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I think most of you will agree that your business website should be an integral part of your marketing efforts and that you’d like to use it as effectively as possible. The function of a website differs greatly based on the industry, but there are several universal ways to grow your business through better utilization of your website.

Before we look at how to use your website, let’s take a quick look at why you should use it:

  1. Your website serves as the online hub of your business – it’s your opportunity to explain who you are, what you do, and who you’ve done it for.
  2. Your website is where the majority, if not all, of your promotion points to.
  3. Your website facilitates a potential client’s first, or at least second, interaction with your company.
  4. Your website is an investment, and just like any other investment, you should utilize it and ensure that you are making the most of it.

So, how can you best utilize your website? We have included six ways to maximize your business website.

#1: Understand your primary goals for the website

All business websites share several common goals, such as generating interest, creating confidence in your brand, communicating your value propositions, having call to actions, and being easy to navigate, among others. But, there are also unique qualities based on your industry and before you can truly get the most from your website you need to understand its intended use and determine its most important goals. Is your website primarily informational or are you selling a service or product? Do you want a potential client to make a decision on the website or will it require further discussion to best match their needs to your services? Is it important for you to gather customer information? Do you want to engage potential clients with social media accounts, upcoming events, or other activities of your business? Having a keen understanding of your website’s purpose is the first step to better utilizing it.

#2: View a Google Analytics report at least once a month

Google Analytics tracks the traffic to your website and provides insight into the activities of the visitors. This data can provide valuable insights into the behavior of potential clients and help you better target your marketing efforts. Here are just a few areas of data that this report will provide:

  1. Geographical data – are you suddenly receiving visitors from a new city? Should you consider expanding your offerings into this market?
  2. Referral streams – are you receiving more visitors from Facebook, industry directories, or a particular ad channel? Maybe you are spending your advertising budget on a channel that is offering a disproportionate return in traffic to your website.
  3. Keywords and keyphrases – what are people typing into Google to find your website? Are you focusing on these words in your blog articles or other SEO efforts?

#3: Utilize tracking services

As you begin to use your website more often and more effectively in your advertising, it is important to track your efforts – the more you know the better you will be able to judge the effectiveness of your efforts. Here are a few easy ways to do that:

  1. Call-tracking phone number – there are multiple services that create call tracking phone numbers that you can use on your website. Most of these services will even store the phone number, name of caller, and record the conversation to help you evaluate the lead.
  2. Website form – if you receive notifications from your website via a contact form, be sure you have a section that asks visitors how they heard about you – options can include online search, social media, and any other advertising efforts you are engaged in.
  3. Unique URLs – using a unique URL for a specific advertising effort allows you to track the number of visits to your website through Google Analytics reporting. This URL can only be accessed by people who have seen your advertising.

#4: Add a blog to your website and post at least once a month

The most effective method for increasing organic traffic to your website (known as Search Engine Optimization) is through the consistent and accurate use of a blog. When Google is determining where to send someone during a search, they are seeking a website with content that is fresh and relevant to what is being searched. We recommend writing at least one article per month that your audience will be interested in. Beyond improving your Search Engine Optimization, blog articles will also help present you as an authority within your industry and provide monthly content that can be disseminated across social media and an eNewsletter.

#5: Drive targeted traffic to your website through a Google AdWords campaign

It is important to include your website address in all of your promotional efforts. However, the most effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website is through a paid Google AdWords campaign, known as Search Engine Marketing. This form of advertising will allow you to create a list of Google searches you’d like to show up for, create ads that speak to your client, and drive traffic to your website. This is a highly targeted form of online advertising and one that we highly recommend.

#6: Properly maintain your website with routine updates

Last, and definitely not least, it’s incredibly important to ensure your website stays up to date on content, design, and security.

  1. Content updates – if you have special features such as a blog, calendar, social media feeds, etc, you should make every effort to keep them up to date. You want to ensure that when someone visits your website they realize that you are still in business!
  2. Graphical updates – you should add new graphics to your website throughout the year – a scrolling header graphic is a great place to add new pictures discussing services or promotions. You should also plan on a website re-design every 2-3 years.
  3. Security updates – a dormant website is a playground for hackers, so it’s critical to ensure your website platform is up to date with the newest software versions for security and functionality. Also, make sure that someone has been assigned to the role of monitoring your website and keeping it up to date. Most website design companies have this built into their website hosting packages.

Your website is your most important marketing tool. Sadly, under-utilized websites are in abundance regardless of the industry, but the good news is that if you can make an effort to effectively use your business website, you’ll quickly reap the benefits and begin climbing ahead of your competition online. I believe these six concentrated steps will further your understanding of your company and market and also improve your online reach with clients.

Time and time again we have helped clients grow their business through maximizing the use of their business’ or organization’s website, regardless of size, industry, or location. M&R Marketing Group walks clients through these steps on a daily basis and we would love to help you. Contact us today for a free, four-point website evaluation on your business website’s messaging, functionality, design, and optimization.

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