Your website often serves as the initial handshake between your company and your prospects. Are you serving up a strong and confident grip, or does it leave your visitors hoping for just a little bit more?
I’ve recently spent a lot of time looking at the websites of various commercial printers, and I have to say – a lot of what I saw left me wanting more. More information. More education. More engagement.
I’ve written on the Printerverse before about how imperative it is to have a robust online presence as more and more Millennials move into buyer roles. The first place we go when we want to learn about something is to the internet. In fact, if I receive a voicemail or email from someone trying to sell me something – the first place I will head is their website to see if they’re worth my time. I can skim a whole lot faster than wasting five to ten valuable minutes listening to a pitch.
So how do you know if it’s time to refresh the “front door” to your business online?
- It’s not responsive.
It’s no secret – the mobile generation is here, and it’s not going away any time soon. The invention of the smartphone has transformed our lives and put the internet literally within our hands. If your website doesn’t respond to the device your audience is on, you’re likely doing more damage than you think.Is it impossible to navigate a website that hasn’t been formatted for mobile? For the most part – no (some coding can make it impossible).
What you need to make yourself concerned with is the user-friendliness of engaging with your brand. If it’s a pain in the rear – chances are you’re losing traffic way before you even have a chance to nurture potential business.
- No educational content.
I get it – a blog is hard to maintain, but it’s also one of the greatest ways to educate your target audience and drive them to your website. Including things like ebooks and other downloads is an incredible way to generate warm leads…which is ultimately what you hope your website will do, correct?
Start small – no body said you need to write 5 blogs a week. Pick one topic each month and dedicate a post to educating your audience and earning their trust as an expert on the matter.
- Email sign-up, but no email newsletter.
Your readers opt-in to receive communications from you, yet you end up sending them an email once – maybe twice – a year. Don’t disappoint your audience. Instead embrace their willingness to hear from you and consistently provide them educational content.Bonus? If you sell integrated marketing solutions, you should make this a priority to, at the very least, show your readers the power of your solution.
- Dated content and news.
Can visitors to your site see that you haven’t made any changes since 2012? Maybe your copyright, latest news or even blog post archive shows you’ve paid no attention to your online presence in years? You’re likely hurting yourself in more ways than one, but most importantly – you’re boosting your chances of being skipped over by search engines.
Search engines like fresh and updated sites best. Commit to showing your audience that you’re up with the times as well.
Is it time for a site audit?
If you can relate to any of these signs, it may be time to ensure a strong handshake is ready and waiting for your online visitors.
Christine Alexander is self-confessed ink-sniffer and an independent marketing consultant for companies within the graphic arts industry. Her specialties include graphic design, content marketing, community building, event planning and strategy development across a wide array of media. With nearly a decade of experience in commercial printing, Christine has held roles in prepress management, marketing direction, print sales, and operations management.