Why is your website so important? The list goes on an on.
First, customers nearly universally research products, brands and businesses online before making a purchase. In one study, a full 81 percent of customers reported researching goods online before making a decision. If you’re selling business to business, those numbers are even higher, with 94 percent of businesses saying they research online when making purchasing decisions. Your website is your opportunity to grab the attention of all of those potential customers looking for a screen printing shop online.
Second, all of your other marketing efforts lead to your website. Your social media pages, your digital ads and your landing pages all provide links back to your website. Even your traditional forms of marketing, from your print ads to your business cards, likely list your website.
That means your website has to be part of your overall marketing strategy. In fact, it should be the foundation of your marketing strategy. Your website’s design, content and feel should center on your brand identity and marketing message.
Your website often serves as a customer’s first touch point with your business. That means your website provides a potential customer with their first impression of your business. If your website design is out of date or unorganized looking, potential customers will assume the same things of your business. Your website design also has to stand out visually to customers, or you risk losing their interest and their business.
Your web design should be consistent with your overall brand image. A screen printing shop that deals with local bands and artists can get away with trendy colors and more avant garde design, while a shop that caters to businesses will want a more conservative feel. Regardless of the overall design, however, your web design should seem organized and professional. Your website should leave the impression that you are capable of providing the goods and services your potential customers seek.
Ease of use goes hand in hand with your web design. Visitors to your website should be able to tell quickly what they need to do to find the information they’re looking for. If a potential customer can’t easily find what they’re looking for, they’re going to get frustrated and give up. Make sure your website features are easy and intuitive navigation. A great way to make sure is easy to use is to have someone who has never visited your website sit down and try to find a certain piece of information. If it takes them more than 5 to 10 seconds to make their first click, your navigation needs to be streamlined.
Quality content plays a major role in attracting customers to your website in the first place. Search engine algorithms are constantly searching through website content to determine where web pages will rank in internet search results. Websites are rewarded with higher rankings when their content is rich, informative and up to date. Websites fall in the rankings when content isn’t relevant to the website’s subject matter, when it’s overstuffed with search keywords and when it’s not regularly refreshed.
Judging the quality of content doesn’t have to be complicated. A good rule of thumb is that if your content sounds awkward when spoken, it’ll seem awkward to website visitors and search engine algorithms. Content should be easy to read and digest. It should have a natural flow and be free of any glaring errors.
When it comes to successfully marketing via your website, calls to action help motivate customers to engage with your business, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, requesting a quote or seeking more information. Calls to action help customers navigate toward speaking with a representative from your business and making a purchase. You don’t want to overdo your calls to action, but they can help you to engage your customers, and they can help direct customers toward information and services quickly so those potential customers don’t feel lost on your website.
There is one final element that every website needs to help market your business and stay competitive: mobile compatibility. More than 80 percent of internet users own a smart phone, and they are using their mobile devices to look for businesses, products and services. According to Google, 61 percent of mobile users won’t return to a website that doesn’t load well on their mobile device, and 40 percent of those users will seek a competitor’s website. Mobile compatibility has become so important, that Google rewards mobile-enabled websites with better search engine results.
Having a website that is mobile enabled ensures that your customers can navigate around your site seamlessly on their mobile devices. They won’t have to turn their phone horizontally to see the entire page. Text and images will be the right size for easy viewing. Links and tabs will be larger. Just like good traditional website designs, good mobile design provides potential customers visiting your website from a mobile device with a positive first impression.
As you formulate your overall marketing strategy, make sure you evaluate your website. Is the design aesthetically pleasing and representative of your brand? Is it easy to navigate? Is the content accurate, well-written, informative and error free? Does it present potential customers with what they would need and want to know? Are there simple calls to action that will help engage customers? Is it mobile enabled? If you answer no to any of those questions, it might be time to update your website.
Remember, your website is your #1 marketing tool. Make sure your website is an asset to your business, not a liability.
For more tips on how to effectively market your screen printing business, check out these other blog posts:
Or download our free eBook: A Guide to Successfully Marketing Your Screen Printing Business