Are You Out There?
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Website Tips & Tricks
Is your company website under performing because of poor design, uninspired content or lack of exposure? You could be leaving money on the table in the form of lost leads and sales.
Have You Heard?
Newspapers are no longer being “read all over.” In fact, of the top 25 U.S. papers, nearly half saw more than a 10% drop in weekday distribution in 2010. Magazine sales, too, are at a 30-year low. In 1980, distribution was at 91 billion, and in 2009 had sunk to 36 billion – it and continues to fall. Phonebook advertising is a dinosaur (sixty-six percent of small business owners said they wouldn’t use it in 2011).
Have You Googled?
It’s the fastest way to find information today. To “google” something is to search for it on the Web. And according to the Google company, there are more than 34,000 searches per second.
Think of your website as a second location. And, your most trusted online face to the public - perhaps your most valuable marketing tool. It’s generally the first place customers and potential customers go to find your:
- Phone number
- Product offering
- Capabilities and services
- Distribution area
So your corrugate facility needs to be easily located. That doesn’t mean your website has to be fancy. But it does need to be functional, and show your company’s personality. Your website is out there creating inquiries 24/7 – then your sales team, your process and your product ensure repeat business.
Web design and development best practices:
Whether you’re updating an existing site or starting from nothing, here are guidelines that will put your corrugate business on the internet map, so to speak.
1. Keep customers in mind. They are the ones buying. Make your site accessible, relevant, easy to navigate, uncluttered and valuable. If people come to your site, search engines will rank you higher in customers’ search for what you offer.
2. Go mobile. According to Forrester Research, mobile commerce accounted for 2% of all e-commerce in 2011. That’s about 6 billion reasons to go mobile with your website design. In fact, the trend is designing toward “mobile first”.
3. Establish strategy. Simple answers to simple questions can signpost the path for meeting your website objectives.
- What are your objectives?
- Who is your target? (pizza box users, consumer goods manufacturers, brown box users)
- What are their needs and obstacles?
- What do they want to know?
- What areas of expertise can you promote to this audience?
4. Prioritize objectives. This will not only help you when it comes to design, but will assist with navigation and create an intuitive, positive user experience.
- Lead generation
- Brand – corporate identity awareness
- Share product/service information and credentials
- Contact information
- Customer education
- Access to customer support
5. Essential wireframes. No, not those hippie-style glasses. Underneath the esthetics of your website, wireframes are the logical structure of your pages, prioritized against your objectives. For example, make sure you stay “above the fold” (an old newspaper term). That means having short pages that show up completely on the computer screen - because 70%+ visitors will not get below it.
6. It’s all about content! You gotta have home page “grabbers,” blogs, a customer resource center, and articles that keep visitors informed, educated and engaged.
7. Blog, not blah. Post a new blog as often as possible, ideally twice a week. Write articles regularly. Search engines reward sites that keep their content fresh—and so do the people who read them. According to Hubspot 2010 State of Inbound Marketing Report, business to business website design that includes a blog helps businesses generate 67% more leads per month.
8. Call ‘em to action. Let people know what you want. Use action words to make valuable offers (sign up for our newsletter today, download our “whitepaper” articles), and you may see conversion rates rise by as much as 30%.
9. Socialize, schmooze. Linking your site to your social media accounts makes it more interactive and sharable.
10. Link to other relevant sites. They provide additional information or support your credibility. Identify bloggers in your industry and network with them to get high-quality links to your site.
11. Measure results. Once you have a good design in place and working for you, stay on top of it. Use Google Analytics, Web Trends or another free service to track how your site is doing.
So, have we made the case for a better website? Let us know what you think. Or throw us a question. But do take a good look at your online presence.
Newhall Klein, Inc. is a branding agency in Kalamazoo, Michigan, that focuses on food, beverage, and foodservice brand development, packaging, and interactive and traditional marketing communications. Since 1989, Newhall Klein has been providing independent corrugate printers with graphic solutions that meet the needs of their collective clients, as one component of NK’s marketing services. Newhall Klein also provides corrugate printers with their own specific solutions for identity, interactive marketing and other related marketing needs.