Your website is the key to your marketing success – it should be the hub of everything you do.

And, like any other piece of marketing collateral, it needs to work well, or you need to change it. So, how do you know it’s working?

Key win number one: make sure you have a great analytics package on board, and that it is operating. Many websites use Google Analytics – it’s free and it will help you to monitor your digital performance.

Of course, there’s no use measuring if no one is visiting – or worse still, if they’re visiting and then ‘bouncing’ – that’s to say, leaving without going any further than the landing page. So how do you get them to stay?

Key win number twogreat content, great images and an eye-catching headline.
You’ve around three seconds before they ‘bounce’ and in those three seconds you have to grab them. It’s the same as with postal mail that arrives in your letter box – three seconds decide whether you want it or you junk it. This win also applies to email marketing you send out.
I mentioned ‘if no one is visiting’ just now – something that many sites suffer from. Why? Because nothing drives people to the site. As the digital hub of your marketing, everything you do should be pointing back to the website: fliers, advertisements, emails (including your business email footer), pay-per-click, word of mouth, social media and so on. However, the biggest reason for visiting will be because people have found your website.

Key win number threeSearch Engine Optimisation.
It’s the reason people find you – because, largely, your website contains keywords and phrases that your potential customers use when they search for businesses like yours. No keywords? No find. (BTW – it’s a bit more complex than that, but that’s the essential.)
Of course, some sites do all of the above and more and still don’t get much successful traffic – that’s to say, traffic that actually leads to sales. Why would that be? One big factor is dull, static content that talks about your company.

Key win number four: lively content that is focused on benefits of your company’s products and services to your visitors.
Check through a few websites for local businesses in your area. Their prime real estate – the home page – will often have: “Dawkins and Daughter was set up 1000 years ago by Josiah Dawkins. We are committed to great service and have family values. We are passionate about …” and so on. Nothing about what they do. Nothing about why YOU need to go there instead of anywhere else. No sense that they understand your pain – and therefore know how to help you.

Of course, there are many ways to direct people to your website and to convince them that you’re the one for them. Establishing what search engines term as ‘reputation’ online is a complex business involving a good site, well constructed; great content; links from other sites of good repute – ah. How do you do that?

Key win number fivesocial media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are routes you can use (there are many more, which you may care to investigate).
It’s all about sharing content and getting people to visit your site via your social media posts. It also links directly back to your website, building your reputation online.

So how do you connect with people who are in your line of business or who are interested in the background to your products and services. How do you convince them of your value, your expertise and your credentials?

Key win number sixwrite a blog.
It’s a means of showing that you are connected with the world, know your subject and want to share information (rather as ExtraMile Communications does with this blog). It’s a key tool in your marketing because people can then syndicate it (copy it into their websites, blogs or social media), rate it and, most importantly, understand that you know what you’re talking about!

Nick from ExtraMile Communications Ltd in Eccleshall, Staffordshire.

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