Remember a time when websites were nothing more than an online brochure? When they had just a few pages to introduce a potential customer to products and services, with the expectation of a phone call or an email to continue the process?

Oh, how times have changed.

Now websites are expected to be all things. Depending on what a customer wants, they should provide information, educate, entertain, provide resources, build expertise, entice people to take action, and make it super easy to complete the sale. And once the transaction is complete, provide enough marketing to keep the customer engaged so that when it comes time to buy again, you’re the only company they think of.

Can your website do all that?

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Plan

When was the last time you upgraded your site? This is more than adding a page. This includes everything – the theme, the look and feel, the operations, the way it captures leads, the way it communicates with prospects and customers. Everything.

Companies often sit down and upgrade their websites with only their goals in mind. But it’s not you who matters. It’s your customers. It’s your visitors.

What’s the most visited page on your website? How do they get to that page? At what point in the buying process do they see that information? What do they do as they move forward?

If those questions seem difficult, or if you don’t have answers, it’s time to find out. These are the best questions to start with as you plan for a website overhaul.

There’s a reason people visit a page on your website over and over again. They’re looking for something. They’re interested. Pay attention to what it says.

It also matters how they get to that page. And where they go once they’re there.

The great thing about technology is every move is tracked, and it’s ready for you to evaluate. Through analytics, you can determine exactly what your visitors want.

Let’s say your most visited page is your home page, what information is there to make your customer take the next step? What calls to action have you strategically placed to entice someone to take the next step?

A restaurant may entice someone to sign up for an app to earn free food. A contractor may offer a free guide to help avoid problems during a home renovation.

It all comes down to understanding why they’re visiting, and what they want in return. If you offer value, your most popular page can become your biggest lead generator, and ultimately your most profitable marketing method.

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Build

Are you starting to get excited about the potential your website has? It only works if you think about every step of the process. Get one piece wrong and you’ll lose the potential forever.

Digital Marketing CTA reading "Find out how DMG can help your business today!" with "Lets Start" buttonTake, for example, the process of someone signing up for a free report.

First, you should have an enticing graphic or page on your website explaining what a visitor will get if they give you their information, usually a name and an email address. You’ll need a system that handles the personal information securely. You’ll also need several landing pages as they move through the process – landing pages thanking them for signing up, landing pages providing the promised information.

Now let’s talk advertising. What if you want to find even more leads, and share your free report with more people? You can advertise in many different places; how about a Google Adwords campaign, or a sponsored ad on Facebook?

Each of those creates more graphics, more copy, and more landing pages on your website.

Remember that plan? Remember tracking who visits what page?

If you want to see how well your advertising works, you’ll need separate pages on your website for everything. That way you can use analytics to track everything, and see how well each method works. Over time, you’ll have a clear path to show you what works, and what doesn’t.

This is also where SEO – search engine optimization – comes into play.

Some landing pages you’ll create specifically for your paid marketing campaigns. If you run different campaigns on different platforms, you’ll want each to have its own separate landing page.

Some pages on your website you’ll use to gain natural traction in the search engines. Why pay when you can get results for free? If a page on your site is coded correctly, it has a greater chance of getting the results you’re looking for. If it has the proper SEO tactics in place, it will rank well, meaning you’ll be there ready and waiting when your prospects search for your keyword.

If you have an old, out of date website, it won’t be able to match today’s newest technology. You won’t be able to add the proper coding to give each page the biggest bang for the buck.

Why bother at all if you have no hope of gaining everything you can from each page you develop?

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Test

What’s the biggest problem facing most companies online today? They build it and expect people to come.

They plan, they build, and they forget to test. Over and over again.

What works today might not necessarily work tomorrow. The online world is in constant ebb and flow, changing, morphing, operating in new and unique ways. Just because you’ve always gotten results before, doesn’t mean it will work that way this year.

Maybe Google updated their algorithms. Maybe Facebook changed their rules. Maybe your customers changed the way they searched. It’s a new season. It’s a new world.

This is where your results are important. If you aren’t keeping an eye on results and questioning every little change, you’re missing your potential.

You should also be split testing every single thing you do. If you send an email, why not send two and change things up a bit? If you send people to a landing page, why not create two and change the placement? What words entice more traction? What graphics do people prefer?

This is a never-ending quest. There are always ways to make things just a little bit better. It’s up to you to tweak and find the solution.

Want a little help in finding the perfect way to generate leads to your website? We can help.

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