Your corporate website is arguably your company’s most valuable marketing asset in today’s digital-centric, modern marketing ecosystem. It deserves ongoing attention and resources, and as a result, it should be viewed as an investment, not a line item expense.
Your website should be a living, breathing, active, lead generating machine. So you can’t have a set it and forget it attitude when it comes to your website. Just because it may be “perfect” when it launches, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvements or additions days, weeks and months later. As with any solid online marketing strategy, your website should be constantly measured and refined for optimal performance.
Your website has never been more important to your marketing
Marketing and sales have fundamentally changed thanks to the Internet. In the past, people depended on ads, brochures, yellow pages and sales people for information related to products, services and companies. But now people flock to search engines and visit websites seeking information to inform their purchasing decisions about everything—whether B2B or B2C, products or services. So needless to say, getting found by people looking for what you do or sell is one of the top marketing priorities a company can possibly have.
Your website should drive business growth, not just traffic
Generating website traffic and giving prospects the information they need is paramount, but generating leads and converting them into customers is the end goal. And it takes more than simply having a website and good search rankings. You need all the necessary lead generation components to get results. When consumers begin researching for their next purchase, you want your website to be an online business development tool, so it needs to do more than just look good.
Continuously improve your website
What worked when your website launched, isn’t necessarily going to work 3, 6, 12, 18, or 36 months later. While we don’t recommend that you redesign your website too frequently, you can’t wait until the next redesign to make improvements. Instead, you should assess your website on an ongoing basis, continually looking for ways to refine and improve it as you go along. Examples could be something as simple as adding additional content pages, landing pages, calls-to-action, and updating your portfolio or something more involved such as redesigning your home page or navigation.
You don’t necessarily need to be constantly changing the look and feel of your website or even making noticeable changes. You just need to focus on your buyer personas, stay on top of the latest tools and techniques and use web analytics and conversion metrics to influence what changes and tweaks need to be made to your website. One of the advantages to using a good Content Management System (CMS) is how relatively easy it makes tweaking, updating and adding new content and features.
Dedicate the necessary resources
Just because you recently redesigned your website, doesn’t mean you won’t need to dedicate anymore time or resources to it for the next couple years. Instead, treat your website like property management companies treat their building properties. They have annual budgets dedicated for regular maintenance and improvements, but they also have capital improvement plans to prepare for larger, long-range projects that require more investment.
It’s possible you had to pare down your website scope due to a lack of budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) add those features and functionality in at a later time. The bottom line is, you should put both time and money into your marketing budget every year to make ongoing improvements (both small and large) to your website.
Start with a solid foundation
Obviously, if you are trying to improve upon your website, you need to have a great website in the first place. So it could be that more than just improvements and tweaks are required and a complete redesign might make sense. Here are some good indicators that a website redesign is necessary. Keep in mind that redesigning your company’s website is going to involve a sizable investment of your time, resources, budget and energy. Like any marketing investment, it shouldn’t be decided on a whim, but rather it should be a strategically-aligned decision made to have a positive impact on your marketing objectives and the bottom-line of your business.
Having a great website that drives results is not going to happen on accident and just because your website is performing well now, doesn’t mean it always will. The right strategy and design are required, but also ongoing attention and resources to ensure continued success.
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