It’s hard to deny that for today’s consumer, the Internet plays a role in virtually every purchase decision. Very few people use phone directories anymore and if you’re like most of us, that new phone directory that gets delivered to your doorstep every year goes directly into the recycle bin.
What may be less obvious to small business owners, however, is the role that websites play in traditional offline marketing. It doesn’t matter how they first learn about your company – print, radio, television and even word-of-mouth – the vast majority of your potential customers will search for you online and check out your website before making a final decision.
In other words, you may be doing a great job creating demand with your marketing activities, but you may be leaving money on the table if your website is not setup to convert demand into a sale.
Here are five sure-fire ways you can improve your small business website to get more sales out of your marketing budget:
- Professional Web Design. Once a marketing-driven lead clicks onto your website, you have a fraction of a second to make an impression and about three seconds to convince a visitor to read more. Having a professional website design on a mobile friendly platform is key.
- Conversion Optimization. Once you get a targeted visitor to your site, it’s critical to show visitors exactly what they need to see to turn that visit into a qualified lead or sale. Many factors on your website can help convince a visitor to choose your company, such as: an active blog, trust badges from business associations and chambers, introductory videos, a list of notable clients, and testimonials. The single most important conversion element, however, is a clear and enticing call to action – such as a discount, free consultation or special offer.
- Search Engine Optimization. Investing in SEO may be one of the best ways to supplement traditional marketing tactics. When a prospective customer ‘Googles’ your product or service online and finds your company on the first page of search results, their perception of your company changes from being an advertiser to becoming a major player in your local niche. For better or for worse, most people associate top Google rankings with reputation, merit and ability.
- Social Media. Social media participation helps marketing on many levels. Your company’s active social media account not only helps create demand, if integrated properly on your website, social media activity also helps improve search engine rankings as well as visitor conversion.
- Online Reviews. We saved the best for last. Nothing will help improve your marketing ROI belter than a proactive reputation management strategy. For example, when a qualified buyer reads your mailer then Googles your company and finds a deep list of genuine customer reviews, you are now well on your way to closing the sale.
If it’s not clear by now, your website is no longer just a digital brochure or a landing page. No matter what type of marketing or advertising tactics your company uses, all roads lead back to your website. Spending a little extra time and effort on your online presence can result in big revenues gains for your business this year.
About the Author: Phil Singleton is the owner of KCSeoPro.com, a full-service online marketing services company that provides organic search engine optimization and other Internet marketing services, and KCWebdesigner.com, a WordPress web development firm specializing in custom SEO-friendly websites and custom web applications. Phil is also a Duct Tape Marketing™ Certified Consultant and provides Kansas City marketing consulting services.