Digital marketing takes many forms. The most basic of which is an organization’s website, but there is also search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, content marketing via blogs, vlogs, and audio casts, email marketing, the list goes on.
Wow, that really seems like a lot of different avenues. However, boiled down my vision is really just broken into three key parts: Web, Search, & Social. Over the past 17 years, I’ve learned from the development of over 27 websites (Web), 10 SEO initiatives (Search), and 7 digital marketing campaigns (Social).
In this post, I breakdown some things to consider when creating your organizations website. In other posts I breakdown search and social.
Arguably the most important aspect of one’s digital presence. There are well over one billion websites out there live today, and this medium is nearly impossible to overlook. Your website provides current and potential customers a means to understand your offerings. It also provides information on how to they use your product or service. However, its main purpose is to create an impression of the legitimacy of your business and engage your customer. Based on various publications, as high as 75% of customers judge a business’ credibility based on their website.
With these kind of numbers, be careful about what goes into creating your brand’s web presence. Over the past few years, it has become increasingly easier for every day folks with an internet connection, and some time on their hands to create a website. However, if you truly want to create a lasting impression, that keeps users engaged on your site there are a many considerations. Below are just a couple to think about to get started.
Flow & useability
While this one seems easy, it is usually the trickiest one to capture. The trickiness comes from the ever changing ways that users expect to interact with your website. It was not all that long ago that companies went crazy creating a m.domainname.com website for their mobile traffic. However it quickly became the norm to execute “responsive development” to create a website that used the same content on all platforms (desktop, tablet, & mobile) but then resized based on your devices resolution.
Another recent development is the way in which hero images are used. The trend for much of the mid 2000’s & early 2010’s was to create multiple banners at the top of your site which scrolled through on a timed interval. Fast forward to the past couple years and we have seen this trend dying off. Why is that you ask? Users show a propensity to scroll quickly, thus never seeing past the first one or two slides. Estimates show the average user spends between 10-15 seconds before moving on. Therefore if you have a scrolling banner with an interval of 5-10 seconds, only the first or second banner is being seen on average. Don’t believe me? Check your bounce rate via Google Analytics to see how quickly visitors are leaving.
Security can be the afterthought, which comes back to bite you later. This is also an item that unless you are somewhat of a knowledgeable admin, you may not know much about. As a general thought, consider the platform you are using and do a bit of research.
At the same time, consider your content or site usage. Are you simply putting information out about your organization? Or are you collecting and storing sensitive information about customers? Better yet, is your solution an e-commerce platform? Based on the answer to each of these questions, you may choose to go an entirely different route.
Simply put, do your best to make sure you take that first step. Consider your security before launching your site. However, if you are unsure or even just want a second set of eyes reach out to those with experience who can help you navigate the waters.
Creating engaging content is one of the most time consuming efforts when developing your site. While content will take many forms in an evolving website, the static content the website launches with can live untouched for years. This is why it is crucial to create descriptive, concise content on not only your landing page, but all pages.
Organizations need to walk that fine line between technical content to engage those hard core followers. Versus high level enough to pull in a casual reader. This allow any visitor to find the best content to learn and engage with your brand. This can be a difficult task, and is usually underestimated. The great news is, that there are vast networks of freelance writers who can go as far as to create entire content sets. They can even proof read/suggest edits to your developed text to make it flow for readers.
So as you can see, there are many things to think about when developing your web presence. While you can find success with the DIY sites, don’t be afraid to ask for a little help. When you are getting ready to start your next web development project, reach out and find out how I can help you steer away from those potential pitfalls and move you toward an engaging, sharp, lasting web presence.