A website is good for business. But, a strategic website that aligns with your business and marketing goals is great for business. Whether you are getting ready to launch a website or you already have an existing site, your business needs to develop a website strategy that elevates the effectiveness of your website and makes it more useful to you and your customers.
Let’s look at what a website strategy is, why you need one, and how you can develop one in four simple steps.
What is a website strategy?
It’s not enough for your website to look good. It also needs to work well — and that means successfully engaging audiences and driving them through a funnel that leads them to take steps toward working with your brand.
That’s where a website strategy comes in.
A website strategy is a plan of action that directs the content, layout and funnel on your business website.
It considers your business objectives and then outlines the ways your website can align with those plans to actively help you reach your goals.
When you develop a website strategy, you answer questions like:
- Who will visit our website? How will they find it?
- What do audiences need when they visit our website? What information are they looking for?
- What messaging would resonate with our target audience?
- What do we want people to do when they visit our website?
- How can we move people through the website page by page?
- How does the website move our business closer to our goals?
When you have answers to these questions, you can determine what content, messaging and calls-to-action you need on your website so it can effectively help you reach your business goals.
How to develop a website strategy in four steps
Whether you are starting a new website or updating an existing site, here are four steps to develop a website strategy that can make your website more effective. Consider these website strategy examples as you lay out a plan for your site.
1. Define your website goals
It will be practically impossible to develop a website strategy if you don’t know the goals for your website.
If you don’t know what you want your website to do, how can you set it up to drive action?
Goals are the foundation that directs your website strategy. There are a variety of goals for a website, and the type of goals you have will direct the approach you take with your website. Goals in website strategy examples might be:
Goal: Increase organic search rankings.
Approach: Create a content strategy for SEO.
Goal: Build trust and educate your customers.
Approach: Develop sales pages and educational, thought-leadership blog posts.
Goal: Showcase your work.
Approach: Build a portfolio or case study library.
Goal: Generate leads.
Approach: Build gated content assets.
Goal: Drive sales and online orders.
Approach: Build an online store.
Keep in mind that there are many goals for a website. Don’t be too broad with your goals, and don’t set too many.
Identify two or three primary goals, and optimize your site to reach those objectives.
Giving your audience too many things to do or filling your site with too many options can lead to lower effectiveness.
As you develop a website strategy, make at least one of your goals aligned with driving customers toward doing business with you, such as joining your email list, contacting you, or buying or scheduling. Outline an on-site funnel to lead them toward that action.
2. Outline your on-site funnel
An on-site funnel is a series of steps you present to website visitors to guide them closer to working with your business.
You want a website visitor to do something to help them on their customer journey before they leave your site. This may mean entering their email address and becoming a lead or making a purchase and becoming a customer.
Whatever your intended goal, create an on-site funnel that guides website visitors closer toward doing business with you.
Start with the pages that a new website visitor lands on and then use calls-to-action to lead them page by page to where they can take the final action. A website strategy example might be a lawn and garden business that wants to drive website visitors to schedule a service. The on-site funnels for this site might be:
- A homepage that starts by funneling website visitors to either a residential or commercial landing page that explains the details of the service and has a button to schedule.
- A blog post that speaks to homeowners about the best way to keep their yard properly watered and ends with a call-to-action button to schedule a residential lawn service.
End each page on your website with a call-to-action that guides visitors toward the next step to working with you.
3. Define your target audience
Many businesses miss this step in their website development process. Or, they make their target audience category too broad.
For example, a hair salon might say anyone who needs a haircut and lives near their business is their target audience. This is a mistake. The salon likely caters to a specific type of clientele (it may be kid-friendly, specialize in up-dos for women or great at razor cuts for men). The website should speak to that specific audience.
Avoid filling your site with generic copy that speaks to all audiences.
Hone in on your ideal customer and create copy that resonates directly with them. When they land on your website, let them know your business is the place for them and what they need to do to work with you.
4. Create or update your pages and posts
Once you have your goals, on-site funnel and target audience, you can start the content creation and optimization process. Start creating and updating the pages and posts you need to align with your website strategy.
- Outline the pages you need on your site to guide website visitors toward the primary end goal of your site (becoming a lead, buying something, etc.).
- Create content that speaks directly to your audience.
