You might have heard about inbound websites. However, you might not have a full understanding of what it is and why it is crucial. Maybe, up until this time, you wonder why your website is lifeless and does not contribute much to your business. What you need is a change in strategy; making your website a sales tool as soon as possible.
Why an inbound website?
Your concern at this point would be if the inbound website would bring with it the same challenges you might have experienced in your previous experiences. The problems that are faced often are:
- A website design getting quickly outdated and therefore using more resources to update after some time
- You might lack the skills to make improvements
- You could have experienced a challenge in trying to demonstrate ROI from your website and tracking important analytics
- Your website might not be as beneficial as you anticipated it to be
What if you get to have a website that solves all these challenges? The name of this “mysterious” website is the inbound website, a great partner to an inbound marketing strategy. If the website that you currently have is not selling around the clock, you are missing a lot as far as revenue and the leads are concerned.
The inbound website guarantees a grow of leads and conversions, improvement of your company’s ROI, and finally trade cost for value.
How does it work?
To many marketers, an inbound website is like a new song to their ears. Therefore, it is vital that you first understand how it works:
- Your marketing funnel and inbound strategy get baked right into your website
- You get a dedicated web team – could be hired or in-house – that will help in monitoring the performance of the website and make changes in monthly basis
- You typically host on a platform that makes a design-driven by growth to be easy
You will create a 24/7 marketing funnel that will aid in driving conversions
Most of the times, marketers tend to think of a website as a marketing strategy. However, starting from now, stop thinking about your website and marketing strategy as two different things. They are entwined; your sales strategy and marketing hub is your website. It is a full lead generation platform that has marketing strategy baked right in.
How this works
Look at how a marketing funnel applies in an inbound equation. You have various assets and elements to attract, close, convert, and excite customers.
- The traffic you get after attracting attention online is directed to your website
- You primarily host your content and blog offers on your website
- People use your website as a platform for converting on your offers
- It is through your website that you gather more information about individuals to market to them effectively
Now, you can see why your inbound marketing strategy should be the force that drives your website and dictate your organization of the website and pathways of the users. Simply saying, you will set up your website so that it aligns with the inbound methodology.
The different things that have to be in your inbound website funnel include:
- Search engine optimized pages and a blog for attracting site visitors at the top of your funnel
- Corresponding elements of conversion help in converting visitors into leads
- Tools for gathering lead intel to help you better nurture leads and eventually convert them to customers
- Smart content and personalization to tailor your website to customers
Showing up earlier in the buying circle will generate you more leads
Before a customer can make a sales call, he or she has already researched and decided on a solution. Your website should be able to educate visitors from the first click. There are three stages that a buyer goes through before buying a product:
- Awareness – this is the realization of a problem that needs a solution
- Consideration – here, one becomes aware of various potential solutions, and seek to understand each solution better
- Decision – one is already bought into the answer, and the decision left to make is when, where, and how to purchase
Do you now see how your website has the potential of addressing all the stages and have a higher conversion rate?
There will be steady improvements in design and performance
If your website is not improving at all times, there is a high chance that it is missing out on sales and leads. Do not let your website gather dust. Invest in monthly website changes instead of annual redesigns.
Your web team should revise smart goals and analyze how your website is performing and then make the needed improvements monthly. You will love this model as a marketer because you will always be aware of how your website is doing.
Exchanging one-time cost for long-term value
When you hear of a website redesign, you most probably think of planning a website’s appearance. But, what about conversion opportunities, functionality, and lead generation potential? If you mainly focus on aesthetics, there are various reasons that it can get costly:
- Going into a redesign without strategy leads to injecting money with no ROI promise
- A redesign has the potential of using more funds and take longer than what was expected
- There is no improvement and growth of your website in between redesigns
With an inbound website, you will continuously be improving; no more need to cram every strategy for the year into a single redesign. You will generate more value through monthly investments in incremental changes. An inbound website will help you in monitoring data, keeping you aware of the performance of your site.
All of the above seem significant, but to ensure that you get the best out of your website, you should consider some essential steps. Do not be caught up in how your website design looks like; instead, pay more attention to how inbound your website is.
I. Who is the audience of your website?
Often, this is the website’s first downfall: no consideration of “who” your website is addressing. Before you make any step, think of the demographic you are going to reach. Rather than focusing much on talking about “what,” has a clear definition of the actual people interested with your company, service or product.
Consider who is your buyer personas and target markets; it is the fundamental starting point. After outlining these people, you can then start creating messages, contents, and pages for them.
II. Which is the needed content in the marketplace?
In your market, you also have competitors. Therefore, you must be attentive to the quality and frequency of your competitors’ content when re-structuring your website. Of course, you should not steal or copy the content.
Ensure that the customer can find you and hear you amidst the industry’s “noise.” This will be made possible by ensuring that you produce the right content to the correct targets and at the right time. It does not mean that you will have to do everything that is being done in the industry; it means that you are aware of what is going on around you, and what the customers are seeking.
III. Ensure your site is all rounded
Your site should be able to address all the stages that a customer goes through, that is, awareness, consideration, and decision. Modify your website to have balanced content, calls-to-action, and lead generation for every step. Let the visitor know why he or she needs your service or product and what makes you the best choice.
IV. SEO should come last, not at the beginning
Make sure that every page has its context and purpose first. After creating the right content for your buyer persona, find if there is a chance to optimize your URL, copy, title naturally, and others with keywords based on what you know they will be looking for. Ensure you consider what the visitors will be searching for.
V. Talk more about “why” than “what”
Your website should start with why they need your product or service. Do not assume that they fully understand how your product or service will help them solve their problem. Once you rightly craft the “why,” it will be much easier to market yourself. You will also be in a better position for creating an emotional connection with your prospects. Make sure that your website transitions the gap between why your audience needs your service or product and why it is a must-have product.
VI. Stupid-proof navigation
Another critical step is creating navigation that is stupid-proof. You can use complicated menus, and sub-menus, but the fact is that a lot of people will not take time to navigate through the complicated jungle. You should have a navigation that is easy to use, and that also considers the path that could be made by the reader to get to their desired content. As the old motto states, ensure that the viewer can get where they want to go with the least clicks. There are a few ways that you can be able to provide various stupid-proof navigation, and they are as follows;
- Include footer links on each page for the content that you need people to find
- Have a menu that simplifies the understanding of what the next step needs to be
- Ensure that you include anchor text within your content to drive the visitor deeper in your website.
Try and find a balance on the above three steps, and your website will be on the right track to be stupid-proof.
VII. Make your website remarkable
Just because this comes last in the list does not make it less critical. A remarkable website can be defined as the one that is worthy of attention. Your website should communicate the vision, mission, and goals of your company. The reader must not feel like going through your website was a waste of time, make him, or her feel it was worth every second.
If you need a website that will help your company grow and achieve or even exceed its goals, you need an inbound website. Make sure that you address the above mentioned vital points during the planning of your website redesign. If you create your website correctly, it will become a natural sales tool for your sales team, and every page will be the best salesperson representing you all round the clock.