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> Solutions Are Power :: Now Your Website Is Done. Good. Here?s What You Do Next.
post Apr 15 2010, 08:42 AM
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(IMG:http://blog.networksolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/netsol_websiteinboundmarketing.jpg) Have you ever thought about what to do with your website after getting it set up? Sure, you’re going to have just the relevant pages set up, but are you sure that you’re completely done with it? I’m thinking not…

Once you have your website set up, the next thing you should be concerned about is making sure that it’s filled with relevant content and that it’s optimized for maximum exposure. In the age of inbound marketing, are you looking at your website as merely a tool to show that your company exists or are you leveraging it as a communication mechanism? I would hope the latter would be your choice. Instead of simply including content that one might typically expect from a stereotypical website, like “about us”, “contact us”, “services”, etc., perhaps you would like to look at other things like a blog, customer service, reviews, etc that your customers would find useful. Website today are now more important as they are the central hub for how people will find ways to connect with you. More importantly, websites help you achieve three main parts associated with inbound marketing:

  1. Giving customers something they want, usually at no charge
  2. Followed by building a relationship which includes giving them more of what they want at the same excellent price
  3. With the ultimate objective of getting them to give you permission to interrupt them from time to time by email or snail mailing with special offers or additional information about stuff they care about

Websites can do all of that. If you’re going to produce any white papers associated with an industry trend or any other important and relevant tip and insight associated with your product that your customers might enjoy, then chances are that it will be made available on your company’s website and not made solely available on Facebook. It’s the continuation of the brand…all information points to your website. If you’re having documents, files, content available on a myriad of websites like on Slideshare, LinkedIn, Facebook, microsites or only available through a link on an email, then you’re going to missing the point about giving something to the customers. Centralize your content so that it can be easily found on your website. When people have questions about something relating to your product or company, the first place they’re going to look is on your website, NOT on Facebook or some obscure area of the Internet.

Your website can also be used to help further your relationship with customers. Not only does it offer first impressions to new customers, but by posting updated and innovative information/content on your website that will keep driving. Create a blog on your website that will help strike up a conversation with your returning visitors. Find out what types of things they are interested in through your web analytic tool and other social media measurements. Look closely at the content and entice them to keep coming back.  Your website should not be stale content – especially in the areas that would be appealing. If you find out that more people are visiting your product pages, make sure you add onto it some additional information or interaction that will continue to drive them back – is it a Frequently Asked Questions page or a link to GetSatisfaction where people can submit their questions/feedback/issues about your product? Never be complacent with your website.

Lastly, you’re going to need to have a reason to entice them to come back to your website. Surely you can’t let customers simply come to your website and leave without giving them a way to find out you’ve updated new information they may be interested in. If you have a blog attached to your website, make it easy for them to take the RSS feed and import it into their favorite reader, like Google Reader. Or, include an email sign-up link that they can subscribe to so you can send them emails alerting them of new content or specials. What about links to continue the conversation on other social networks that you might have a presence for, including Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, etc.? Tie everything together so people will know you have their permission to alert them from multiple touch-points on what’s new with your company.

Image Credit: wag66 / sxc.hu

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