For a vibrant website, one that has helpful content for your customers and is easily indexed (Search Engine Optimized–SEO), it must include these 5 items:
Designed to be Mobile Friendly
This means that your customers and potential customers can easily view and use your website on smartphones and tablets with any type of browser or operating system.
To find out if your present website is mobile friendly, here’s a great tool by Google that tests your website. If everything is good, Google’s tool gives you the green light. If there’s a problem, it lists the problem(s) in red.
Today, the point of a website is not to sell; even if your business or not-for-profit’s goal is to sell products and services. Today, the key measurement is engagement.
And to engage people, you must have useful content; preferably content that is educational in nature (how-to articles are especially helpful) or entertaining.
You can ask people to buy your product or service, but the ratio of helpful information to “asks” should be at least 4 to 1. That’s: 4 helpful articles to every one time you ask someone to make a purchase or take an action.
To be SEO compliant, your articles should include relevant photographs. With today’s smartphone technology, almost everyone is carrying around a good camera. Take many photos with your phone and upload them to your website!
Important Marketing Tip 1:
Your content needs to be updated at least once per week. Which means you, or the person who writes content for you, need easy access to posting content on your website.
Important Marketing Tip 2:
The longer each individual article is, as measured in the number of words, the more helpful it is for your customers and the more likely they will share it with their friends, family, and colleagues. A good metric is 500 words which is equivalent to one page of printed content in a standard 12 point font.
Important Marketing Tip 3:
Embed video into each article that you write. Embed video into your homepage. Have a page on your website called “video” and embed a series of videos that shows your customers what you’re all about. If one picture is worth a 1,000 words (2 pages of written content) then a 30 second video, which is comprised of 900 pictures (30 seconds x 30 pictures per second = 900 pictures), is technically worth 1,800 pages of content (900 pictures x 1,000 words per picture / 500 words per page = 1,800 pages). In reality, a 30 second is probably not worth quite that many pages. The point is: video shows your story even more vibrantly than a picture.
Call to Action
This is not the video game! It’s one of those super secret marketing jargon terms. Here’s what it really means: it takes between 3 to 7 “touches” before a potential customer becomes a real customer. “Touch” means: your potential customer has viewed your videos or read your regularly updated long-form articles 3 to 7 times. If a potential customer has come back to your website that many times, they’re ready to take their relationship with your company or not-for-profit to the next step by becoming an active participant.
What does “active participant” mean to you?
To most people, it seems to mean: they’re ready to buy something. That may in fact be true. And that’s why you should have your store for products and services integrated into your website as an online store. Also include your contact information (contact form, email, phone, and a map to your physical location if you have one).
But, what the idea behind “call to action” should mean is that your potential customer is ready to sign-up for your E-mail newsletter. You’re asking them (call to action) to sign up for your newsletter. They want to hear from you regularly through E-mail. And your E-mail list is one of your most valuable advertising assets.
A newsletter means more writing where you offer even more valuable content to your customers: coupons, special incentives, and information only available to people who sign-up for your newsletter.
Writing a newsletter can be as simple as sending an E-mail through your preferred E-mail client (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc.). Or you can use more sophisticated programs such as MailChimp or Constant Contact.
Whether you send out your newsletter once per week or once per month, set a schedule and stick with it. Example: Send your newsletter on the first Wednesday of each month.
Where is your simple sign-up form for your newsletter located on your website?
Important Marketing Tip 4:
Your newsletter sign-up form should be on your homepage and every page on your website so your new customers can quickly find it.
For your reference: this article contains just over 800 words (1.6 printed pages), one photograph, and one video.