Websites are a clear requirement for today’s brands. Today’s consumers and organizational buyers spend hours each day online, and conduct a majority of their product research and buying journeys via the internet. There are millions of guides for how to build a website, and following any one of those will get you established.
Having said that, it’s unlikely that your brand just wants a seat at the table- you want to be at the head of the table, controlling the conversation. We’re here to provide a high-level guide for how to transform your website from a web presence to a web authority.
Make no assumptions! lay a solid foundation by performing quality research.
An extremely common symptom of low-ranking websites is what we call assumptive content. Assumptive content is copy that was written based on the brand’s idea of what users want to read, rather than on factual data showing what sort of information users are seeking out.
Here’s how you can avoid or overcome assumptive content on your website:
Google’s Keyword Planner allows you to use a seed keyword, website URL, or topic to search for relevant keywords. In no time at all you can have a list of keywords that are relevant to your industry, audience, product, and brand. Keyword Planner will also give you an average monthly search volume for each term, as well as a broadly defined competition level. In addition to the keyword planner, you can use Spyfu to get a quite in-depth picture of your competitors’ SEO strategies.
End User Research
We’re speaking specifically to website development here, but this tip should be applied to your overall sales and marketing strategy. Take the time to talk to your customers and members of your target audience. Discuss the pain you’re solving with them. Find out what their strongest pain points are that relate to your brand. Find out how they perceive the solution you’ve built. Find out which features have the strongest positive impact on your target audience. Ask your customers which features they’ve found the most useful. Taking the time to have these conversations will allow you to speak to your audience on their terms, on your website and everywhere else you encounter them.
Hold your website accountable, just like any other marketing investment.
Take the time to get comfortable with Google Analytics, or whichever analytics platform you’ve chosen to use. You need to be able to quantify how your website is performing overall, and dive deep into suspected problem areas to diagnose potential improvement opportunities.
We don’t build websites as an exercise in how to spend a great deal of our budget in a short period of time. We build websites in order to establish a central web presence and support key funnel conversion points. Your marketing team should have a clear idea of what the conversion actions are throughout your sales & marketing funnel. Go over your funnel, and identify which actions can be supported or encouraged by your website. These actions are wide-ranging depending on your funnel’s design, but common examples include email CTAs, direct contact forms, trial signups, and direct purchases. Once you’ve identified the conversion actions that your website will be responsible for, monitor how the site performs in helping you reach goals for each activity.
Diving in even further, there are tools available today that allow you to see how users interact with each page on your site. Using them will allow you to see where people scroll and click, allowing you to adjust design and copy to drive increased engagement and conversions.
Make constant changes over time to build a finely tuned marketing machine.
The advice in this article has been heavily focused on gathering information relevant to your audience and website behavior and performance. The final piece of advice is focused on using that information. The best websites change over time in response to data analysis and changing user behavior (the Wayback Machine is a fun way to explore how popular websites have evolved).
Seek opportunities for improvement as you keep tabs on your site’s traffic, search engine rankings, conversions, and page interactivity. Make small changes regularly, test their impact on your website’s performance, and keep what works. If you make this cycle of measurement, testing, and change a part of your continuing marketing strategy, you’ll almost certainly arrive at a point where your website is a cornerstone of your digital marketing success.