How to Maximize Your Most Valuable Brand Touchpoint – Your Website

By Ida Cheinman posted 30 days ago

  

Your website is your firm's chief digital asset. Beyond reinforcing your firm's brand, communicating its competitive position and demonstrating its expertise, your website is the command center for your marketing.

It’s also often the first impression – and the quality of the website experience significantly affects both the perception of your company and its ability to achieve the desired marketing results.

So, how do you maximize your website to ensure it delivers?

Start by reexamining the website through the lens of your firm’s business objectives and current marketing approaches, strategies and techniques. These guidelines will help you get the most value from your biggest online asset – use them to gain a stronger competitive advantage online and off.


Strategy and Process Are Everything

Just like you wouldn’t completely change your business direction without establishing a strategy first, you shouldn’t begin changing your website without first clarifying its purpose and goals.

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Experience Is Everything

Although numerous factors heavily influence a website’s success (or failure), the primary force shaping everything from structure and functionality to design and content is the user experience.

In fact, experience is where user needs, your company’s brand and its business and marketing goals all come together to create traction.

Brand. Your brand is at the core of creating and delivering an exceptional experience, so its key elements – purpose, position, promise, values and personality – must be evident in the website’s content and design.

Audience. To ensure your website’s experience is useful and relevant to visitors, conduct in-depth customer research and use buyer personas to better understand visitors’ needs/motivators and your company’s role in solving their most pressing business challenges. Better understanding the experience you need to create will help you be more deliberate about your design, content and functionality choices.

User Experience. UX is the utility of your website experience. As a minimum requirement, everything you put in front of your customers should be functional and useful. Can I find a contact link on your website? Are there broken links? Is the user interface intuitive? However, a cut-above user experience goes beyond merely functional and it requires a much deeper understanding of visitors’ emotional needs, aspirations and preferences.

Site Architecture. Because today’s customer journey is largely self-directed, it’s easy to lose control of your website’s UX – unless you invest in a great deal of planning.  The foundation of website planning is Site Architecture (SA). Site architecture is the blueprint of your website’s experience, design, content and functionality. It’s the map for meeting your customers’ needs, creating engagement and ensuring meaningful interactions between your company and its audiences. Thoughtfully planned site architecture ensures that UX bridges the brand and the customer needs, resulting in the website experience that delivers value to the visitors while also creating value for your company.

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Make Most of Your Content

Carefully planned information architecture helps outline how the content strategy (the type of content published), content marketing (how that content is delivered/made visible) and context marketing (delivering the right content to the right people at the right time) will play out on the website.

Content, including its structure, visual design and placement, has a monumental impact on how your website is experienced – for better or worse.

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Technology Is Only a Tool

Technology is just a tool, not the solution. And it’s only valuable when it increases your ability to meet business and marketing objectives and to deliver a better experience to your website visitors.

Your website goals will determine which tools, platforms and technologies could benefit your site – each technology has its core strengths and add-on capabilities. Unless your company has an unlimited MarTech budget, however, you’ll need to decide what your top priorities are.

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Convert Data into Insight


Today’s marketing calls for intelligent use of data to make informed decisions. However, in order for data to have value – and lead you to meaningful conclusions – you need to understand what to collect and learn how to interpret information and numbers and apply them to your decision-making process.

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Final Thoughts


There is much to consider when building a more powerful, better performing website – from strategy and planning to numerous steps and details, not to mention the monitoring of the ever-changing business and marketing environment.

Fortunately, there are some approaches that provide a much less overwhelming way to go about it.

While “what works” is constantly evolving, leading companies understand the critical importance of keeping their most valuable digital asset in top working shape and maximizing the value it delivers to their customers while creating value for the company. Get your company’s website up to speed or risk widening the gap between you and your competitors.

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