Are you still in the running to become America's Next Top Website?
The stakes are high and you are in it to win it. Simply having a website doesn’t work against your cut-throat competitors. Your company website serves many purposes, but is it meeting its true potential as it hits the runway?
We’ve compiled a checklist of things your website should be capable of in order to have a competitive edge and the perfect user experience. From nurturing your leads to continuing engagement with your customers, it is essential that your website is executing these areas from H-2-T (head to toe). It’s time to analyze: are you still in the running to become America’s Next Top Website?
For your potential customers and website visitors, you’re just one contestant among the many only competitors for their business. So with that in mind, how can you stand out above the rest? Each lead will judge you on your overall appearance and how you treat them. Your website is essentially a digital “smize” (as Tyra likes to call it) to make these leads fall for you. The question is: how do you do it?
According to Marketo Research, 47% of nurtured leads become larger purchasers than non-nurtured leads. When it comes to nurturing your leads into customers, the focus should be on having the right message in front of them at the right time. By doing this, you can begin to establish relationships that will continue throughout the buying cycle.
The internet is the biggest channel for interaction throughout this cycle, meaning your website should be ready to handle customers searching for a solution to their needs. Some of our favorite tactics for engaging with your leads are:
- Content Targeting – Try multiple types of content (i.e. e-books, blogs, videos, etc.) on your site to attract different buyer personas and implement a marketing automation platform to aid in this process.
- Multi-Channel Nurturing – Don’t rely on one pose to knock them dead. Using your website combined with email, social media and paid marketing is the way to go.
- Lead Scoring – Ranking your prospects based on how they browse the web, where they engage with a CTA on your site, or if they share on social media, can decide which of your leads you should follow up with.
If you’re incorporating these strategies and nurturing your leads, then your website is likely slaying the first challenge.
Driving Relevant Traffic
As your site participates in challenges among the thoughts of your leads, are you reaching out to drive the right traffic? The real question is: are you implementing inbound marketing strategies in your website content? There are three main tactics you should be using to ensure the right traffic heads your way.
- Blogging – At the heart of inbound lies blogging. By adding a blog to your website, your marketers can publish relevant content based on strategic keyword research that your leads are searching for. This way, when they search, the content on your website shows up at the top of the Google results page and attracts leads to the right information, thus solving their issue. As a plus, this establishes great credibility and doesn’t require your business to pay in order to appear at the top of the first page like paid ads do.
- Social Media – Link your social media to your website. Do your leads engage with a particular post? Invite them to visit your page for more information. Or, have your website lead them to your social media accounts that will encourage them to further engage with your brand.
- SEO – By optimizing your website for what your leads are searching for, you can drive more traffic to your site. But not just any traffic—strategic and targeted traffic. Use keywords throughout your website to rank higher up on the Google results page, just as you do for your blogs. The best part of SEO? Analyzing. See which words you rank for, which keywords your competitors rank for and the amount of visits you get from each keyword.
When it comes to converting your leads into customers on your website, you’ll be judged on the best “snapshot” you impress them with. What did they remember from your site? What stood out to them? The key is showcasing how “flawsome” your company can be, highlighting your strong points and explaining why you’re the best solution for them, even among fierce competition.
A way to do this is to ensure you have good resources created for requesting information. Is there valuable content being offered in exchange for some basic information about them? If not, offer a free e-book, infographic, sample or coupon in exchange for a name and email. Be sure that your digital form is easy to follow, simple and non-intrusive. Offer areas for entering in comments or questions that might not be covered on your website and use this information as a way to enhance your web page to make it more clear for users.
So your leads are made over into customers, but your job doesn’t stop there. In order to avoid a one-time visit and eternal elimination from the hearts of your website visitors, you must educate them. This works best by providing content on your website that they can continuously learn from. Some of the best education techniques include:
- FAQ Section – By providing instant access to answers your customers might have, their lives are made easier. If they have a specific question, this will allow you to establish a continued connection.
- Get Visual – As society becomes more and more busy, they want to be attracted quicker than ever. With a visually appealing website, you’ll be able to grab their attention and keep it. Use visuals like infographics and original video content to encourage your customers to stay engaged and learn more about your business.
- Step-by-Step Guides – Show customers how to set up or use your product/service in the simplest of ways. This will keep them interested and make it easy to share with those they want to share it with.
Connecting with Customers
As the “seasons” go by, keep in mind that your sole focus shouldn’t just be on leads. Your website should connect with your past “winners” too, engaging in conversation and providing any information they need to stay loyal customers and ultimately brand ambassadors. These are some foundational ways to keep your connection strong:
- Ask and Answer – Having open communication with your customers will allow them to seize the opportunity to ask the questions they have. Answer their questions in a timely, accurate manner via video or written post.
- Share, Share, Share – While writing blogs to drive traffic to your site is important, it is equally as important to write content your pre-existing customers will find useful. Sharing this content via email notifications is a great way to let your customers know about your newest information and maybe even reveal exclusive offers!
- Show Them Off – Engage your customers by quoting, featuring and even inviting them to guest blog on your website. Your clients might be able to speak about niche topics you aren’t experts on, attracting new segments of your target audience. This allows for positive reinforcement and lets them know you truly value their business and their perspective.
With these tips, you’ll no longer be wondering how to keep your website looking and functioning fabulously. Now you have exactly what it takes to become America’s Next Top Website. In the words of Tyra Banks herself, “Once you plant seeds of success, your tree will bear fierce fruit!”