“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
We all wish our marketing plans were executed perfectly, but without a solid plan, that wish is just that – a wish. It’s like closing your eyes and blowing out your birthday candles while wishing for thinner thighs. You’ve got to put in the work if you want to see results (especially since you’re about to shove some birthday cake in your face). It’s no different when it comes to your marketing strategy.
You can hope all you want, but until you set yourself up with the right tools and a plan of attack, that hope doesn’t mean a thing. One of the most important tools in your marketing arsenal is your website, so let’s focus on that for now.
How to align your website with your marketing plan:
FOCUS ON SEO
It’s 2019 and the internet isn’t going anywhere, so you better make it work for you before your competitors do. One of the best ways to reach your target audience is by improving your search engine optimization (SEO). Start by conducting some keyword research. Focus on long tail keywords that are specific to what you offer. Then build some content on your site around those keywords so that when people search for your services or products, you’ll show up in their results and they’ll show up on your website, ready to buy.
Speaking of content, it’s important that the content you provide is set up to match your audience. For instance, is it the right reading level for your target demographic? Do the graphics and imagery speak to them? There’s no point in putting out a ton of heavy, lengthy, text-driven content that drones on and on if your audience is primarily millennials. Instead, try incorporating videos or gifs to better engage a more youthful audience.
CHECK YOUR VISUALS
You definitely need to have text on your website in order to rank in search results and to provide content to your audience. But the way your site looks matters just as much because that is what will keep people on your site.
In fact, CloudRiff states that “Only 10% of heard information is retained three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, 65% of the information is retained three days later.”
That’s HUGE! Be sure to use images, gifs, animations and videos to pump up the visual interest of your site. And make sure that the colors, fonts and overall vibe of your site matches your branding and presents a cohesive style across multiple pages.
What do you want people to do when they come to your site? Is that clear through calls to action and navigation? If someone has to poke around looking for their next step, they’re going to leave your site before you can blink twice. Navigation is one of the most important factors in user experience-it can make or break your marketing plan! So make sure that you take the architecture of your site into consideration and direct people through clear channels.
Double check that your menu is organized, VISIBLE and simple. Forget the dreaded drop down menus with every sub page under the sun. Streamline your site into clear categories and make your calls to action prominent.
MAKE IT MOBILE
Everyone has a smart phone in today’s world. You can’t cross your fingers and hope that every potential customer visits your website on a desktop monitor. Most likely, they’re going to be viewing it on their phone, so you better set it up to be responsive. Test it out on multiple devices to make sure that you are giving people a good experience, regardless of screen size or orientation.
Of course, there’s more to a marketing plan than just your website, but having a solid online presence is a great place to start!