Now that your customers, referral community and potential clients have visited your Web site, how do you turn them into fans? To keep your Web site on their minds, give them content that is fresh, relevant, and tailored to their needs. A well-visited site generates interest and excitement. A sticky site becomes a bookmark and a referral source for your target audiences. Your customers will find it a trusted information source and the first place to look for hot deals. Your prospective employees will find your company a cool place to work. And your potential investors will gain interest and confidence in your offerings.
How do you turn your Web site into a regular attraction?
First, make it a priority and budget appropriate resources. Second, identify featured content areas and create a development strategy. Third, track usage and evaluate effectiveness. The task of keeping your Web site up-to-date and attractive may not be as glamorous as doing the Web site launch, but the continued enhancement is the driving force behind exploiting your Web site on an ongoing basis. Be sure to budget staff time or outsource the needed talent to take care of the activities.
What content features are good candidates?
Focus on your audiences: what are their interests? What features will provide the value to bring them back to your Web site time and again? There are several strategies you may consider. You can turn your Web site into a trusted information source. This is a strategy particularly useful for companies in the business of providing expertise and for any business where customers buy based on trust. Your potential clients may evaluate the quality of your Web site content and gauge your expertise. Be sure your Web site reflects your level of knowledge and position in the industry.
How do you build your Web site into a trusted information source?
At the very least, make sure the information about your offerings is accurate, complete, up-to-date, and free of typographical errors. Focus on the technology and application of different products monthly or weekly so your customers can learn about them up-close. Feature tips of the month so users can find an easier way to do their tasks. If your industry follows a seasonal calendar, such as periodic maintenance, tax dates, or reporting schedules, remind your customers and help them plan and prepare for these activities. Become the eyes and ears of your customers. Let them be the first to know about important industry trends, new and nifty products, emerging technologies, and other noteworthy happenings. Craft out a What’s New column to give your visitors the sense of anticipation that says your site is the place to pick up new information.
Another idea is to turn your Web site into the place where great deals can be found. If your business has regular sales, seasonal specials, and clearance items, be sure to advertise them on your Web site first. You can also plan promotions around your Web site. For example, do a Web-only special. Or, give a special discount for people who refer customers to you through the Web. Send a gift to visitors who answer your surveys online. Provide online coupons that customers can print and redeem at your stores.
Involve your visitors in building a community online. Invite your visitors to ask questions, provide suggestions, and interact with other users. Provide a message board, compile their ideas, poll their opinion on interesting topics, and invite them to join in online chat events. Be sure someone in your team is responsible for facilitating the conversations online, monitoring messages, and quickly answering questions posted online.
Remember, your customers and friends are interested in your company. Let them know about your new products, new employees, new technologies, and special recognitions your business has received. Post your press releases online. Be sure to invite your visitors to attend seminars you hold, conferences where your team is featured, and trade shows you participate in.
The third step in your Web site enhancement plan is to evaluate the effectiveness of the content features. Use Web site traffic statistics to track which pages are the most popular, what features are the most attractive and generate goodwill, and which promotions bring in the most visitors and result in the most sales.
You can turn your Web site from a business expense into one of the best investments your business has ever made. Building a great Web site is only half the battle won. To fully leverage your Web site, budget needed resources, develop a content update and enhancement strategy, and evaluate which features work best. With consistent effort you will find your Web site your best advertising vehicle and referral source.