Over the years, marketing strategies have changed significantly. The days of pamphlets and paper ads aren’t over, but their reach is limited. So much in the marketing world has turned to a digital experience as a primary marketing strategy.
Your marketing strategy is your gameplan for getting your business exposure and recognition for the right reasons, and it’s crucial to understand how your website will play a role in what you have to offer. Your website is the best way for potential customers to learn about your brand and for your business to grow, and offers the highest potential ROI of any of your marketing channels if you design, optimize, and maintain it effectively.
This article will define what a marketing strategy is and how to incorporate your website into your marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at how to define your strategy and how to implement your website as a fundamental marketing tool within it.
What Is A Marketing Strategy?
Put simply, a marketing strategy is a long-term approach to gain a competitive advantage through understanding your customer’s wants and needs. From there, the goal is to spend resources to achieve that competitive advantage while balancing the needs of customers and the organization. Essentially a marketing strategy involves the planning for advertising and marketing activities to achieve established goals.
Your marketing strategy should include Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.) goals. With so much of our daily lives being internet-based at this point, your website must be part of your marketing strategy, if not the central point of your marketing strategy. In the process, put your resources and time into achieving measurable results.
To build a marketing strategy, you need to keep your customers in mind. First, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and try to define the customer’s needs and how you can meet them. Be sure your marketing strategy and the goals are in writing and are trackable via metrics to be measurable along the way. Finally, identify certain necessary milestones to meet your goals.
When you are building your strategy, you need to decide how you will do it, when, and what you need to accomplish your goals. Be sure to target your customers where they are, not where you want them to be.
Define what results you expect to achieve and keep documentation along the way. After each milestone, conduct a debrief to determine if your marketing strategy has met the goals for that time period and accomplished what you hoped to achieve in a timely manner. Utilize these steps to refine your process and turn your strategy into a solidified marketing plan for your business.
How Does Your Website Fit Into That Marketing Strategy?
Years ago, you would have your business in the yellow pages for a customer to find you. A strategy back then may have been to choose a business name that begins with the letter A, so you would be one of the first businesses a customer would notice when flipping through the Yellow Pages or to run an ad on a page near the bulk of the businesses in your industry.
The goal is still the same, but the strategy has changed. Customers are using keywords and phrases to find what they’re looking for online, and your site needs to be highly searchable by Google for them to find you amongst a sea of your competitors.
One of the first things you need to do is add your business information to Google My Business, including your web address. Your website is a central destination for all of your marketing efforts, the hub where it all comes together and your customers can find anything they need regarding your business.. Your entire marketing strategy can hinge on how much you put into your website and its design and development. This means ensuring that your site is designed professionally, optimized for search by using modern SEO practices, and tracked with Google Analytics and other custom performance tracking tools to analyze your progress and spend your marketing dollars wisely.
To generate leads through your website, you will need to focus heavily on search engine optimization (SEO). Investing your time in proper SEO will bolster your presence online and improve your search ranking on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. The goal is to have your website appear at the top of a search when a potential visitor searches for keywords or phrases, so that people looking for the goods and services you provide see your name first (and ultimately click through to your site).
SEO is composed of multiple strategies designed to have a web browser recognize your website as an authority in your niche. Some on-page strategies to increase SEO are:
- Title – Your website name should be relevant and searchable for your niche.
- Quality and relevant content – Your site should provide relevant, useful content to your audience.
- Headers – Your headings should also include relevant keywords so that Google can parse your page and provide featured snippets.
- Quality images with alt text – Your images should be optimized for quick loading and alt text (short descriptions of the image) should be included for those with poor connections or disabilities.
- Inclusion of keywords without keyword stuffing – As we previously mentioned, keywords are crucial to your SEO, but making sure you don’t spam your page with them is just as important.
- Meta tags – These are descriptions of your page’s content that only display in the HTML of your page and help Google search and understand your content.
- Meta descriptions – Each page of your site should have a short description of its content, and these descriptions should also be keyword optimized and to the point.
- Internal links – Feature links within your blogs or other pages that link to other relevant content on your site.
- Accessibility – Often overlooked, making sure your site is accessible to those with disabilities is an increasingly important factor in your SEO.
Without a doubt, your website will be the testament to the credibility of your business. A business that does not have a website can leave a potential customer concern that the company may not be legitimate.
Customers want to be assured of your company’s legitimacy, know a bit about the business, identify with your ethos and understand if your company participates in any philanthropic ventures, and get the gist of why you are in business. Essentially they want to know what makes your company unique, and they want to identify with the people behind the brand and discover information that makes your company feel more authentic.
Your website will allow you to amplify any other marketing strategies you are implementing. For example, if you focus on social media, you can only say so much in one post, reel, video, or photo. But you can refer visitors to your website to learn a great deal more about your business, your products and services, and what makes you different from other competitors, as well as close the deal right then and there with your digital storefront and some cleverly placed CTAs.
When a customer or visitor has a question about your products, services, or anything about your business, they will look for a way to contact you. Once you have them on your website, you can provide them with a place to purchase parts, support forums, forms, informational sheets, infographics, online customer service, chat space, and more. A website is a great way to keep the customer coming back for shared information and opportunities, and to make them feel that they will be supported long after putting in their credit card information.
Email marketing is another excellent way to refer customers to your website. For the most part, this is a reasonable opportunity for your business to take advantage with a predictable delivery schedule. Of course, you can do a newsletter without a website, but it makes more sense to do it in conjunction with your website to maximize your digital marketing efforts.
Be sure to optimize your website for mobile devices. It is becoming more and more prevalent for customers to access everything they are looking for on a mobile device. Smartphones have made anything a person wants to do online available at their fingertips and your website must do the same or be penalized for it in search algorithms.
Get the Help You Need With Web Design and Development
Creating a custom website for your business seems as easy as using Google.
When you search “create your website,” you’ll find results that include everything from a list of platforms to build on as well as courses available for those who want to do it all on their own.
But designing a website for your business takes time, experience, and a creative eye.
- What elements should you include if you want to generate leads?
- Does this website reach the audience you want?
- Is the design eye-catching, and will it bring in a solid consumer base?
- Is the message of your business clear?
It may seem like it’s going to be easy to create a website yourself — but almost every customer we have ever had that has tried to do it alone regrets it. It always takes longer than they think it will, and the result is never what they hoped for.
At Bhirst Media, we have experience building websites for various customers and a variety of different needs. We understand what it takes to build a website that looks good, is optimized for search engines, and is designed for lead generation.
You don’t have to try and do this alone — let us help. Check out our website design, development, and website care plans today.