According to Rich Gorman, a serial entrepreneur and a visionary Internet marketing leader, business owners should constantly be focused on improving business operations. This includes marketing, and let’s be honest, most small business owners have a little room for improvement in terms of marketing. Gorman created a small business marketing checklist, that started with a good website design.
Small businesses need a website, but just having a website is not enough. You need a website that helps your business operations and increases revenue. It should be customer focused, easy to navigate, and make a clear and immediate impression of what your business does and what your brand stands for. Gorman said:
A good website is designed for consumers, and it recognizes their needs while offering a real solution.
Here at Five Technology we would have to agree with this notion that Internet marketing starts with a good website design. In the age of the Internet your website is the best way to market your business and represent your brand. Consumers are using the Internet to research all products and services and if your business doesn’t have a solid presence on the web, consumers are most likely not going to find you.
A custom website design can set your business apart from the competition. It should represent your brand, enhance user experience, and increase business revenue. How can your website increase your revenue, even if you aren’t selling products online? Two words, lead generation.
Your website can generate leads for your company. People research online, stumble across your website via a search engine, and submit their contact info or call you to learn more about your business.
Gorman’s marketing checklist also included ways to better market your website through Internet marketing techniques. A good website design combined with these other items should improve your web presence, enhance business operations, and lead to more online conversions that will increase revenue.
Search engine optimization (SEO): Your website should be optimized for search engines, so that Google and Bing will find your website. If you are not showing up on the first page of search results for the search terms that your potential customers are using, chances are you are not going to get a lot of visits to your website.
Put yourself in your target market’s shoes. What will they be search for when looking for your products or services? Answering that question should be the first step in the SEO process.
A company blog: Search engines like Google reward websites that consistently have fresh and relevant content. A blog is a great way to do this. Weekly or even daily blogs can be a great way to promote your keywords and increase your SEO and Internet marketing efforts.
Mobile friendliness: Studies have shown that over 50% of Internet access comes from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. If that’s not a clue that your website should be optimized for mobile use we don’t know what is.
Your website should be mobile friendly. More often than not this would mean a responsive web design. However, in some some cases a mobile website might be an option as well.
Videos: Videos can also be a great way to market your brand, products, and services through the Internet. Your website and social media sites like YouTube and Vimeo will promote this videos. Gorman stated:
Do you know the old saying about how every business owner needs an elevator pitch—a way of clearly explaining his business in a matter of just a few seconds? On the Internet, there is no better way to make your elevator pitch than with a video. YouTube clips that offer quick overviews of your company can convey your business’ merits quickly, and form real connections with customers in ways that mere text cannot.
Content Marketing: Content is everything, which means there are no shortcuts to reaching the first page of Google search results. Content is a huge factor in search engine optimization and earning online conversions. If the information on your website isn’t accessible and engaging then you need to revisit your content marketing initiatives. Your business should have a strong content marketing strategy that lays out your content marketing for your website, blog, social media, and more.
Humanity: Your website design should convey a sense of personality and humanity. Create relatable content and offer a way for consumers to get to know your company. An about us page, videos, photos, and social media can be a great way to create an identity to your brand. A custom website design will enhance that brand identity.
Calls to action: Calls to action are those forms that users fill out their information and submit to your website so that your company can follow up with them. When users submit these forms that are genuinely interested in your business and want to learn more about what you offer. These are a necessity on every small business website to generate warm leads. Each submission counts as an online conversion and offers potential for more revenue.
Read Joan Haverford’s full article, Rich Gorman Shares His 2014 Marketing Checklist.