So it’s 2013 and Websites are more important than ever. As consumers ever increasingly use the Internet, Social Media and their mobile devices in their decision making process, a Website becomes even more integral to the success of any business.
But not every business can afford the huge bills of hiring a top quality web designer to build a completely customised site. If you’ve created your own website, or had a web designer build you a simple site, I’m confident you’ll still be able to take advantage of these points without too much technical knowledge.
1. Integrate Social Media
These days everybody is Facebooking, Tweeting and Google+ing all kinds of content.
If the content on your website isn’t being shared on social media, you’re missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime! Even something as simple as a Facebook page, which you post to once a week and a Twitter account which you Tweet from once each day, can help you really engage with your visitors.
You can get instant feedback on your products and services, you can answer questions and most importantly, you give your visitors the ability to share your content and become brand ambassadors.
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Who do you listen to when making a purchase decision? The salesman in the shop, or your friend who knows all about the product you’re buying? It’s a no brainer.
Now imagine if your friend has 1,000 followers on Twitter, 500 friends on Facebook and 500 people in their Circles on Google+. That’s an awful lot of publicity for your business if your industry expert friend is publically writing about your services on social media!
Integrating social media with your website is relatively simple. The code is freely available online, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ all provide you with simple ‘button builder’ interfaces which will generate the code you need to place onto your site.
This allows people to quickly share your website with their friends instantly, without leaving your page! Plus they will be able to keep up to date with your latest updates on social media, giving them more and more chance to see what you’re offering and share even more of your content!
Social media can be integrated to your site in an afternoon, so why not do it right now!
You’ll thank yourself for doing it down the line!
2. Diversify Your Content
There are so many kinds of content out there.
Don’t get me wrong, text content is still the most important on your website, but there is so much more available to you.
There are lots of reasons to diversify the content you’re producing.
- Different audiences engage differently with different kinds of content. You’ll reach more people and create more brand ambassadors as you diversify your content.
- You can increase outreach and referral traffic by sharing different content in different places.
- You don’t necessarily have to create new content; you can reform previous content into new formats to keep things fresh.
So what kinds of content should you be producing?
There are thousands of ways to present information. In terms of online content you’re spoilt for choice!
Now don’t get worried by this range of content types. You’ll probably find that your visitors engage best with perhaps 3 or 4 types from this list. Try out a variety of content types and see what works best for you. Then work harder to create great content which matches your audience’s preferences.
Remember, no website and no audience is exactly the same. What works for one business may not work for yours!
Where can you share this content? All over the place, that’s where! Not only do you have your own social media channels as a place to share this content, you’ve also get the hundreds of Social Bookmarking sites out there. In terms of specific kinds of content, think YouTube for Videos and Slideshare for Slideshows as a good starting point.
Don’t stop there though. The more you share your content, the more likely it is you’ll be found, so diversify your sharing, as well as the content itself.
3. Think about Calls to Action
I could start taking you through the world of Conversion Rate Optimisation, but it would be an incredibly long and complicated conversation. However, everyone can think about the most basic part of CRO, Calls to Action (CTA).
Why to Calls to Action matter?
- They allow you to provide visitors with a clear goal on each page.
- A good CTA increases conversion rate (whether the goal is signups, social follows or purchases)
- Calls to Action help reduce the bounce rate of your website and increase engagement.
Your CTA can be as subtle or as obvious as you like, but it needs to be there. Think about this:
If a visitor lands on your webpage, reads your content and is suitably impressed, what do they do next?
If you’re answer to this question is ‘I don’t know’ then your CTA probably isn’t strong enough.
As a basic rule, have one CTA above the fold, probably a newsletter signup or follow us on Twitter or something similar. Then one CTA below the fold, the preference here is for further content, such as related blog posts or a link to a different type of content that relates to this page (YouTube Video, Slideshow etc).
There are lots of things you can do to improve your website. It’s a never-ending process of testing and refining. However, the three tips in this post should help you generate more visitors, make more of those visitors when they do land on your site and most importantly engage your audience so they’re likely to return!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and that lots of you can put this advice to good use.
If you’ve got any questions about any of the points or you need any other advice, please leave a comment!
[Sneaky call to action there!]