Back in 2005, when the first iPhone was released to the general public, some people predicted that the smartphone would eventually replace the traditional Web browser, especially since so many mobile websites and mobile apps provided similar functionality, plus the added bonus of users being able to access the Web while on the go.
While smartphones have gotten a lot smarter over the years, allowing for more tasks to be accomplished without having to constantly stop and interact with the device, the traditional Web browser is still very much alive.
If you’re interested in getting the most out of your online marketing, you need to look at all the various ways potential customers are finding your products and services — including websites, mobile apps, and social media accounts.
Websites are still, by far, the best way to reach the vast majority of people. If your product or service is searchable by keyword, you can bet that someone is searching for it on the Web every day.
And that’s exactly what a searcher sees when they search for a product or service and end up on a website. Now let’s examine the ways in which a website can benefit your product or service.
A Short Overview of the Importance of Websites in Marketing
The short answer is that websites are still, by far, the best way to market a product or service. Why? Because the simple answer is that it is so easy to create a website for free. Once you have a website, you can use various methods to attract potential customers. You can use SEO to get your website ranked high in relevant searches, you can use PPC to have your website featured on the first page of Google search results, or you can even use affiliates to earn a commission when a person clicks a product or service link on your website.
The only cost associated with creating a website is the domain name. And let’s be honest, unless you’re willing to pay hundreds of dollars per year for a custom-designed site, you’re probably not going to have the budget for this type of expense.
Why Should You Consider Building a New Website for Marketing?
If you’re looking to effectively market your product or service online, then you need to look no further than the benefits of building a new website, instead of using a pre-existing one, for the purpose of marketing.
And here are just a few of the reasons why you might want to consider building a new website for the purpose of marketing:
- No Risk. When you use a third party site to market your product or service, there’s always the chance that the operator of that website could go out of business, or their servers could crash, resulting in the loss of your website and all the content you’ve posted there.
- Low Cost. Building a custom-designed website is usually much less expensive than paying for a pre-existing template that you have to customize.
- No Gaps. With a pre-existing website, you’re often left with empty spaces where content should be. You’ll never know if an operator is going to come along and fill in the blanks with something interesting and valuable, or if you’re just going to keep scrolling and clicking “like” on Facebook because that’s all that site offers.
- Creativity. When you have a blank canvas with no restrictions, you have the opportunity to be as creative as you want, within reason. You can incorporate all the elements you want into your design, whether it’s a stunning visual display or an interactive component that allows for customer input.
- Freedom. You don’t have to ask someone else for permission to change something on a pre-existing website. If you have an idea for how you want your site to look or how you want it to function, you can go ahead and make those changes without any trouble. And if someone doesn’t like those changes, then they have the option to report you to the authorities — meaning you’ll likely end up in legal trouble.
- To Stand Out. The look of your site will affect how people view you and your product or service. When people visit your site, they’ll have the opportunity to see something unique and unforgettable. This could be in the form of a brightly colored button that links directly to your website, the way Amazon does on their product pages.
- Blocking Robots. Anyone can set up a blog, and then anyone can write something for it. However, not everyone can write something that will entice people to click on their blog, effectively driving traffic and sales to that site.
- Organic Growth. If you have a niche site, people will naturally come to it because it relates to their interests. And since you have nothing to do with it, you don’t have to worry about it attracting too many people. It will develop a small but dedicated audience who are interested in your content.
- More Visible. Having a custom-designed site means that you are not tied to a specific template that someone else created. This allows for much more flexibility when it comes to where you place your logo, the color of your site’s font, and its overall design. And if you decide that you don’t like the way a certain website operates, then you can simply go elsewhere.
- Keeps Your Identity. Since you’re the only one who knows how your site should look, you can ensure that your branding is always going to be consistent throughout.
- More Professional. Having a custom-designed site raises your professionalism in the eyes of customers. The truth is, nobody is born knowing how to create a stunning website. Even people who have a talent for design often need help learning the various platforms that allow for the creation of a quality site.
- A strong brand
- A clear value proposition
If your product or service is online-related, then you can bet that somebody is searching for it on the Web every day. And if they find what they are looking for, they most likely will click on the first website that pops up in the search results, meaning you.
Why should you create an effective marketing website rather than using a simple blog to post regularly and engage with your audience? It’s all about the strategy you use, the content you put out, and how you get people to come back for more.
When creating an effective marketing website, you need to have a clear strategy in mind. What do you hope to get out of this endeavor? Are you looking to gain new users? Are you trying to get your website to rank higher on the search engines? Are you trying to get a specific page to become the most viewed on your site?
The answer to these questions will help you determine how you want to approach creating your new website. If you do not yet have a clear vision in mind, this is the place to start.
For many business owners, building a strong brand means using a marketing technique called ‘persuasion’. The premise behind this strategy is that a person will be more likely to buy a product or service they believe will benefit them, and which they believe is endorsed by a reputable source. In the case of online marketing, that source is usually an organization such as a business school or a law firm, which has an established reputation for being reliable and credible.
To create a persuasive argument for why someone should buy your product or service, you are going to need to incorporate two important elements:
A brand is how your product or service is perceived by the general public. In the case of an attorney, the brand might be associated with competence, trustworthiness, and reliability.
A value proposition is the benefit your product or service provides to the customer. In the case of an attorney, the value proposition might be’substantial legal advice for people who don’t understand legal language or bureaucracy.’
When you put your value proposition out there, whether you’re creating an ebook or a website, someone out there is going to see a need and fit and be able to persuade you.
Once you have your website up and running, you need to populate it with content that will engage and motivate your audience to convert, subscribe, or take action.
To create content that will engage and motivate readers, you must first understand why someone would be interested in your product or service in the first place. At the risk of stating the obvious, your content must be valuable to a potential customer, or it will never get read.
To determine the value of your content, it is a good idea to look at the sources of your traffic and determine the demographics, as well as the types of individuals that are visiting your site. This way, you can determine the topics of conversation and the types of offers that might be of interest to them.