If you want to succeed on the web you need to do more than throw up a website and hope for the best! While any site is better than no site, it requires some attention, education and intent for you to manage a successful website.
As a start, let’s look at some different types of sites and what kind of goals you can expect to achieve with them. While websites won’t all fall into these strict categories, it’s important to understand the different site elements at play and what goals you can accomplish with them.
Contact Info Site
We see a lot of sites tossed online because a site is “needed” but without much thought about Branding or strategy.
At this level your site will, at a minimum, serve to provide basic contact and address information for people who already know about you. This kind of site won’t be found by anyone who does not know already know about your business. It’s likely the only time it will show up in Google is if someone types in your business name.
You can buy ads or spend time promoting this type of site through Social Media, but it may not be wise to spend resources this way as this type of site is typically put together without giving a lot of thought to what it will take to build credibility and earn the business of new visitors.
If your goal is simply to provide contact info and/or directions to your business, you can succeed with a basic site like this.
At this level, someone has taken the time to present your business in an attractive manner through the website. This type of site will serve to establish credibility for people who have been referred to you by other customers, but is not likely persuasive enough to earn business from folks who haven’t heard about you before.
You can promote this kind of site, but will not likely have significant success in “converting” new visitors who don’t know about you into customers.
This type of site is well-branded and you will have identified your target customer groups and done a great job of creating “benefit-driven” copy that illustrates meaningfully how you will make your visitors’ life better if they become a customer. This type of site will also be good from a “conversion” perspective and present clear calls to action and next steps for your visitors, which will make it easy for them to “convert” from site visitors to customers.
With this type of site you can confidently spend time and money promoting and advertising the site to your target customer groups as you stand a great chance of actually earning their business through your website.
With all the other elements addressed, it becomes well worth your time and effort to invest in a content and Search Engine Optimization strategy that has the goal of generating its own traffic. You’ll need to engage in ongoing efforts to make this happen, but if you keep at it the rewards are significant.
This kind of site can generate traffic through social media, referrals from other sites and word of mouth. The activities you need to undertake include making sure your site is optimized for Google, creating relevant new content that will attract your visitors, and promoting this content to gain links from relevant sites and social media connections.
A well thought out Attraction site is often complemented by an email sign-up strategy whereby you gain permission to contact those visitors who are not currently in the market to buy, but will be at some point in the future. Tools to build your opt-in email address list include great newsletters, downloadable guides, and exclusive web pricing.
Obviously, there are some complexities around all these different areas and we will get to them in future lessons!
See the next lesson on Target Customers on Your Website>>