Marketing has changed a lot over the decades. Some of us even remember the world before tech giants like Google and Facebook. With those changes came a big change to a business’s homebase.
No longer is the main point of contact for a business their physical location or their phone number. No, now it’s their website.
In fact, the website itself has become the foundation to all of your marketing – digital and traditional.
A Website Lends Credibility & Builds Trust
We talked a few weeks ago about the fact that you need a website. In that article, we talked about how just having a website helps to build trust with your consumer.
Think about how you shop. Someone recommends a new vendor, store, or even restaurant. The first couple things you’re going to do is to look up that vendor on social media and find their website. Whether you search for their site through Facebook, Google, or maaaybe Bing, you’ll want to find something. After all, the first thing a website shows is that the business owner has invested some time and resources into their business; that they’re not a fly-by-night company you’ll have to worry about whether they’ll take your money and run without doing the work.
What gets a lot of new business owners stopped is worrying that their website isn’t perfect. The thing is, the average user tends to be a little forgiving. Most people will understand that you might be a smaller, newer business and look past the fact that your website isn’t flashy. The average user just wants a few things to be accurate – your hours, your address and phone number, and your contact form. As long as your website is easy to navigate and they can get a hold of you to ask further questions, most of those prospects will be fine. (You do want to ensure your site looks great on a phone and other devices, though, since over 60% of Google’s searches are done on a mobile device now and Google does index your website on mobile first.)
Your Website is Where All Your Marketing Leads
This is really the key though. Yes, your website is what everyone thinks to look up first when they’re looking for you specifically, but what about those you’re trying to catch their attention and sell from a more cold lead?
You go to a networking event and pass out business cards, introducing yourself and your specialty in a nice elevator pitch. What do you have on those cards so they can learn more about you? Your website.
You pass out flyers for an event you’re throwing, hang them in local coffee shops, etc. Where do they find more information about the event and how to buy tickets? Your website.
You run a Facebook Ads campaign, targeted at an audience that fits your target demographic. Where do you send them to view your products and services? Your website. And then, you retarget those website visitors once they’ve visited, to then again get them to your website.
Anymore, your website is that cornerstone, that foundational piece of all your marketing. It, its subpages and landing pages are where you send all of your leads. It helps to automate your processes, saving precious time in your business and delivering those better, more qualified leads. It helps to tell your brand story, showcasing how you’re unique in your industry and answer the big question of what problem you solve.
But most importantly, your website is really that start and end point as someone researches your business. Whether your buyer is coming to your site as a warm referral, they met you in person, or they’re a colder lead coming from digital ads, they’ll find out the most about you from your website. Ensure that you’re not skimping out for long here, because having a website that communicates you and your business well will only aid in helping it grow.
It’s the Foundation but Not the Whole Strategy
Your website won’t necessarily drive those sales on its own; there’s definitely still work to do to build SEO, social trust, and traffic. However, having that piece built correctly, with those components that build the trust in your business, and communicates your brand story and unique offerings will help you build the best way possible off of your other marketing efforts.
When you’re sending your prospects, leads, and customers back to something that is a solid representation of your company and the services you provide, you’re reinforcing the message they got from you elsewhere.
That’s one reason you need to make sure that your copy & style is the same across all your marketing channels as it is on your website; that consistency helps to build trust with those colder leads. It helps to reinforce you are who you say you are. It also helps to reinforce your messaging. Get solid with your messaging on your website and then expand it out to your other marketing; it’s a whole lot easier.
Start with Your Website
I’d always recommend that your website is your starting point for any marketing strategy. Make sure that anything you’re going to do outside of it will work because when someone comes back to it, they’ll want to feel like it all works together and connects. It also helps to give you a good starting point and makes planning a lot easier.
Most importantly, with your website being your marketing’s foundation you don’t want to neglect it. Do a review every quarter to ensure that it’s correct with your current business, you’ve swapped out any pictures where necessary, and just generally keep it in line with the other marketing you’re doing. But you also need to prioritize the investment upfront. There’s nothing worse than building a pretty façade of a house only to find it’s going to sink into the ground quickly; that’s just like what can happen when you don’t build the right foundation for your marketing.
Want help with what that can look like? You know I’d love to chat!