The new year is here, and it’s time to think about goals and objectives for your business. Don’t forget about your web presence.
- If you don’t have a website, get one. Some 40% of small to medium businesses don’t have websites, according to an October 2011 study of 1,800 businesses. Most of them don’t know what it would cost to get online. Contact Rosie at Rosamond@HadenInteractive.com and we’ll be happy to tell you.
- If you have a website, make sure it’s doing its job. 80% of the with websites in the study referenced above say that their site is “essential” to their business success. The other 20% need some work done on their sites. Another recent marketing study found that improving a company website delivered the greatest ROI of all the strategies studied, and you may be surprised at how affordable it is to optimize your site. Use our check up series to determine what needs work at your website:
- Hire a pro to build your site or to make needed changes. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a friend or relative work on your site, because web pros have friends and relatives. Don’t have an amateur do it, though. You won’t get the ROI you want, you want be happy with the results, and you’ll have to do it over again in a short time. The cost of building or optimizing your website correctly is so much lower and provides so much more ROI than traditional advertising that it just doesn’t make sense to make this a DIY project.
- Install analytics and use them. Most of the companies we work with either don’t have analytics at all when we meet, or don’t know how to use them. Without some data to work with, decisions made at your website are based on guesswork — and you can’t even tell for sure whether the changes you make are helping. There’s no reason not to make the most of your analytics. We offer training, or we can do the analysis and send you reports with strategic suggestions, if delving into the data isn’t the best use of your time.
- Create fresh content regularly. Not only does fresh content keep the search engines interested in your website, but it also keeps people interested — and coming back. A Hubspot report found that websites with blogs had up to 88% more leads than those with no blogs. Read further and you’ll find that these results only show up when your blog is high quality and regularly updated. If you rely on your staff to do this in between their regular tasks, then your blog probably isn’t either high quality or regularly updated. Hiring someone to write your business blog is sensible, just like hiring someone to do any other specialized task in your business. You can also use infographics, white papers, press releases, and eBooks to add fresh content to your website.
- Get serious about social media. Chances are good that your company’s social media is not consistent, natural, and effective. This is just a matter of statistical probability, not clairvoyance — most businesses use social media irregularly and in an obviously promotional way. Then they give up. A study of Fortune 100 companies found that even these highly successful companies weren’t using social media well. 27% of the companies had no company Twitter account, 26% were only used as news feed, and 15% were inactive. Across Twitter, more than 80% of all accounts are inactive. And yet 78% of business executives surveyed realize that social media is important for business.
- Integrate your online and other marketing efforts. It’s wonderful how various online and offline marketing channels can support one another. When your website sends visitors to Facebook, your Facebook page reposts your YouTube videos, your YouTube video encourages people to request a brochure, and your brochure sends people to your website — well, it’s like having a super powered sales force. Consistent branding and quality all around turbo charge your marketing at a much lower cost than relying entirely on traditional ads. What’s more, consumers trust of traditional ads is steadily decreasing, so diverting some of your spend from TV and radio to online and email marketing is likely to increase your overall effectiveness.
Your customers are using the internet to find information. They’re using social media to make purchase decisions. If you’re not meeting them where they are online, your competitors will be there instead.