The following blueprints outline some key elements to building up a solid website to enhance your brand online.
A Sturdy Foundation
If used correctly, search engine optimization (SEO) increases web traffic to your site via search engines. At a high level, good SEO:
- Generates brand awareness
- Serves as a continual reminder of your brand’s existence
- Lends credibility the higher your site ranks
Once they get there, the next thing viewers will notice is the layout and navigation. Whether they’re new or returning users, the website design will leave a lasting impression. When marketing to business consumers, keep these tips in mind:
- Attractive design promotes your company’s legitimacy
- Make navigation user-friendly with links and tabs properly labeled
- Avoid excess information unrelated to your brand on your home page
The Right Materials
A website with excellent design is nothing without content of equal quality. Visitors want as much information as they can, so they can make educated decisions about a product or service they are researching. Some of the best things a business can do on their website are to:
- Provide detailed descriptions of products/services
- Make contact information readily available
- Provide information about the history and interior workings of the business
Content is only beneficial when it rings true. Businesses must always be open and honest with their audiences, and your website is a primary layer to portraying your brand with a positive reputation.
- Give honest information
- Address issues and policies directly
- Show the business consumer where the products/services come from
Laying the Final Brick
Even with loads of detailed information, brand histories and optimized website design, some viewers will need social proof to trust a brand completely. Almost nothing will sell a potential customer more on a brand than knowing it is a favorite of others in the industry.
- List other well-known companies that purchase your products and services
- List awards and business rankings
- Use social media to acquire a strong following online (LinkedIn is our favorite business-to-business social media tool)
Now that your business has a strong online presence and a resourceful website filled with detailed information about your brand, the only thing left to do is invite your guests in and make them feel at home.
I know, I know, you hear the word blog and you think, ‘what in the world does this have to do with business marketing? Isn’t a blog simply a place to express your own personal viewpoints and opinions on something you are passionate about?’
Not necessarily—in today’s social media-driven society, blogs have taken on a whole new persona. They play an integral role in modern marketing communications, chumming around with the new kid in town, content marketing.
Briefly, content marketing is a strategic approach to create and distribute valuable, relevant and consistent information designed to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—with the ultimate goal of driving profitable customer action.
A blog is a valuable tool to do just that.
Blogging helps both small and large businesses alike because it effectively does several things in one fell swoop:
- Improves search engine optimization (SEO) – Blog content, with carefully crafted search phrases and targeted deep links included in each post, increases the likelihood of your company’s products and services being found when people are searching online. SEO gets a boost when you add relevant content to your website on a consistent basis.
- Drives traffic to your website and gives it added value - Obviously, this is something all companies want to happen. Driving visitors to your website not only helps increase brand awareness, but is a main contributor to customer education, which leads to sales.
- Establishes your brand and makes you industry expert – If your blog topics are informative, accurate and relevant, readers will continue to come back to you as a resource time and time again. Prospects aren’t looking for your thoughts on the weather—make the information meaningful and educational.
- Helps build relationships – Blogging can easily connect companies with individuals interested in its products and services as well as deepen the relationships a company already has with its customers. Blogs offer an excellent opportunity for companies to engage with potential customers who read them.
It is important to remember when creating a blog for your company that you use it as a place to be informative and not a place to sell products. You should be writing about relevant topics in your industry – whether it be a how-to, weighing in on a current industry topic or simply offering helpful advice to the reader.
Blogs are not only useful, they can be extremely powerful. Now go out and blog….blog…blog…