 6-inch screen. Also, make sure any photos, graphics or videos are viewable on a mobile device. If your site includes links, test them to make sure they work on mobile.
Recently-designed websites are responsive to whatever device a user is visiting from, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. And new devices are hitting the market all the time, including smart appliances and voice-activated speakers with screens, so keep testing your website on any new device. An optimized website is convenient for users and that’s key to getting them to engage.
Do you have multimedia?
Today’s consumers also expect that websites will be rich with audio, video and enticing images. A text-heavy site is clunky and visually unappealing. Find relevant and engaging photos. If you have relevant audio or video, such as customer testimonials or instructional videos, you should spotlight those on your website. You can also embed third-party audio and video, including YouTube content, in your website (just make sure you have permission or rights, if necessary).
Such elements make your website more dynamic and encourage users to stick around longer. And, the more time they spend on your site, they’re exposed to ads and they are more likely to take action, such as making a purchase, opting into an email database or contacting you for more information.
Do you have fresh content?
One of the most common mistakes with web marketing is to let your website collect dust. Like a showroom floor or a playlist, a website needs to be refreshed and populated with fresh content. That begins with your homepage, which should be updated regularly with fresh images and content. If you have a blog, be sure to update it regularly and consider posting to social media or emailing your contact list when you have fresh content. (If you don’t have a blog, make that a priority this year). You should regularly update your staff page, customer reviews and contact information.
If you’ve done all of that, you may be ready to experiment with new content formats, including podcasting, webinars or digital video. Once again, if you add any of this content, be sure to post on social channels and send out an email notifying users about new features.
This New Year’s, make it a priority to refresh and possibly even redesign your website. It is the first thing that many curious consumers see and you want to keep them coming back. After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.