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How to maximise your marketing with a smart website

When it comes to marketing, many businesses underestimate the power of their websites as an interactive tool to build relationships and initiate a two-way dialogue with customers and prospects. A strategically developed website can be so much more than a marketing brochure – it can make your marketing resources work smarter by achieving a level of efficiency and interactivity that is not always possible in the offline world.

Clever WebsiteLearning how to use your website to maximise lead generation and increasing your website conversions by learning more about your visitors are two ways you can start to harness the real potential of your website, to not only strive for a greater ROI in your online marketing spend but also make the job of marketers easier and more effective.

There are a number of ways that you can start to maximise lead generation online. First up you need to think about your user interface design, that is, how the visitor views and interacts with your website. Think of it like a shopfront of a physical store, your user interface needs to instinctively prompt a call to action, encouraging the visitor to either make a purchase or provide users with the information they need to kick off the purchase process.

An effective way to cultivate and qualify leads is to develop a database via your website by simply providing options for visitors to register their details. This could be by subscribing to your company newsletter, requesting an article like a white paper or personalising pages for repeat visits. Other ways to engage your target audience include encouraging potential prospects to seek further clarification on your offering via request forms and if appropriate, encouraging visitors to participate in forums and wikis to discuss issues. This is also a nice way to develop the foundations of an online community which can increase brand awareness and work as valuable feedback and research mechanism.

Finally, to maximise lead generation it is important to tailor your communications to increase brand relevance and enlighten prospects as to why your product or service is relevant to them specifically and what unique needs you can satisfy. This can be achieved by providing tools that users can turn to for specific information relevant to their business or industry. While they may not be ready to purchase, it will build credibility and help your brand to align with their business. Such tools have the potential to motivate call to action as they can validate the need for a product or service.

Increasing your website conversions can be relatively simple yet is an extremely effective way to make your online marketing work smarter. A conversion can be anything that helps accomplish your business strategy – a click to a particular page, an email or even the action of commenting on a blog. It means keeping your existing visitors on your website and engaged, ultimately ending in a decision to purchase your product or use your services.

Web analytics tools are the most valuable place to start when it comes to increasing your conversions. Tools like Google Analytics or Omniture can help you understand how your visitors enter, navigate, interactive with and leave your site. This feedback is priceless, and if used correctly, can help you to make customer-focused improvements to your website that ultimately improves your conversion rate. For example, your statistics might show a particular search term as the most popular lead to your website. In this case you may decide to integrate that particular term into content and data for a relevant call to action page – this will work to improve your search engine optimisation (SEO) and also enhance relevance for arriving visitors, thus increasing the likelihood of conversion!

Identifying where visitors are getting lost around your site is another important factor to consider and can allow you to make the path to call-to-action clearer and more intuitive. For example, if you find your bounce rate is particularly high, then you’re missing out on conversions because your visitors are looking around on the entry page and either cannot find the call to action, or are finding calls to action irrelevant. In this case, you can play around with the layout of your website to make navigation clearer for visitors.  Or you can revise certain content to increase relevance of calls to action to your target audience.

Importantly, web analytics can also provide highly valuable information on the demographics and geography of your visitors. This can help you target communications more efficiently and effectively, thereby increasing relevance, and of course, the chance of conversion.

A great website is not a function of circumstance; rather it is largely dependent on website strategy, and the investment of time and energy into continuous improvement. With a strategic website, you can often accomplish marketing goals more efficiently and create opportunities that are not possible offline – at the end of the day your business can achieve much more with less.

Sam Saltis is CEO of bwired and is featured in our entrepreneurs section here.

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Sam Saltis

Sam Saltis

Sam Saltis is the founder and CEO of bwired, which drives digital business transformations for its clients.

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