In part two of this two-part series, you'll learn the traits that effective websites and magnetic marketing share. Head over to part one to learn why a magnetic website is critical to your business' success.
As traditional push forms of advertising--trade shows, direct mail, commercials, ads in the phone book--are fading in importance and losing their effectiveness, marketers and business owners must adopt a digital marketing mindset in order to stay relevant and competitive.
A magnetic website is at the center of an effective digital marketing strategy. But how do you know what separates a magnetic website from the rest of the crowd? What are the traits of effective websites and magnetic web marketing?
Magnetic websites follow these best practices:
A magnetic website puts customers first with content that is helpful, relevant, easy to find and easy to understand. This is achieved through a number of means, such as:
- Design: Don't look disheveled when you first "meet" your customers online! Your website should look polished. A professional appearance inspires trust.
- Information architecture: Content should be organized in a logical way and clearly labeled. Navigating your website should be a breeze. Key pages and content are not hidden.
- Copy: Your website is written with benefits to your audience in mind. It uses the words and phrases your customers and prospects would use, not jargon. Sentences and paragraphs are short and easy to scan. Headlines point out key topics; lists and tables make it easy to find important facts quickly.
- Visuals: Photos, graphics, videos and other visuals break up text and add variety and additional context to the content you offer. "Stock" visuals are not used!
Magnetic websites also have personality. People want to do business with "real people," not a typical "corporation." A magnetic website weaves in your story and your company culture; content, photography, videography and other elements are distinctly you. People hear the company’s voice, loud and clear. It's important to highlight the expertise of the people in your company, since they are the ones that provide the service or make the product.
Content Tailored to Customers' Needs
Many websites simply provide background information, which often results in a "brochure" website that's static and generalized. General information might be somewhat useful for prospects, but it typically doesn't answer the first questions that prospects have about your product or service.
Magnetic websites offer content that is tailored to a prospect's specific questions or problems at each stage in the buying cycle.
And it's not just the subject matter that is customized. The topic and the format are tailored to best suit customer preferences. What works well for one company--say, a video blog--might not be the best solution for another company, whose customers prefer to read articles or how-to guides.
A magnetic website marketing strategy will investigate customer needs and preferences and then create the right content and deliver it in the right way.
Easy to Find, Easy to Share
A magnetic website makes it easy for people to find and share content.
Again, a magnetic website uses the words and phrases that prospects use, or are likely to use. They provide solutions to customers' problems and pain points in the website content.
A magnetic website is created in such a way that makes it easy for search engine spiders to find and access the information. Magnetic websites avoid using technologies like Flash, because search engines can't "read" Flash. Plus, Flash won't work on devices like iPhones or iPads--meaning content would not be easy to find or use for mobile audiences.
Magnetic websites also integrate tools to allow visitors to save or share the information they find most useful, recognizing that these visitors could have other contacts with the same questions.
When a company sets out to create a magnetic website, it knows it must invest time, effort and resources in creating content. A magnetic website will show the company’s commitment to publishing quality content on a frequent basis.
Built-In Lead Nurturing
As we've pointed out, not everyone is ready to buy right away. A magnetic website will provide easy ways to continue to inform prospects after they leave your website.
With a magnetic website, there's a way to capture website leads and guide them through the sales cycle, just like a sales person would. Not only does an integrated customer relationship management/marketing automation tool help track leads, it can also “follow up” with leads and send additional information and resources to the right prospect at the right time—automatically.
Closed-Loop Website Analytics
Website analytics tools, CRM tools, and marketing automation tools are all integrated, and results are continually monitored.
As a marketer, you're able to track metrics that really matter, and know what marketing activities are actually generating leads and sales.
Because you know what works and what doesn't, the website goes through ongoing, incremental updates to refine content, test changes and track results, to ensure that customer needs are met in the best way possible.
How does your website stack up? Does your website exhibit these seven traits? Do you need help improving your website's effectiveness and magnetism? Contact us today for your own inbound marketing assessment and learn how to optimize your website performance for maximum results.