Labels & Packaging
Helen Bailey is an internet marketing expert specialising in the printing sector. In this latest article for Graphic Display World she looks at why creating a bespoke tailored website will help your company to stand out.
Last time we looked at internet marketing as a general practice and identified some key areas for time-poor business owners to focus on, to help them get ahead online.
This time, we’ll take a closer look at what it takes to build a website that sells – after all, the website is at the centre of all internet marketing activities and there are many pitfalls to avoid when either creating a brand-new site or modernising the one you already have.
So, first of all, when creating a website it’s important to know what you want your end product to do for you. Is it to inform, to sell, or to entertain? Do you want a static brochure site that will showcase your products and entice customers to pick up the phone? Or do you want an automated e-commerce platform that will process orders online? Do you want to introduce your customers to the people who make up your company with an interactive social media area? Or inform them of how to overcome display printing dilemmas with a ‘voxpop’ style tutorial video?
What you want your website to do for you will determine how much - and what type – of work will go into its design and development. It’ll also help you decide how much intervention you get from outside agencies and consultants. But - beware – even with a simple four page static site, any serious business owner should seek some sort of professional intervention at some stage – even if you’re determined to keep costs to a minimum.
Is a bespoke company website a false economy? After all, look at the advertisements for do-it-yourself websites that make it all look so easy. Drag and drop here, choose your colour scheme there, import your logo and Voila! You have the perfect site for your business, right? Wrong! These ‘do it yourself’ platforms from the likes of Wordpress and Moonfruit are great for sole traders and non business use. But for serious business owners, they are likely to provide a false economy – mainly because you’ll spend hours fiddling about only for it to end up a bit, well, amateurish. Instead, look for a good designer who can create a dazzling home page– and a developer that will know how to build your site with the search engines – as well as your customers in mind.
This is because a developer that understands search engine optimisation (SEO) will be able to advise you about keywords and layout as well as the Meta tags that the search bots use to list your site in the search engines. But beware, SEO can appear to be a bit of a dark art and so it is sensible to ask any supplier you intend to use to back up any SEO claims they make with hard evidence, just to avoid costly disappointment.
Once you have your chosen your professionals and have pondered over design, development and SEO, layout, keywords and colour-schemes, you can begin to think about your website’s editorial content. You could always use the copy you wrote for that brochure you gave out back in the 1990’s. That’ll do, won’t it? Wrong again! It’s also no good starting with ‘ABC Display Company was established in 1989 and is a leading company in the blah blah blah...’ on your home page because, well, who cares? Every page has to capture the imagination of your web visitor – don’t make them work hard to find the point you’re trying to make.
Remember, your home page is not supposed to appeal to you. It’s supposed to appeal to a total stranger who happens to be searching Google for whatever it is you purport to supply. Therefore when he clicks on the web link and is presented with your website, please don’t bore him rigid with how clever you are, or what awards you have won or even what plant you have. The average visitor simply won’t be interested. All he is interested in is whether or not you look like the sort of firm it is worth him contacting to possibly place an order with to resolve his particular printing problem. Therefore you have got to have an attention grabber.
Try something like: ‘If you’ve got something to make a big splash about then ABC Display Company is here to help’. You’ve immediately addressed the needs of your site visitor, introduced your services and portrayed your business as friendly and accommodating – in under 20 words. Also, you’ll need to make sure you include relevant display graphics, search words and phrases throughout your site’s content, which is a basic search engine optimisation (SEO) technique. And keep it fresh – regular new content will attract the search engine spiders – giving your site the best chance possible of being found by your target audience.
Think about the purpose of each page you create and tailor the content accordingly and include a call to action, for example: ‘For an instant quote, call ...’, ‘To find out more, drop us a line on...’, or ‘Ordering couldn’t be easier, just click here.’
Finally for content, while video, photographs and graphics attract visitors and search bots, a common mistake is to try and present too much information on each page, or too many visuals, which can result in a cluttered look that may put off a visitor and have a negative effect on conversion rates.
So, once you’ve launched your website, you’ll want to know if your hard work will reap reward so be sure to sign up with Google Analytics, which is a free web based tool that will measure your websites performance in terms of visitor behavioural data. It will help you learn how many visitors get past the first page; how many clicks it takes to send an email or get to the phone number; what particular photographs are getting the most attention and how many site visitors end up actually hiring your services.
Next time, don’t get blogged down... I’ll be giving you some handy hints on keeping your website fresh, interactive and attractive.
Want to get to know us better? Follow us on Twitter @GDWtweets
We'd love to get to know you and learn more about your business!
Got any news or PR? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org