Your Website is Your Most
Important Marketing Tool
With so many marketing choices, it can be difficult to know where to allocate your budget. However, a strong argument can be made for spending first – and wisely – on your website. In an ever-changing digital landscape, your company’s website is perhaps the most important marketing tool you have at your disposal. In many ways, your online presence is more important than your business card and other print materials and needs to be professional and polished.
When you think about it, all of your marketing efforts lead back to your website. Traditional advertising, social media marketing, emails, and even the links on your business card are driving traffic to your website. In order for all of your marketing efforts to be successful, a quality website is a must! Consider the following.
Customers Start Online
According to the eCommerce Foundation, 88% of consumers do online research before making a purchase. As soon as a visitor gets to your website, he or she is forming opinions about your company and your products or services. Before they read anything, just based on appearance alone, customers are trying to decide if your company is trustworthy. A Stanford research study found that 75% of website users make judgments about a company’s credibility based on website design. Furthermore, it takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression of your website.
Customers want to find the information they’re seeking and they want your website to be easy to use. Once they reach your website homepage, 86% of visitors want to see a company’s products or services and 64% want to see contact information (KoMarketing Usability Report). According to Adobe, 39% of visitors will stop engaging with a website if the image takes too long to load (or doesn’t load at all), and 38% will stop engaging if the content or layout is unattractive.
And if these statistics aren’t convincing enough, consider this: 88% of online consumers say they are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience (Gomez whitepaper).
Your Website Makes Your Business’s First Impression
Your website is essentially your business’s welcome mat. It legitimizes your existence and lends credibility to what you do. If browsers get to your home page and your welcome mat is a cluttered and confusing mess, they will move on in under 5 seconds. That potential customer is lost. This makes it essential to ensure your business’ brand and content are clear and consistent. Investing in a strategy that makes your welcome mat shine will keep browsers on your website, continue to scroll and ultimately turn them into customers.
Users are also influenced by the design of your site. Sometimes an over-designed website can take away from the company messaging. Color palettes and contrast also play a large role in whether a user is going to continue their scroll. Websites with low contrast between the background and the text will be clicked away from much more quickly. This is also bad for users who may have a disability such as partial blindness, dyslexia, cognitive challenges, and other impairments. Choosing the proper color palette and increasing contrast benefits ALL of your users. It’s no wonder ADA Website Accessibility Services have become more and more important to businesses looking to provide accessibility to all.
You’re Able to Speak Directly to Your Customers
One of the best things about your website is that it gives you a chance to speak to a captive audience. Here is a visitor that’s essentially saying, “I’m interested in your services and what you have to say.” (Contrast this with traditional advertising where you’re trying to capture someone’s attention.) Your website should make the best impression as quickly as possible while you have each visitor’s attention. And not only that, it must be written just for them. Many businesses make the mistake of writing content that is too complex, using terminology that customers aren’t familiar with and certainly not searching for. Your website audience has a short attention span and your content needs to be clear and to the point. They want to know quickly if they’re at the right place to have their needs met.
There is also an opportunity here to educate and inform users. They are not only learning about YOUR services and products but also gaining more information about your industry. This allows your business to position itself as the expert in your business niche. encourage them to read on, check out your blogs and sign up for your informative newsletters.
Using Analytics to Improve your Online Marketing Efforts
Once you’ve got visitors to your website, you want to keep them around and turn them from interested readers to actual customers. Your website should have definable (and measurable) goals revolving around customer interactions with your business. These goals can include actions such as opting in to receive additional information, contacting your company, and making a purchase. Making sure your website has strong calls to action and using proper tags within your analytics will help to get to know your customers better. Using this information points directly to what is working and what isn’t so you can improve your website’s content and drive even more customers to your site.
You can use analytics and data to better serve your customers. Keep an eye on statistics like average time on page and bounce rate. Learn about your customers, their behavior and how to get them to convert at a higher rate. Not all marketing vehicles allow for this kind of analysis and refinement.
Aren’t More Traditional Marketing Efforts Still Important?
Absolutely! Your other marketing efforts are also important first impressions. More traditional tactics such as print advertisements, tradeshows, radio, TV ads, etc are still essential to many industries.
Your business also still needs things like social media, content marketing, email marketing, and more, but all of these initiatives are still driving traffic where? Back to your website. Customers use websites to learn more about a company’s products and services, make purchases, and find contact information. They need a clear and direct path to engage with you, find the information they need, and make a purchase.
Your Website is a Worthy Investment, Don’t Skimp on it!
Trying to get a cheap website will get you just that – a cheap website. You may get your website up and running quickly, but you’re likely to sacrifice quality and functionality. Then, when you find that your website isn’t attracting customers as you expected, you may have to pay to have your website redone sooner rather than later.
According to a ComScore study, mobile devices account for two out of every three minutes spent online. Not only do you want to make sure your website looks great and functions across a variety of browsers, but you’ll also want to optimize its design and function for smartphones and tablets as well. This can cost more in the web design and development process, but it is a worthwhile investment that sometimes gets overlooked.
You need a reliable website that checks all the boxes:
- Accessibly Designed for All Users
- Clear Content and Messaging
- Direct and Measurable Calls to Action
- Can Be Found in Search Results
- Loads quickly
- Looks great on any device – especially mobile
You’re not just building a website; you’re building a marketing machine moneymaker. Just think about how valuable your website is to your business: if you invest $5,000 into your website and gain five new customers, that might be enough to fulfill your return on investment. And your website doesn’t stop there! It continues to create ongoing revenue for years to come.
Your business can’t afford a cheap website!
Find a Website Agency that Can Deliver
At Simplified Website Design, we get how important your online presence is to the success of your business. We also know that getting a quality agency website can be costly. This is why we created our Our Affordable Web Design Options to help small to medium-sized businesses handle this important investment. With our small business plans starting at $350/month, you can avoid the large upfront costs and get into a website that will give the best first impression for your business to attract more customers.
We hope this article reinforces how your website is the most important marketing tool your business has and encourages deeper thought into how important content and strategy are essential to your online presence.