All important. But not as important your website. It's where you want to drive prospects to, right?
"The website is your hub," said Sarah Watz, co-founder and CEO of Pixpro, an 11-year-old Stockholm, Sweden, digital communications agency. "It’s where you own your presence. It is important to really get to know your customers. So you can craft your content on the website for them. Reality is that the more niched you are the more relevant you are."
CMSWire talked to Watz about the importance of having a great Website. She gave us seven ways to make sites more engaging and tempting for visitors to stay.
Use Your Words
Watz told CMSWire your website must include words customers normally use when talking about your services or products.
"That also helps create traffic from search engines when you have relevant information on your website based on the words they naturally search for," Watz said.
With audiences at an attention span of approximately 2.7 to 3 seconds, having content that relates to your audience is essential. Package it the way they prefer.
"It's crucial to think from your clients' perspective and create the best user experience possible for them to stay and consume your website content," Watz said. "The longer they stay, the longer your site is in front of them with your message. You have their attention. Make the most of it."
Content is Key
Can your audience wait to share your content with a friend or colleague? Is it that good? Is it so good they would pay for it?
It ought to be.
"They are indeed paying with their attention, their social network and their time. So it better be good," Watz said. "Use a good copywriter that writes in the language the visitor prefers and use great high quality images and movies. Boost traffic to the website by having a website publishing tool that supports markup of content to make it easier for search engines to index the content correctly."
Organizations that have several product or service categories for different target groups should use powerful niched sites, or microsites.
"We use them a lot to be able to focus on the benefits of a product to a specific industry," Watz said. "We create the feeling of the go-to-expert of that niche for that industry by using blogs, Q&A, ask the experts, and customer references that all focus on the challenges the customer has, how we understand their needs, how we help our clients with the same challenges to get great results.
"The microsite can have its own domain name which makes the microsite more relevant for search engines to rank higher."
Easy Navigation & Search
Browsing your site should be easy and natural to use on any device. And don't forget: website search is fundamental if you have a lot of content.
"Help your visitors to find content with the help of autocomplete functionality that helps the visitor find the content they are looking for faster," Watz said. "If they can’t find the content they are looking for fast they will leave. Visitors are very impatient."
Become Mobile Friendly
That's basic advice, right? Sure. But take the next step to show content that is relevant from a mobile device and make it very user-friendly with the help of responsive techniques, Watz said.
"Most visitors that come from social networks clicked on a link that a friend shared," she said. "Social media is mostly consumed on mobile devices so your site better show up great to get the new visitor so engaged in your content that they would like to know you better and sign up for something on your site."
A fast-loading website does this. Visitors on a mobile don’t have the patience to get the page loaded.
"Search engines will love that too which will affect your ranking positively," Watz said.
Don't Buy the Social Media Hype
Even if you have hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter, your website still matters more. Your followers don’t usually buy anything from you until they come to your website.
"If you don’t show up as they expect you to do there will be no conversion even if you have a great microblog on Twitter," Watz said. "Don’t get me wrong. Social media is really good to drive traffic to your website. Especially paid social media posts/ads that are really focused on your target audience. But the real test is when the leads comes to your website if they feel that they have built trust in you enough to purchase from you. If it doesn’t meet the expectation they will not convert and you will lose the opportunity to make money."
More Functionality, Less Fruitless Content
Don't just talk about the company's history and the features of your products/services, without mentioning the benefits of usage. Don't leave yourself with just a single contact to capture a lot of information that are required to get in touch.
This leaves you, Watz said, with content that's "non-sharable and non-educating" with little personality, engagement and passion.
"A good business Website needs," Watz said, "more functionality to track the lead's engagement level that corresponds with automatic marketing nurturing campaigns that lets the website content adapt to the lead's previous engagement."