Online Marketing Resources

5 Ways to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Website

By Bob DeStefano
Increase the Effectiveness of Your Website

Are you getting what you need from your Website?

If your Website is not helping to improve your bottom-line, then it’s time to take action to enhance its value. Here are five ways to increase the effectiveness of your Website.

1. Make Sure Its Goal-Oriented

Have you seriously considered the strategic role of your Website? Those that have feel their Website is their most powerful marketing tool. An effective Website can help you achieve a number of business goals, such as generating leads, building a marketing database, enhancing customer service and selling online. You can produce results online. But to do so, you must make sure you align your Website objectives with your overall marketing and business objectives to ensure you are on the path to success.

2. Design for Your Customers, Not Your CEO

This may sound like a ridiculous statement, but all too often, manufacturers do not design their Website for their customers and prospects. Rather, they take an egocentric approach to Web design, more interested in talking about themselves and their products instead of solving their customers’ problems. If your Website does not serve your prospects and customers, then it is not serving you either. Make your Website customer-focused by offering content and interactive features that speak to the needs of your customers and provide a solution to their problems. If your customers and prospects do not find your Website relevant, trustworthy, and satisfying, they will leave. Remember, your competitor’s Website is only one click away.

3. Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Lead generation consistently ranks as a top priority for manufacturers. However, most companies handicap themselves by relying on their Website’s ‘Contact Us’ page as the sole method for prospects to take action. To turn your Website into a lead generation machine, pepper your Website with a variety of relevant offers tailored to the needs of your target audience, such as:

  • Request a quote or purchase online
  • “Call me now” or online chat to reach out to salespeople
  • Order free samples
  • Register for seminars, webinars or events
  • Request access to “premium content” – whitepapers, knowledgebase, articles, etc.
  • Subscribe to your e-mail newsletter

Also, don’t forget to prominently display your toll-free phone number on every page. More than half of Web visitors prefer to call rather than complete an online form.

4. Become a Search Engine Magnet

Is your Website invisible to Google? If you want to succeed online, it better not be. Search engines are the most powerful way to drive targeted traffic to your Website. But to be successful, you must make sure your site is optimized for search engines. To turn your Website into a search engine magnet, first, fill your Website with rich content focusing on the keyword phrases your customers use most often. Second, code your Website so it is “crawlable” by Google and other engines, including keywords in the page tags. Pay close attention to elements such as title tags, meta description tags, directory and page names, internal links, navigation and the site map. Third, build a network of quality inbound links to your Website from reputable and industry relevant external Websites.

5. Define success…Then Measure it!

How will you know if your Website is a success? Don’t rely on subjective measures, gut feel or esoteric statistics like “hits.” Define your success measures based on the goals you want the Website to achieve. Then identify specific, measurable performance criteria you can easily track to measure success. For example, if your Website’s goal is lead generation, track online form inquiries and in-bound phone calls (use a unique toll-free number for your Website). If your site has a variety of offers, track leads generated by offer. These are just a few examples. By tying your success measures directly to your business goals, will be able to measure the effectiveness of your Website. And, you will be able to leverage this knowledge to improve your results in the future.
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