Before asking what’s in your website marketing strategy, it would probably be wise to ask if you have a website marketing strategy. But what would such a strategy accomplish?
A website marketing strategy is a statement or a clear understanding what you want your website to be, what you expect to accomplish with it, and how you plan to make that happen. A strategy is the means to an end. It says what you want to do, what needs to happen in order to do what you plan and how you will make all of those things happen.
If you are paying to have a website on the Internet and you don’t have a website marketing strategy, my guess is that you are wasting a lot of money. You also might be sending the community a message you don’t want to send.
Hopefully, you have a comprehensive marketing strategy. You know what you want to do to attract people to your business or practice. And, also hopefully, you have a way trying to attract the right people. If you have a website that is not an integral part of your marketing strategy, you are under-utilizing a valuable asset. Here are a couple of examples of a website marketing strategy.
1. Mr. Brown is the senior partner in an accounting firm. He is frustrated that the firm generates relatively little business for services other than tax preparation. While this is a desirable situation for some of the younger partners, he is concerned about making the firm more valuable before he retires and sells it. His new website marketing strategy will be to provide information about every service the firm offers to individuals, businesses and non-profit agencies. He decides to do this by writing pages for the website that explain each of the available services. He also adds video clips talking about each of the partners in the firm, their specialties and their community involvement. Then he will invest some money in listings on local internet business directories and buy some ads on the most popular search engines. To encourage people to do business with them, the website will implement a specific strategy for each service offered to move each person who visits the website into the office for a free consultation. From there, he believes he can make them his clients.
2. Ms. Evans is a mortgage broker. She uses her website as an online brochure. She has no website marketing strategy and does not believe her website can help her with marketing. The bottom line on her website is that it accomplishes absolutely nothing for her business. The recent housing crisis and the economic crisis have dramatically reduced her business. Because she has no website marketing strategy, her other marketing efforts – brochures, direct mail and sponsoring luncheons for local real estate agents – are costing her a fortune.
Your website marketing strategy will be as unique as you are. The needs of your business must set the objectives for your website. This strategy should also be a component of your broader marketing strategy to grow your business or practice. If the goal of your website is to make visitors into customers or client, your strategy will also need to include the steps in that process and how you will move people through those steps.
In today’s wired society, it is difficult to think of any business or practice that could not benefit from a website marketing strategy. It is the strategy that focuses effort and activity toward the most important business goals and spends money only where it is needed. In this economy nobody needs to be throwing money down rabbit holes.