- End each page and post with a call-to-action that drives website visitors through your on-site funnel.
- Do keyword research to find terms that might attract your audience, and optimize your pages to match those keywords.
- Remove pages that don’t serve your goals or on-site funnel.
Also, consider if you need to modify your site structure and navigation to make it as easy as possible for website visitors to find what they need, take the steps toward working with your business and help you reach your business goals.
Develop a website strategy to drive better business results
Setting up a website for your business is more than buying a domain, setting up hosting and building a few pages. You also need to develop a website strategy that guides the direction, purpose and planning of your new site.
Follow the steps in this post to develop a website strategy for your business. Then, get to work on updating your existing site or planning your new website.
Shopping Video – New Marketing Trend
One of the best ways for marketers and business owners to increase sales and engage customers is video shopping. This new marketing trend involves using video content to promote and sell your products.
Here is everything you need to know about shopping videos for business owners.
What is Video Shopping
Video shopping involves using video content to promote your products/services with the aim of increasing sales. With a shopping video, business owners can show off their brand and give relevant information about their products and services. Also, videos help influence the decision-making process of buyers and increase sales.
Types of Shopping Videos
There are two main categories of shopping videos, and they are:
Live Video Shopping
This type of video shopping involves creating a live presentation of your products. It is not pre-recorded, thus making it easy for customers to interact in real-time.
Non-Live Video Shopping
In this case, you record the video and then upload it on platforms where customers can find them. While you can’t get real-time responses from customers, non-live videos are easily accessible, unlike live videos.
Benefits of Video Shopping
Video shopping can provide many benefits for business owners and their customers. Some of the advantages of video shopping are:
1. Engaging Visuals That Increase Sales
Consumers generally prefer video content over text because they are a more expressive form of content. With video shopping, business owners can create an interactive environment where customers can engage. This form of engaging content increases your chance of converting visitors to actual customers.
2. Increase Brand Awareness
Business owners can increase the chance of being seen by their target audience through impressive shopping videos. Shopping videos prove to be a convenient way to promote your business and increase brand awareness.
3. Convenient Customer Interaction
Video shopping helps engage with customers in real-time, thus making them feel seen. You can chat with customers one-on-one, which makes it easier to serve their needs. Whether it’s a car dealer chat or a skincare consultation, you can count on video shopping to improve rapport.
4. Bring Products to Live
With video shopping, shoppers can easily browse products in real-time. For example, fashion brands often bring clothes to life by making a video of how it looks on a real person. This will help customers have a feel of how the item will look on them, and this can increase sales.
5. Easy to Create
Creating shopping videos doesn’t have to be a long and complicated process. Shopping videos tend to be short and easy to make without requiring a professional. With a smartphone or camera, anyone can make a marketing video that converts. Also, there are many channels and platforms available to create videos that will persuade visitors into being actual customers.
6. Increased SEO Ranking
Videos tend to perform better than other forms of content, and having them on your website will increase your SEO rankings. This makes it easy for customers to find you and do business with you.
If you are running an online business, you need to keep up with new marketing trends to boost your brand. One of the latest marketing trends to implement is video shopping. When done correctly, video can help provide valuable information for customers, boost engagement, and increase sales.
In Business, Image Matters. How to Improve Yours?
Your business may boast of excellent products and/or services. However, nowadays, excellent products and services simply aren’t enough to help a business survive and thrive in the long run. What your business also needs is a strong image – one that can help it stand out from its competitors.
But how exactly do you go about improving the image of your business? To know the answer to this question, read on as we take you through all the steps you can and must take to take your business forward towards success.
1. Face-to-face interactions with people
We may be living in the digital age, but nothing can beat face-to-face interactions when it comes to telling people about your business. Here are some ways through which you can inform people about your business and what it’s all about:
Meet people and start conversations
It’s unrealistic to expect that people will know about your business if you don’t reach out to them. So, start going out and attending events.
Business-centric open meetings and conferences would be the best place to start. At these events, you’ll run into several businessmen like yourself. You should make the most of these opportunities to start conversations with others from the world of business. This will gradually let people know about your business and the products and/or services it has to offer.
Prepare a pitch
When you meet potential customers, you have to be prepared to speak spontaneously about your business. At this juncture, it’s important that you don’t fumble or sound unconfident. After all, what you tell people about your business will form impressions in their minds – and you’d want those impressions to be positive, wouldn’t you?
