Why Your Website Needs a Digital Strategy

Why Your Website Needs a Digital Strategy

Words by Ryan Z

The average human attention span is eight seconds – one second less than that of a goldfish. So, in today’s digital environment, how can a business expect to deliver its message before visitors move on? To use an analogy, think of your online presence as a fishing net. Social media accounts and search engine listings are all part of an elaborate cast with the goal of capturing browsers and turning them into buyers. At the center of that net resides your website.

Many companies, though, think of their website the same way they do voicemails – set it, then forget about it. Going back to the fishing analogy, this is the metaphorical equivalent to casting a net with a giant hole in the middle. You’ll go through all the motions, but end up with nothing to show for it – and this is where most business owners are at in their digital marketing journey. They’re doing all the “right” things – boosting Facebook posts, blogging once a week, posting on Instagram twice a day, yet they have nothing to show for it.

"They want to see a direct connection between digital marketing and increased revenue."

When business owners tell me their digital marketing campaigns “don’t seem to be working,” it’s typically because they can’t find a tangible return on investment. They’re not impressed by the amount of retweets they get or Facebook likes they have. They want to see a direct connection between digital marketing and increased revenue.

In many cases, the front end of their digital marketing presence is working pretty well. Social media is active, users engage consistently and their email open rate is pushing a healthy 25%. Web traffic is up overall, but the number of orders is plateauing or growing at a rate slower than expected. And more times than not, it’s because the website isn’t designed to convert leads into sales.

To that end, here are four things to keep in mind when creating a website strategy:

There are two types of landing pages

Before you begin adding text to a web page, it’s crucial to understand what type of page you’re working on. All web pages fall into one of two categories – they’re either sales pages or content marketing pages.

Pages that are designed to sell include evidence, answer questions, showcase work, and make benefit statements. They typically don’t have a lot of different links taking you to a hundred different places. These pages are designed to take visitors down your sales funnel and motivate them into action.

Content marketing pages have a different objective – to engage with your audience and drum up new traffic. These pages contain blog posts, videos, infographics and visuals, and typically contain links to other content pages. The goal here is to gain new traffic by offering up relevant and interesting information, as well as keep visitors on your site and engaged for as long as possible. YouTube does this incredibly well by taking you into a related video after your current video ends.

Understanding the type of page you’re working on will help you think through the strategy needed to deliver those results.

What’s the goal of your website?

More often than not, the goal of a website is to sell products and services. Whether you’re a retail store looking to move inventory or a designer looking to increase project inquiries, the end goal is the same – selling. While most sites follow this model, it’s important to note that not all websites are designed this way. Some companies just want to focus on educating their customers while others have more business than they know what to do with, and simply want a way to showcase their work on a high-quality platform. Identifying your key performance indicators is the first step in thinking through your web strategy.

Responsive design is a must

Recent studies have shown that 82% of all customers will research their options online before deciding where to spend their money. To add another layer to the equation, a 2016 study found that 51% of all web browsing takes place on mobile phones and tablets, overtaking desktop browsing.

So what does that mean for you and your business? It means that four out of five customers are researching you online, and at least two of those four are doing it on their cellphones. As smart phones advance and internet speeds increase, mobile-friendly functionality is a critical component of every website.

Use Google Analytics to make better business decisions

While it may seem complicated, linking your website to a Google Analytics Account takes less than five minutes to complete. If you’re a DIY-er, you can find plenty of YouTube tutorials walking you through the setup, step by step. It’s worth the trouble. Google Analytics offers insights to user behavior that can be invaluable when making decisions about your business, in both the digital and physical space: the pages that lead to sales, entry and exit points, how long visitors stay on your site, and countless other pieces of information that help you better understand your buyer behavior.