Your website is the most powerful communications and marketing tool you have, but it is often the most overlooked.
We know that online research is an essential part of any buyer’s investigation into your business, and the design and efficiency of your website are crucial factors in the decision making process.
But is your website under-achieving when it comes to your marketing efforts? And does your website’s Content Management System (CMS) allow you to make the most of its marketing potential? In this blog, we’ve identified just some of the ways you can develop your website to extend its marketing capacity.
Integrate with other platforms
Online marketing involves a multitude of tools used to attract, engage and retain customers. As a marketer, you are probably using a marketing automation platform, a website CMS, a CRM system, analytics, and a variety of other tools. The most important consideration when using all these tools is to make sure that your brand’s online experience is seamless.
The best way to ensure this is by integrating your website CMS with your third party marketing tools. Connect your HubSpot CRM, your Google Analytics, your MailChimp – customise all these marketing technologies to meet the needs of your business. The ability of a website to seamlessly integrate with marketing tools gives marketers huge potential to leverage them even further.
Let your website sell
Your website can still be working when everyone else is gone home. This is an obvious one for ecommerce. People shop online all the time, even when all the shops are closed. What’s not as obvious, is your website could be used for things like lead generation, gathering quote requests and providing product information. All things that can happen 24/7. Think about how your website can sell for you and then make it happen!
Provide valuable content
As marketers, we all know the importance of content. Businesses that blog regularly receive 67% more leads than those that don’t, and publishing regular website content can build your authority, drive traffic, benefit SEO, and give users something to share on social. Most importantly, it helps to bring your brand’s personality to life. And when content marketing is done right, your website content will provide valuable information. Anyone who lands on your website wants to see original and authoritative information that provides assurance of the business’s credibility and expertise, and if that is what they find, they will spend longer on the site, and come back again and again.
It is essential that your website acts as the central hub for all of your content marketing efforts. And if you are directing traffic back to your website, you want the experience to be seamless. Your website needs to be built with content in mind – an easy to find blog, a video library, material download capabilities. Your CMS should ensure and encourage consistent delivery of content, particularly in organisations with multiple contributors.
Personalise to the user
When you personalise your website, you create unique, customised experiences for your visitors, tailored to their specific needs. This process allows you to use website data to give your users the individualised experience they have become accustomed to on their social media feeds. Personalisation is hugely important for marketing: ecommerce sites can utilise behaviour data to provide targeted offers, news sites can feature specific content based on the user’s location, and hotel websites can greet visitors with personal messages.
A CMS like Drupal provides the perfect foundation for incorporating personalisation into your website marketing strategy. Drupal has the provisions for building personalisation features into your site that tailor the content to the user’s interests, location and behaviour, thereby enhancing user engagement.
Optimize for Search Engines
Yes, this is a drum 🥁 that everyone has been beating for years, but it’s a drum that’s worth beating. The major search engines are always updating and improving their algorithms. For digital marketers, it feels like the goal posts keep moving. One second, it’s all about metadata and the next it’s all about site speed. Did you know that mobile web speed (not just website speed) is now an official ranking factor with Google?
Make sure to always keep an ear to the ground for upcoming search engine updates, and take the recommended actions as they are required. Also, make sure that SEO considerations are built in to the content generation workflow. Any site administrators (not just the marketers) should be well schooled in SEO requirements when building pages and publishing content.
Represent your business with consistent branding
Your website is a reflection of your brand, your digital shop front. The design should be as unique as your brand, and your online brand should be consistent across all platforms. An unappealing design or a weak brand presentation on your website can kill your marketing efforts – 75% of web users say they make judgements about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design. Your brand is the symbolic embodiment of everything you stand for, it’s what connects people to your products and services – your website design needs to be consistent with this narrative.
Make sure your CMS is designed to deliver a consistent brand experience for your customers. Your CMS should support you to unify your brand experience and present it in a compelling and engaging manner. For example, the Drupal CMS encourages you to take a modular approach to web development, which helps to deliver a more consistent brand.
Track and report on your campaigns
We can run the best, or the worst campaigns, and be left completely in the dark about their effectiveness unless we track what we are doing, and generate some Key Performance Indicators.
Decide what metrics you are going to use to track your campaign. Page views? Video Plays? Newsletter sign ups? Contact form submissions? Old fashioned ROI?
Once you’ve settled on what you want to track, get the right tools together to begin tracking and reporting. Google Analytics is great for tracking page views, but did you know you can track more granular events like page clicks, video plays and form submissions using Google Tag Manager with Google Analytics? Make sure you are utilizing all the tracking measures available to you.
Make your website, and digital marketing strategy, grow with your business
Every website expects to grow in size and attract more users over time, just as any business expects to grow. To ensure that the quality of your user experience stays the same no matter how big your site gets, you need to plan for this growth by building a scalable website from the beginning.
The Drupal CMS’s modular architecture makes it flexible and extremely scalable. It allows us to use software development best practices, that help to deliver a consistent experience for the user and reduce the risk of breakages and down time. It is ideal for organisations that have the potential to grow in different directions over time, and has the capacity to support even the most content-rich sites, and handle high volumes of visitors and users.
Not only does your website need to scale, but you need to plan how your digital marketing and content generation is going to scale in the future. Drupal can be used to develop a Digital Experience Platform (DXP). A DXP allows you to manage all your content in one location, but use this content in multiple locations, like on different websites and native apps.
Piquant is a leading web development agency based in Limerick. We offer bespoke digital solutions for businesses that want to develop digital opportunities. Check out our web development services.