Damion Wasylow / Digital Marketing / June 17th, 2014

Top 3 Ways Marketing Directors Use Their Websites to Earn More Customers

Congratulations, marketing director, you’ve got a shiny new company website. Now what? After all, just having a website doesn’t do anything for you. So, how will you use this technological marvel to earn more money?

The digital marketing landscape offers endless opportunities for attracting qualified visitors to your site and converting them into customers. The key is knowing where to focus your efforts. Here are three ways that you can use your shiny new website to start earning more customers.

Content is King (No, Really)

Just because you’ve heard it a thousand (ok, several million) times doesn’t mean it’s not true. Fill your site with rich, diverse and engaging content relevant to the lives of prospective customers. Use articles, videos and graphics to deliver solutions to their problems, inspire them to try something new or provide a little entertainment.

Done right, content provides additional in-roads for people to find you, get to know your brand and eventually buy your products. It can be frightening to think you have to constantly create new content, but don’t forget that you can reuse older content or change its form to reach new audiences.

People spend a lot more time ingesting content online than they do shopping for products or services. Creating content those people will appreciate creates more touch points through which your brand can demonstrate its personality and expertise. It also allows you to make your site more relevant for specific keywords.

Continually adding strong content to your site is also a sign to search engines that someone is “minding the store.” Search engines want evidence that a site isn’t just sitting stagnant. Without regular content additions, your position in search results will likely plummet.

Of course, the best content is sharable, meaning it’s valuable and compelling enough that people want to pass it along to friends and family. To encourage this, make sharing simple via any channel a user might prefer.

Take Advantage of Marketing Automation

You’ve likely heard of Pardot, HubSpot or Marketo, marketing automation software suites that connect your customer relationship management (CRM) software or sales management system with the activities of visitors to your website.

All of that is simply a fancy way of saying that marketing automation helps you deliver applicable content to a potential customer at the right time to maximize your chance for a sale. The power of these platforms cannot be overstated.

Marketing automation helps you get to know website visitors as individuals, allowing you to deliver content that’s most relevant to them.

Let’s say a prospective customer visits your site for the first time, attracted by some sort of compelling content you developed. To fully access that awesome content, she’s willing to provide her email address. Your marketing automation software places a cookie on her machine and associates that email address with her computer’s IP address.

Now, every time she returns, you know it’s her. You can track her specific interactions with the site. By monitoring her site activity, you can tell where she is in the sales funnel and expose her to materials that have the greatest impact at each juncture. You can even assign scoring methodologies to trigger automated emails or sales calls at the right time to close the deal.

Since you’re creating all that great content, marketing automation is the most powerful way to leverage your content strategy.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

One of the wonderful things about digital marketing is that you can measure just about anything, especially when it comes to activity on your own site. Use that data to your advantage.

Companies are sometimes reticent to invest the necessary money for research. Whether you’ve served customers in the same industry for a long time or you’re just introducing a new product, it’s understandable to think you have a good grasp of your consumers’ motivations, preferences and needs. Unfortunately, that often leads to producing websites that miss the mark in unforeseen ways.

Don’t panic if you find yourself in this position, it’s never too late to turn things around.

If your site is under-producing, the reasons why are probably right there buried in the mounds of data available through your analytics package. The hard part is knowing what to look for. Pages with high exit rates, outliers in average page load times or acquisition channels with high bounce rates are just a few of literally dozens of data sets you can review to piece together the puzzle.

Once you have a solid theory with research to back it, apply tests and measure results. We do a lot of A/B testing for clients, creating alternate versions of landing pages, contact forms, purchase processes and the like to evaluate the impact on sales conversions. We’ve found that even relatively simple changes produce substantial effects. You can then confidently launch those changes at full scale, knowing they are worth the investment.

In the digital age, your website is your most powerful marketing tool. Focusing on content, leveraging marketing automation and applying data and testing to maximize effectiveness will set you well on your way towards making the most of every click.

Image credit: Square

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