This is where preparing a pitch can come in incredibly handy. Write it down first and then keep practicing it out loud, and make changes where necessary.
Participate in community events
Your local community is the first pillar of support for your business. So, get out there and try playing a role in all community events. At these events, you should promote your business in a friendly and welcoming manner.
This should encourage members of your local community to take an interest in your business and what it has to offer. Sure, this may not result in immediate sales, but it will definitely improve your business’s public visibility.
2. Make your business appear professional
A surprising fact is that the modern-day consumer values professionalism more than the quality of products and services. Of course, product and service quality is important, but if your business lacks professionalism, it will lose out on customers.
So, to make your business appear professional, you can put the following steps into practice:
Invest in a business website
The internet is arguably the biggest platform for businesses nowadays, which is why you should invest in a dedicated website for your business. We recommend hiring professional web developers and designers to curate your business website. This will ensure that your website looks and feels professional.
Apart from setting up a website, you should also pay attention to its content. Quite simply, it should have all the information that your target audience may want to know, i.e., contact information and information about the business. Your business website should also have a blog with consistent posts. This can go a long way towards ensuring your expertise within your niche.
Set up a dedicated email account for your business
Using your personal email account as your business’s email account is nothing short of a criminal offense. That’s why you should set up a dedicated business email account. It’ll help you achieve consistency with your branding, and it’ll also allow your business to look professional to the people who subscribe to your business newsletters.
To set up a business email account, you need to first create a domain name and then get in touch with an email provider. Two of the best email providers out there include Office 365 for Business and Google Apps for Business. Both options provide business-class email along with features such as online storage and document editing. The best thing about these options is that they’re quite inexpensive.
Provide 24/7 Customer Service
These days, consumers expect the companies they buy products and services from to be available for them 24/7. Fortunately, the widely availble virtual assistant and reception services such as those provided by www.virtualreception.com.au can do that for you – both on and off office hours – to any types and sizes of business, from freelancing digital nomads to multinational corporations.
3. Set up your social media for success
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are excellent places to market your business and its products. Here are a few ways to make your business succeed on social media:
Create business profiles
On all major social media platforms, you have the option of setting up personal profiles and business profiles. It’s best to create the latter type of profile as it is designed specifically for business purposes.
During the setup process, make sure that you include relevant info in the bio sections. Don’t forget to add links to your official website and other social media handles as well.
Post relevant content regularly
All social media algorithms tend to favor accounts that post relevant content on a consistent basis. So, irrespective of the social media platforms you’re active on, make sure that you’re posting new content as much as possible.
Not posting regularly can limit your business account’s reach and stall its growth on social media.
Keep branding elements consistent across all platforms
If your Instagram page looks drastically different from your Facebook page, your target audience is bound to get confused. That’s why it’s vital to use similar branding elements across all social media platforms.
The branding elements you should focus on keeping consistent include your business’s logo, its imagery, and its voice, i.e., the tone of communicating with your audience.
Encourage users to engage with you on social media and interact with them: Through the use of call-to-action (CTA) messages, you can encourage your followers on social media to engage with your posts. You should also spare time to respond to your followers’ comments.
There are quite some things to consider in your endeavor to increase your buisness image. However, focusing on the three above is more than sufficient to get started: Meet people and tell the about your business; make an effort to be professional, especially in your online presence; and lastly, make use of social media platforms to your advantage.
Be sure to do a lot of trials-and-errors so that you can form the best practices for your company.
14 community management tips for meaningful connections with customers
The idea for sharing community management tips came to me about a year ago. That’s when I synced up with the GoDaddy Community team to host a webinar for small business owners. As hundreds of attendees rolled into the Zoom, I had a realization: “GoDaddy has a strong community.”
Behind every good brand and business, there’s a solid community of supporters, stakeholders, and sometimes, even haters.
But building a community and maintaining connections is one of the most misunderstood and least talked about topics within the small business world. For a business with fewer than five employees and a handful of customers, community building might seem like just another marketing tactic that is just out of reach.
To help small businesses build and manage an online community, I asked other business owners and marketers what community management tips they had for creating meaningful connections with customers.
