How to use your website as a marketing tool
Given the amount of online traffic and the substantial number of users that are constantly circulating in the digital environment, it is not a surprise that websites have become one of the most important marketing tools for any business.
A website is in most cases the first point of contact between potential customers and your business. Because of this, it is absolutely essential to have a well-designed, structured and optimized website that will help you attract clients and grow your business.
After all, the field of marketing is quite vast and it encompasses everything from lead generations to reputation and brand image building. Remember that marketing isn’t all about making sales - it’s about leaving an impression to those users, who might later on make a purchase and think back to seeing your brand.
Keeping this in mind, in this article we are going to discuss why it is important to use your website as a marketing tool and give you some advice on how to successfully do it as well using content, SEO, design and functionality! So without further ado, let’s dive right into it!
Invest in creating a responsive design
First and foremost, around 70% of online traffic comes from mobile devices, which is just one of the many reasons as to why your website needs to be responsive in terms of its design.
But what is responsive design? In its essence, responsive design involves altering the content of your website in such a way that it can be rendered and displayed on a smaller-size screen like those on tablets and smartphones.
However, implementing a responsive design does have its challenging aspects. You need to think about how content is going to be positioned, how buttons are going to be placed as well as the size of the text and these are only a handful of the potential issues that might come up.
This particular field is so fast that we even have a separate, dedicated tutorial featuring some useful tips for mobile website optimization, which you can check out for a more detailed take on optimization!
On the other hand, having a well-optimized website for mobile means that you can potentially experience better rankings when it comes to the search engine results pages! User experience has been named a key ranking factor by a number of the large search engines, making responsive design incredibly important in the grand scheme of things and SEO.
SEO & your website as a marketing tool
Staying on the topic of search engine optimization (SEO), having a functional and well-designed responsive design is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a number of other crucial factors that you need to consider when optimizing your website from posting relative and timely blog content to having a good number of high-profile backlinks.
But what does SEO have to do with using your website as a marketing tool? Remember that if your website doesn’t show up on the search results pages (SERPs), you will not have the ability to organically gain customers and would have to resort to spending extra on external advertising, ultimately increasing your cost per acquisition (CPA) and decreasing your return of investment (ROI) metrics.
Perform some keyword research
Conducting optimal keyword research is one of the most impactful aspects of SEO. Keywords are signals that Web crawlers use to determine what your website is about - they allow your website to show up for a given user when they search for that particular word or phrase online.
Because of this, it is important to identify what your business can offer customers and for which keywords you wish to appear for. To conduct a successful keyword research you need to think about your business from a customer’s point of view and how they would approach discovering your products or services.
You can also consider using a keyword research tool such as Moz, SemRush or Ahrefs as some of the more popular options.
Optimize your images
The next step you need to take is to make sure that you are using some of the contemporary image file formats.
Using raster image formats like JPG is not advisable for website elements that need to be presented in high-quality or that need to scale in response to the user’s device screen. While PNG files, on the other hand, can be utilized in such a way, they are also substantially high in size.
Instead, think about using the CSV or WebP image formats as they will ultimately make your website load faster and look better.
As a final tip, ensure that all of the images on your site have an ‘alt’ attribute attached to them with descriptive text, as that will aid those users with visual impairments.
Optimize your videos
While images are a very common part of any website’s design, videos can also play an important role when it comes to creating a fantastic experience for your users.
After all, you have to admit that many of us like to watch a 2-minute video on a particular topic rather than having to read through a very long article.
Videos, however, can be quite problematic to implement and optimize when utilizing them on your website. Web crawlers have even developed a certain set of rules and regulations when it comes to indexing video content, meaning that you have to be extra careful when it comes to adding accessibility settings such as subtitles, captions and meta descriptions as well as carefully considering video attributes such as length, file size and format.
One useful streaming software tool, which you can use to create and optimize your videos is VEED. With its online video cutter and its file converter features, you can ensure that your videos will be well-rounded. As we previously mentioned, file size plays a crucial part when it comes to the loading time of your website, so you should also consider preloading the most important resources such as your main heading and hero image while delaying videos until they are needed.
In general, videos can be quite useful but only when utilized correctly, so make sure to edit and optimize them not only during the creation stage, but also when incorporating them into your website!
Utilize internal & external linking
Next, focus on creating internal links between your pages. If you are writing a blog post about a particular topic, which you might have briefly discussed in another article, make sure you link to it.
