22/09/2017 | Consultancy & Strategy | 5 minutes
This article first appeared in the September 2017 edition of B4 Magazine.
Where does digital fit in to your business strategy? Your website needs to keep pace with changes to your business to ensure success. Natasha and 6221519 of Urban Element explain how your website can support the expansion of your business.
Whether your website is the catalyst for the growth of your business or not, it's essential that it remains in line with your offline presence. This doesn't mean reinventing the wheel – incremental updates can ensure your website remains an asset during times of change.
Research has proven that online searches form an integral part of customers' decision making, whether it's a B2C or B2B transaction. Your website is your shop window and may be the first touchpoint prospective customers have with your business. This means it's essential that your website offers an experience that matches your offline offer. Failure to do so can damage trust in your business and can undermine your offline sales activity.
As your business grows and thrives, there are elements of your digital presence that must change in step to support and drive growth. The following 4 steps are the basics that any business should be aware of, but they only scratch the surface of how digital can support business growth.
Expansion, acquisitions and growth can often lead to changes in location or the addition of new premises or staff. Failure to keep key contact information up to date can result in lost sales and damage to your reputation. This can also have a negative impact on your search engine rankings. As such it’s important to make this part of your growth plan.
Keeping track of this information wherever it appears online can be complex. Online directories may list your business without your input, making it even harder to manage. Online services such as Brightlocal can help with this.
As your business grows, your brand becomes an increasingly valuable asset. But if it's used inconsistently it can confuse customers or even damage trust. Also bear in mind that brand extends beyond use of colours and logos. The voice and tone of your content should be consistent across all your interactions with clients. From your sales pitches to your about us page to your tweets - your content should be on brand.
It’s a good idea to ensure that all your staff have a shared understanding of your brand, its values and how it should be conveyed. Codifying this in a style guide or brand guidelines document ensures that your online and offline efforts are aligned.
Even if your sales process is typically offline, your website must reflect your offer accurately. Online research forms a big part of most customer journeys and failing to provide up-to-date information can result in lost sales. This is a particular concern if your competitors are on top of things digitally. A simple solution is to ensure that website updates are part of the same workflow as changes to brochures and sales documentation.
One of the benefits of digital marketing is that it provides you with a huge amount of valuable data. Platforms such as Google Analytics let you see how well your digital assets are performing. Getting these tools set up correctly means you can assess the impact of your digital efforts and give each interaction a value. This can inform your strategy and allow you to channel your efforts most efficiently.
If your website is not currently supporting your business growth plan, we can help. Get in touch to discuss how we can work with your existing website to optimize it for more conversions and support your business to grow.