14 community management tips to create meaningful customer connections
Given that creating and maintaining a strong community can help retain and attract customers, consider following these 14 community management tips:
- Be quick to address negative experiences
- Filter out spam
- Showcase success
- Send a postcard
- Get your customers involved in important decisions
- Bring Up topics that encourage engagement
- Provide talking points and engage with your community
- Engage regularly
- Be the face of your brand
- Choose a channel that works
- Create content that addresses customers’ specific needs
- Consider a brand ambassador program
- Reward loyalty
- Recognize the importance of inclusivity
Read on to learn more.
1. Be quick to address negative experiences
A bad customer experience can quickly escalate to a brand reputation crisis, and the company’s response must be fast to revert the situation.
Monitoring social channel mentions is an easy way to keep an eye on conversations surrounding your brand and detect potential concerns.
Once a customer posts a comment that threatens your brand reputation, listen, honestly apologize and be willing to solve the issue in the best possible way. Your unsatisfied customer will feel appreciated and perhaps even become a brand advocate.
-Rebeca Sena, GetSpace.digital
2. Filter out spam
The most important thing you should be doing in regards to community management is interacting with your community, and you cannot do that properly if you have to work through a bunch of spam. There are many programs out there, even some within the different social media sites, that can filter out spam in your comments and messages so you can focus on addressing your community. Plus, getting rid of the spam and moderating harmful comments creates a better space for your community to contact you through.
-Jacob Dayan, Community Tax
3. Showcase success
Develop case studies from your successful community members. This is a practical way of propagating the core values of your online community and encouraging new users to join your community.
The more these members contribute to the community, the more impact these case studies have. You can start by creating basic reports to identify the members who are actively contributing high-quality content, assisting other members, and elevating the community.
-Hasan Farahani, Yocale
4. Send a postcard
Many of my customers spend $15–$20K on medical care in Latin America. I send my customers handwritten postcards to remind them of their journey, thank them for their business, and to stay engaged while they recover from procedures like dental implants or plastic surgery.
The cost in time and money is very low, but a human touch in the healthcare space is increasingly rare.
-Wesley Jacobs, Apollo Medical Travel
5. Get your customers involved in important decisions
Taking the time to follow up with your most active customers and getting their insights on important decisions makes them feel like their opinions are truly valued and cared for.
In the long run, this forges a strong connection between you and your audience that relies on more than simply a transaction.
An added benefit of doing this is that you may even get some eye-opening suggestions and creative ideas that could end up benefiting your business.
-Harry Morton, Lower Street
6. Bring up topics that encourage engagement
Meaningful connections need to originate from a common source that offers a moment of relatability, which can further build brand trust. Social platforms offer numerous opportunities for these types of exchanges. When managing your social community, bring up topics that encourage engagement so you can connect on a level that goes beyond the basic company/customer relationship. In doing so, the consumer will feel more at ease to comment, ask questions and even provide more detailed feedback.
-Lindsay McCormick, Bite
7. Provide talking points and engage with your community
It’s important to recognize that community management is an ongoing responsibility. If you want to see your community thrive, you must create opportunities for customers to voice their opinion, communicate with other community members and provide you with feedback. Finding success is contingent on your ability to encourage participation from users, so you must provide talking points and give them plenty of avenues to stay involved.
If you leave your community dormant without your administrative oversight, engagement will start to dwindle as fewer users initiate conversations and take part.
Communities rarely function autonomously, so be sure to play an active role as you connect with and safeguard your community.
This gives you a chance to speak with your customers on a personal level, helping you learn about their likes, dislikes, objections and pain points directly—all of which are crucial in building meaningful connections with customers.
-Mike Grossman, GoodHire
8. Engage regularly
The best community management tip is to engage regularly and don’t neglect questions or threads you didn’t start—even better if they aren’t getting a lot of feedback. If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to regularly interact with your customers, make sure you’re commenting often and have a badge next to your name letting them know you’re a moderator or part of the company. That will really cement that feeling of connection and letting members feel heard. Plus, we’ve found that a community manager can really breathe life into a topic by offering input and pushing it to the front of that community for more engagement.
-Sylvia Kang, Mira
9. Be the face of your brand
Revealing the human side of your brand is without a shadow of a doubt an efficient strategy to boost your customers’ connection. It conveys transparency and accountability, building a stronger human bond. Consumers tend to trust people more than a company, and showcasing real people will make you and your brand easier to remember and trust.