Additionally, when updating or creating a new URL for an older page, make sure to use the appropriate server redirect - 301 for permanent and 302 for temporary redirects. Such redirects will be used by crawlers as a signal that the page has been moved to another location.
Focus on external linking as well - it is a very crucial part of SEO and building authority for your website, which in turn can help you rank well. Find some topical blogs or other websites that focus on some of the issues or content that you cover and ask them for a link back to your website. However, make sure that you are really producing high-quality, relevant content in order to be able to make such partnerships.
Ensure that your website loads fast
Most users will take no more than 3 seconds to allow for your website to load. If your content can’t appear before their eyes in that time frame, they will most certainly click away, resulting in an increased bounce-rate, which can impact your overall search performance.
Make sure your website loads fast and that you preload any necessary resources so that they can be rendered immediately. Also, make sure to get yourself a fast host server as that can also help speed up your website quite substantially. You can give our lightning-fast KVM VPS servers a chance - you won’t be disappointed!
For some extra tips and tricks in terms of optimizing your page loading speed, you can also have a look through our article on how to prepare your website for Black Friday.
Make your website ‘social’
What do we mean by ‘social’? Look at it this way, the more sharable and user-friendly your website is, the more people are going to be talking about it online.
The more mentions you get from different blogs, forums and social media platforms, the more traffic your website will generate, hence helping you fuel your overall marketing efforts.
For this to happen, make sure to add ‘share’ buttons to your content, services or products. Think about your primary audience and add a share button to the social media platform or channel that they will be using. This can be anything from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, to some of the newer platforms like TikTok.
Also make sure to adapt your content for each of those platforms. Short text messages work well for Twitter, while short videos will be much more useful in terms of utilizing TikTok.
Additionally, make sure you encourage your existing customers to leave a review on platforms such as TrustPilot or Google’s MyBusiness. The more positive feedback and reviews your business gets, the higher the chance for new customers to start using your services or buying your products.
Make your website attractive
There are 2 sides of the coin here. One is that you need to have a website with a very attention-grabbing and intuitive design. The other is that you need to present your content, services or products in such a way that the main idea and principles of your business are clearly distinguishable by your customers.
It is important to note that a single design will not please everyone with the same thing applying to your overall presentation. However, what is important here is to find your audience or customer group and make sure that your design and presentation will be pleasant for the large majority of them.
Some tips that you can utilize are:
- Make sure the main idea of your business and website is clear to your visitors
- Keep your design simple
- Don’t create overcomplicated navigation
- Design short and clear calls-to-action messages or buttons
- Choose a font that will be legible and which will fit your business
- Ensure that the font is sized enough to be readable
- Focus on accessibility and choose contrasting colors
- Create filters to help customers search for what they need more efficiently
On the other hand, the following are some examples of what you should definitely avoid doing:
- Avoid adding too much navigation options
- Never use unnecessary pop-ups and alerts
- Stay away from background music
- Follow the universal website hierarchical structure
- Don’t make users have to click more than 3 times to get to what they are searching for
Finally, consider employing testing strategies such as A/B testing in order to obtain a perspective of how your incoming users and potential customers will interact with your website and make any changes according to their actions and response. You can also consider asking them for feedback directly through a customer experience form.
Produce engaging content
As we mentioned previously, creating exciting, innovative, relevant and timely content will ultimately result in making your website into a better marketing tool.
Such content will not only help you rank better in terms of SEO, but it will also expand your reach and bring in more readers and online viewers to browse your products or services.
While having and maintaining a company blog can be difficult, the benefits that you will gain from it are much more important and valuable if you were to not have one at all.
If you are having a tough time producing engaging content for your blog, you can consider hiring a freelancer or a dedicated person in your company to keep track of everything blog-related.
Successful blogging is an inseparable part of content marketing, which is a subcategory of the marketing field in general.
Of course there are a plethora of other things that you can do in order to fully utilize your website as a marketing tool, with our suggestions just having scratched the surface.
However, regardless of the actions that you take to achieve this, it is important to remember that you need to make sure to optimize your website in terms of loading speed, content and keywords as that will ultimately help you gain more traffic and better rankings.
If you have found this information to be useful, please consider sharing it with your network! Let your connections and followers know how a few of these simple things can increase their website authority and business presence. Do not hesitate to drop us a line on LinkedIn and Twitter!