When you look at a typical, ordinary wheel, there are several parts. None of them are special or even functional on their own. If you look at the focal point of a wheel, everything leads back to one central point…the hub. The central point from which everything emanates is that center circle. All of the spokes come out of this point and the entire wheel itself is supported by this core structure. Your marketing plan is much the same way.
In the next 6 entries, we will discuss the 6 central points of a marketing wheel. Today we will talk about the point at which all of your “marketing spokes” must point back to—the “hub”– your website.
In the next several weeks we will look at the 5 “spokes” that all point back to your website. Your social media, your paid advertising campaigns, your networking efforts, your public relations/press releases, and your customer experience level. If you don’t have your website reflecting your core passion as a business owner, both in aesthetics and in functionality, you will lose potential customers even if your 5 spokes are all functioning appropriately.
Let’s take a look at 4 things you must be sure your website includes:
1. Your blog, or, a link to your blog
If the “hub” to your marketing wheel is your website, the “hub” of your website is your REGULARLY UPDATED blog. A blog that is filled with accurate, fresh, regularly changing information about your industry, or business, is vital to keep your website relevant in Google’s rating algorithm. In a past life as a marketing director for a local mom and pop service business, I met with several web design companies to redo our website. After meeting with five different possible vendors, I was intrigued by one who happened to be a friend from years prior. I looked into his website and, guess what…not only did he not make Google’s first page, he didn’t make the top 5 pages! A blog that had relevant fresh info might have made the difference in not only us choosing him to do our site, but in any other potential customers who didn’t go past page 1 (over 90% of Google users don’t!).
2. A functional, easy to use user interface
Everyone has been at the point of breaking their computer when a website simply won’t do, or go where you need it to. Often times, this is a programming issue and could have been resolved by paying a few extra dollars and not going with the cheapest bid on your website. While dollar amount is important, equally important should be the references that your web sales person provides and the quality of work in their portfolio.
3. Correct information
Populating a website with current, correct information isn’t always what you want to spend time doing, but it is vitally important to your initial credibility with potential customers. If you do to a website to look at used cars, and the price on the website it $1000 less than what it ends up being when you visit the car lot, I am going to venture to say you won’t be purchasing from that car lot. Accuracy in pricing, hours, locations and even personnel changes is vital in obtaining and keeping your credibility with current and potential customers.
4. An eye catching deign vs. an eye sore
Content can be accurate on your site and impossible to read due to bad design or font color “camouflage”. If you have as good eye for what looks good, then use your judgment. If you don’t get help from a web design company…it will be money well spent and will reap rewards down the line as more and m ore people contact you through your website, partly because they could read your contact phone number, or didn’t get a headache looking at a crazy, off the wall design scheme.
Your website is your silent sales person. It can get in front of people at a rate that you simply don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish, and it can do it at your biggest prospects home, while they are on their couch, at 11:30 PM at night. If this “hub” is functioning properly, then you are ready to add spokes to point people to your website and hopefully start affecting your bottom line.