Every business has a website, or at least I hope they do. If you don’t, then using it effectively is the least of your problems and I think we need to talk… but, for those who do, just think for a moment how do you use your website? Is it just a generic link on your e-mail signature or is it just bundled in with your contact information on your stationery? How often do you actually ‘use’ your website?
We have found whilst speaking and working with lots of businesses, their website is often something that gets neglected and forgotten. Having a website is normally part of a ‘tick box’ exercise. Now a lot of people understand they should ‘use’ their website but they simply don’t know how to and the notion that ‘we’ve got a website, people can find us on Google, that’s enough right?’ is very common. Much more common than it should be in fact. I would say that the majority of businesses we speak to fall into this category.
So, how does one actually USE their website?
I always liken a website to a car as it seems to be an analogy people can get their head around. Let’s say you have a very nice new car sat on the drive. It looks nice and impressive and has a really powerful engine. But unless you actually put petrol in it – it’s not much use. And if you want to get somewhere then you need to plan a route and someone needs to drive. Exactly the same as your website. You need to fuel it if you want it to work for you and then drive traffic to it. This means new content regularly (the fuel) which is mapped out or dictated by your marketing plan and then distributed via your digital (and offline) platforms. And this activity is what drives traffic to the site (driving). And the good news is that once you’ve got the content, the distribution can be largely automated if you wish (scheduled posts, hootsuite etc). Now there are some other considerations like SEO and Paid Marketing (PPC, Social Media etc) that will all help and contribute too. But this is just illustrating just how easy it is to start ‘using’ your website.
I know that sounds remarkably simple but that is essentially what ‘using your website’ amounts to. Creating new relevant content that answers your customers questions and concerns or content in and around your area of expertise. And then sharing it with other people (via social media, e-mail, face to face networking etc). This will do a few things. Firstly, your website will grow. Which means more content for Google – and as long as it’s related to what you do, that is great. Second, it will give you more content to share (or direct people to) and your visitors will have more of a reason to look at your site (and come back) because it’ll likely be information they need and want. Plus if you’re solving problems for them, they could find you while searching for a solution (rather than searching specifically for your company) And finally, it will establish you as an authority in your field (although this one largely depends on you actually knowing your stuff).
This is something we focus on heavily when working with Quicklaunch clients. Ensuring there is a solid understanding as to why certain things are needed and more importantly how to continue using the website effectively once it’s live. We remain available offering support and advice in order to deliver on this.