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Using Your Website For Marketing

Your website can be your most important marketing tool. You can use it
to build relationships with new customers, manage relationships with
existing ones, and launch new products and services to the market.
It used to be enough just to have a website for your business. But
the days of the pure brochure ware site – one that lists your services
but doesn’t provide an opportunity to really connect with your
customers – are gone.

Now, consumers expect websites to be
interactive, informative and interesting. And
it’s not all that hard to achieve. Below are ten
steps to developing a website with real
marketing punch.
Step 1 – Make sure your site is easy to
navigate. Ensure it takes next to no time to
upload, there are no ‘heavy’ graphics on the
front page and even when you get beyond the
homepage, information is easy to access.
Step 2 – Tricky graphics rarely convert into
sales. Pop-up windows, clever animations and
other fancy features distract potential
customers from your key messages. They also
annoy many people, which is probably not
going to win you business.
Step 3 – Use plain English, not jargon, and
clearly explain what you do on the homepage.
If it’s not immediately clear what you do,
potential customers are unlikely to delve
further into the site to find out.
Step 4 – Update your content regularly.
People use the Web to find information and if
you position your site as a place consumers
can find credible, up-to-date facts about your
industry (not just your products and services)
they are more likely to return.
Step 5 – Don’t change your navigation too
frequently. People like to get used to the feel of
a site and are more likely to return to sites with
which they are already comfortable.
Step 6 – Optimize your site. Optimization
is a process that helps to move your site nearer
to the top of search engine lists. It works by
ensuring that key words that match your
product offering are stored in the site’s
metatags (this is what Internet search engines
use to sort sites). It also usually involves paying
for your site to be registered on popular search
engines and directories. For more information
on optimization we’ve included another article
in this issue, ‘You’ve Got To Google To Grow’.
Step 7 – Respond to email requests sent
through to your site. Research suggests that as
many as one in three companies fail to
respond to emails sent through the contacts
page – hardly a means of developing good
customer relations.
Step 8 – Consider sending weekly, monthly
or quarterly newsletters to back up your Web
presence. But don’t spam – make sure the
people receiving the newsletter actually want
to receive it.
Step 9 – Back up your online marketing
efforts with your offline tools. Put your website
address on all stationery and print or broadcast
advertising. Even include it on your voice mail
Step 10 – Involve professionals. Unless
you’re a designer or a web developer, involve
experts in the development of your website.
Follow these steps, and your site might
become your highest earning sales person! If
you don’t have a website yet and are concerned
about how to develop one we can provide you
with information on an affordable and easy to
implement out of the box solution. Just give us
a call.

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