Despite every organization having a website today, it’s amazing just how ineffective 90% of websites perform. It’s even more disconcerting knowing that many of those organizations paid a design agency over $10K for a beautiful website that creates zero value. Don’t fall victim to the expensive yet worthless site.
- Website Design Optimization
Every website must be optimized from a design standpoint to achieve maximum impact. Within 2-3 seconds, a website visitor must intuitively know what your mission is and recognize a clear, succinct call-to-action. These calls-to-action can be anything from making a donation to a volunteer offer. Other calls-to-action include event registration, content downloads and newsletter signups.
- Mobile/Responsive Site
Building on design optimization, the website’s appearance and usability on mobile devices is critical in today’s smartphone world. A poorly designed mobile site will have major repercussions, from lower Google search rankings to higher bounce rates. A website must function on any digital screen size, from giant Apple monitors to handheld Android devices. Mobile search is increasing daily, but as you commence an e-newsletter campaign, a majority of your subscribers will open the e-newsletter on their smartphone and will be taken to your website. Is the content there readable on the smartphone? Can they take action based on your e-newsletter?
- Search Engine Optimization
While emphasis on SEO isn’t what it once was as Google has become sophisticated in weeding out websites that offer little benefit to visitors, SEO does play a role in getting your site listed. Page titles, descriptions and heading tags still play a vital role in ranking your website. Additionally, Google offers ‘Rich Snippets,’ which can further your website’s message directly in the search results with ratings, reviews, images and links. Also, don’t overlook page download speed. It’s widely known Google places a huge premium on fast websites.
- Digital Content Strategy
Unequivocally, a website’s digital content strategy is the backbone of the site and plays a massive role in how your visitors perceive your organization. A well defined publishing cycle that takes into account quality, timely and original content that your target audience seeks turns your organization into an industry expert and helps build trust. This content can be repackaged and disseminated via a variety of channels, providing long-lasting, website traffic driving mechanism. However, most organizations can’t define a content strategy, much less stick to a production cycle. Professional writers go a long way to creating the editorial calendar and sticking to it.
e-Newsletters are ubiquitous in the digital age and your inbox is chock full of them. Gmail has even created tabs just to filter the huge amounts of promotional and social offers. Cutting through the noise is paramount to improving open-rates and click-through-rates (CTRs). Subject lines are still important, but not as important as the headlines and content in the e-newsletter itself, especially when the receipt is familiar with your organization. If No. 4 wasn’t clear enough, a digital content strategy will make your e-newsletter a welcomed inbox item as opposed to a promotional filter afterthought.
- Social Media Integration
Social media channels are another avenue to disseminate your high quality content derived from the digital content strategy. Clearly you need to establish a following on the social media networks of your choice, but then you must post shareable content. Types of shareable content include funny, inspiring, heartstrings pulling or anything that can evoke an emotional response. Taking social a step further, there are many tools available to seamlessly integrate your social media account activity into your website and vice-versa or even promoting social media activities in the physical space. Doing so will allow the visitor to experience a cohesive and consistent digital presence and make them feel a part of a larger network.
- Strategic Partnerships
What was once herald as link-building, strategic content partnership can have a much greater impact on your website’s ranking and traffic levels. Strategic content partnerships have the benefit of creating links, quality content and allow the two parties to tap into each others’ audience. The benefits are obvious and will make your content more professional.
- Website Contests and Giveaways
Incentivizing visitors to return to your website is ultimately the holy grail of digital marketing. Facebook is only as popular as it is because of those little red flag notices that trigger a response. GoPro Camera put itself on the digital map by giving away a camera everyday to its followers. Free is just as powerful a tool today as it’s ever been and tapping into these response centers in visitors’ brains can turn your website into a digital destination.
While not entirely vital if you’ve master the other must dos, having a website wildcard will help your site differentiate itself from millions of others and become a repeat destination for visitors. Can you offer personalized, dynamic content that speaks to different demographics? Or can your build a community around your website where people can interact? Let your imagination run wild…
- Analytics Tracking
Lastly, do you have analytics tracking installed on your website? Are you tracking social media metrics? If not, all your hard work and efforts listed above will fall flat. How can you know what content is playing well with your audience? You can use the metrics to see how users are interacting with your digital properties and makes needed improvements. Be wary of data overload, though. Choose the metrics that matters most to your bottom line. And it’s even better if you can compare the analytics in comprehensive fashion, seeing real-time campaign indicators across a variety of channels at once.
While every organization has unique objectives and execution varies depending on audiences and industries, these 10 digital marketing concepts should be the foundation to your organization’s online efforts.