As you take stock of the year and reflect on all your marketing efforts, now is the time to take a hard look at your website. Your website is many things: Your virtual sales department The hub of your marketing and communication actionAn information portal A data capture vehicle Customer service support channel And the list could go on. The importance of a website cannot be overstated. This could explain why companies load their websites with tons of information…Sales and marketing messages Presentations of products and/or services and documentary resources Company history, mission, personnel, etc. Blog, video and podcast content White papers, e-books and presentations This is all great and should be considered when creating your website material. It's the presentation and quality of that content where things can fall apart. Website Layout - What Does Your Audience Need? They need education, validation and inspiration Every article about digital marketing, especially on websites, will inevitably stress the importance of content. Content marketing is what we're talking about here. Education as Content Marketing The Content Marketing Institute (yes, it has its own institute) defines content marketing as…“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and ultimately drive profitable customer action. »I want to focus on driving profitable customer action here because, let's face it, you have to care about the bottom line. Your boss doesn't want to hear about brand awareness or positive customer sentiment (although those things can be important).
No, she wants to hear good numbers, sales, conversions, whatever your website goals are. Use content to educate your audience so they're better able to make buying decisions that are right for them. Educate them so they can become brand ambassadors who will spread awareness about your organization. Websites are for validation and inspiration They are also looking for validation. Validation that your website is where they are supposed to be, and validation that your product or service is exactly what they want or need. They want to trust you before telling the world about you. And they want to be inspired. You can no longer present a product and expect it to sell. Generation Z and millennials want to be part of something. Your content should entice them not only to buy, but also to join your “movement”. What is your movement? It's up to you to decide. Either way, every organization needs a set of values and a mission to support, promote, and maintain those values. Your website should come with a tour guide Your audience needs you to guide them down the path to business email database conversion while giving them a sense of validation and belonging. That's why those links at the top or side of your website are called navigation. It is these and other site elements that help the user navigate through the pages and content of your website. Website navigation is very important and should be given a lot of thought, so much so that we wrote an entire blog post about website navigation. But navigation is no longer enough. Previously you had these links at the top and the content in the body and everything was fine with the world. Three-year-olds busy on smartphones The typical visitor to your website today will have these or similar characteristics…They are busy, or at least think they are They have the attention span of a three-year-old (not an insult, just a fact…a squirrel!)These users use mobile devices, laptops, desktops, tablets, watches, shoes, glasses (it's a fucking spy movie)They don't read anymore, they scan We're busy, scanning three-year-olds, jumping from device to device while watching your content.
Do you still think people are reading those long blocks of text on your homepage? So how do you deal with this serious attention deficit disorder plaguing your website audience? Cut to the chase and make everything as scannable as possible. Generation Z, welcome to Instabrain In a book titled InstaBrain: The New Rules for Marketing to Generation Z, author Sarah Weise talks about studies done with Generation Zers, those born between 1995 and 2014. In these studies, participants were observed as they used the Internet in a variety of ways. This can be anything from searching for a product to scrolling through their Instagram feed. At first it seemed like all they were doing was scrolling, barely scanning the information in front of them. And most of the time, they were on their smartphones. Initially, the observer noted how they seemed to waste time scrolling with no real purpose. But, then something interesting happened. When something caught their attention, they dove deep. They can delve into a new musical artist they've stumbled upon or an exhaustive study of a new product they're considering buying. The takeaway here is that what might seem like a waste of time to them is actually a search for inspiration. So, while I tell you that no one will read your long copy of the homepage? I'm saying that when inspired, your audience will dive deep into your content to learn as much as possible about you, your products, services, etc. A website that converts Website conversion literally means when a user takes an action that aligns with your marketing or sales goals. The conversion can be any or all of the following…Buy a product Subscription to a service Subscribe to an email newsletter Join a cause Sign a petition Achieving conversion goals means two things happen…You have clearly defined the targeted objectives for your websiteYour site is designed and presented in a way that prompts users to take action consistent with the goals outlined in step one. It's simple. So why do so many marketers struggle to get the kinds of conversion numbers they want?
They get in their way. UX is your secret conversion ingredient Conversion goal discussions tend to focus on the right calls to action. These are graphic elements such as links, buttons or forms that lead to an action on the part of the user. But loading your website with buttons is definitely not the solution. Things get noticed when they have the space around them to stand out. A website design should contain enough white space for these calls to action to be easily noticed and acted upon. It's not over though. If you have eye-catching spaces and buttons, you may still lack the motivation and encouragement to take this step. Why are they on your website? What does your website mean to them? How does each page fit into their journey ? UX and the user journey We are talking here about UX or user experience. This is how you understand and plan the why of the conversion. Take the time to understand your target audience. Who are they? How is their environment? Do you know what they need from you? How does this correspond to what you expect from them? What kind of website experience would drive action based on knowing answers 1-4? Then, once you have an idea of what that experience looks like, map out the user journey. Where do they come from ? What is their main objective/need? How to guide them on a conversion path without losing their interest? Mapping this user journey will help you eliminate unnecessary material that simply gets in the way. And this user journey will give you a better understanding of what content you really need instead of what you “think” you need. Write and design for this user journey. Plan this journey using wireframes, prototypes, and smart sitemaps. These documents will then shed light on the content areas you need.
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