So, you have a website, but it sucks! You’ve been thinking for a while about redoing it, and you’re weighing up the choice between using a small business website redesign company, or taking the so-called “easy” or “cheap” route and doing it yourself using those free templates available online.
I’ve been there, and I can tell you for sure that the DIY option is neither easy nor cheap! Not only will you spend hours and hours fiddling to fix formatting problems, but the cost in your time can become astronomical. And chances are at the end of the process, you’ll need to go and pay to get it done properly anyway.
Here are the main elements you need to consider to make sure your inbound marketing website brings in the business you want it to:
Ingredient #1: Professional Design
Sorry, those templates just don’t cut it! Not only does the “drag and drop” function rarely display the way it’s supposed to, but there are too many templates with dark backgrounds that can’t be customized and temperamental text boxes that won’t behave. A HubSpot-certified company with small business website redesign experience knows how to create a clean, uncluttered look that is:
- Customized for your brand and location, such as using Toronto-centric imagery to promote your local business
- Easily readable
- Allows responsive access to every facet of your business from mobile devices, and
- Makes good use of colour schemes and contrast.
And always remember – while a pre-designed template may look great, it hasn’t been created to properly showcase your brand and content the way a professional inbound marketing design can.
Ingredient #2: Good Site Architecture
Setting up your site’s architecture correctly is a critical aspect of your small business website redesign process. You need to use typical Internet conventions such as well-constructed page titles and header tags, meta descriptions and alt text. You need an intuitive navigation structure that guides your site visitors seamlessly from one page to the next in a logical fashion. With an inbound marketing site, visitors come wanting – and expecting – to find certain information, and if poor navigation makes it too difficult they’ll leave and go elsewhere – usually right into the arms of your competition.
Ingredient #3: Findability
No matter how fabulous your site is, it’s no use if you don’t get visitors, right? Forget the whispers about SEO being dead in the water- at this point in time it’s still very much alive. Make sure your small business website redesign includes on-page SEO using the right (researched!) keywords for your products and services in the page title and header tags, as well as in the content. Also add high quality, inbound links to your site, from places such as:
- Your social media profiles (and those of others who share your content)
- Industry associations you belong to
- Directories listing your products or services
- Press releases you published on PRWeb, MarketWatch or Canadian NewsWire
- Real publicity such as a mention in an article in the Toronto Star or a radio interview
Ingredient #4: Fresh Content
Content is king. You keep hearing it, and it’s true. It’s the single most effective ingredient in inbound marketing, and the average small business website redesign is executed mainly for the purpose of making it possible to add content regularly. Add a blog, add multi-media resources such as white papers, eBooks, video clips, podcasts, photo galleries, infographics and slide presentations. Add a content management system so you don’t have to pay the designer every time you want to upload something new, and start publishin’, bro!
Ingredient #5: Calls to Action (CTAs)
A vital element in inbound marketing and lead generation, the CTA or call to action is the equivalent of asking for the order in the past. Make sure your small business website redesign deal includes creating CTAs that:
- Are big, bold and eye catching with warm colours and high contrasts
- Attract the reader’s attention
- Strengthen the message of your website
- Add value to your content
Your CTA should make it clear what you want the reader to do, and what he or she will get when they do it. (Remember to focus on benefits, not features!)
Ingredient #6: Lead Nurturing Mechanisms
Having someone’s email address doesn’t make them a lead. You have to take that email address and “nurture” it through the various stages of the sales funnel until it becomes a viable lead. So it’s not enough just to have a contact form, it’s what you do with the information that determines the success of your inbound marketing.
As part of your small business website redesign, create a range of lead generation and nurturing mechanisms. These include:
- Intriguing special offers through CTAs and social media
- Customized contact forms
- Thank you pages
- Automated email responses
- Powerful landing pages for the CTAs
- Ongoing series of automated email marketing offering free resources and information.
Stats provided by Forrester Research show that nurtured leads produce an average 20% increase in sales opportunities compared with random leads. Now that’s a statistic worth working towards!
For more information about including calls to action in relevant content, contact us today.