-Chiara Sternardi, Passport-photo.online
10. Choose a channel that works
The best way to build an authentic community is to have everyone communicate using the same social media platform. Make that a crucial part of your strategy.
If it’s a professional audience that you’re going after, choose LinkedIn. If it’s a broader audience, use Facebook or Instagram. If it’s a young audience, try Snapchat or WhatsApp. If it’s a politically charged audience, maybe try Twitter.
YouTube is a great way to encourage people to watch videos that provide clear instructions on how a product or service works.
Users flock to YouTube for instructions on everything from how to change batteries on a device to playing scales on a guitar. The comment section can be useful for feedback purposes, and it also can be a way for customers to communicate with one another.
-Joel Jackson, Lifeforce
11. Create content that addresses customers’ specific needs
By creating audience and buyer personas based on different client categories, content marketers can create social content that speaks to people rather than just industries. Learn where your customers hang out online using your social media demographics. Then, narrow those results using audience research to help you define a specific audience and channel. You can then customize communications by researching the LinkedIn profiles of potential customers. Doing so will allow you to identify different stakeholders within the organization and determine their pain points. You can then create better content that addresses their challenges. But it’s all about finding an interesting angle for each segment.
Content that is too broad won’t result in authentic engagement with your followers.
Social media posts that offer helpful information are guaranteed to stand out in your clients’ feeds, resulting in more likes, shares and leads.
-Daniel Tejada, Straight Up Growth
12. Consider a brand ambassador program
A great way to create authentic connections with customers is with an acquisition and advocacy program like a brand ambassador program. For example, if a user can get five people to sign up for a service or product, they become an ambassador.
These brand ambassadors can help your business acquire new users. You can reward them with swag and access to special products or services … maybe even a special event!
-Jennifer Pieniazek, Resume Now
13. Reward loyalty
You can create meaningful connections by rewarding loyal customers to show how much you appreciate them. Just like any relationship, whether it’s personal or professional, people appreciate rewards. Show your customers that they matter and are top of mind in your decision-making. That’s how you create a stronger, more loyal customer base—one that will continue to pay attention for new initiatives and future rewards.
-Alyssa Berman-Waugh, Level Home, Inc.
14. Recognize the importance of inclusivity
To create meaningful connections with customers, recognize and accept diversities within your community. Each of your customers will differ in terms of their culture, orientation, ability and life experience. It’s imperative that you celebrate these differences and welcome input from individuals of all walks of life as you advocate for equity and inclusivity. This will develop your community’s reputation and attract diverse groups in greater numbers.
Communities that cater to just one group of people almost always become echo chambers, creating a suboptimal environment for connections to form and important discussions to take place.
By listening, asking questions, and welcoming input from diverse groups of individuals, you’ll cement your community as a welcoming place for diversity and insight to flourish.
In doing so, your ability to build a rapport and create meaningful, lasting connections with your customers will blossom.
-Patrick Casey, Felix
The community management tips used in this article were gathered using Terkel.
Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published.
Ken Abel, Sales Director at Trailstone Insurance Group, Interviewed on Influential Entrepreneurs Podcast Discussing the Core Values Working With Trailstone Insurance.
Distributed work is here to stay — how your business can adapt
“Whispers from His Heart: Experiencing The Love of God”, moving brokenness to healing by personally connecting to God daily
The Moment These 7 Entrepreneurs Turned Their Hobby Into a Business
How to Scale Your Sales Team Quickly
Tips for scaling up your Etsy business
Managing people4 days ago
12 examples of team-building activities for small businesses
Growing a Business4 days ago
In Business, Image Matters. How to Improve Yours?
Finance & Accounting4 days ago
What Are Typical Small-Business Loan Terms?
News3 days ago
Interview with Morgan Lloyd Insurance Agent with Trailstone Insurance Group About Protecting Homeowners from Natural Disasters
Growing a Business5 days ago
5 Ways Virtual Headquarters Pandemic-Proof Your Business
Managing people4 days ago
Don’t Just Pay Interns, Help Them Build Networks
Leadership4 days ago
How to Respond When an Employee Quits
Banking2 days ago
Are Small-Business Loans Installment or Revolving?