When it comes to most businesses, the website can very much be a “wild card” in whether it helps or brings down your firm’s brand. But it doesn’t have to be.
It’s common fact that potential customers all go through the sales process of starting with an initial pain point and through varying activities, will eventually end up at your firm’s website in search for the best solution for them. It is here where prospects will have their first exposure with your firm where your website could just as easily turn them away from your brand as attracting their attention to want to learn more. Because prospects and leads view your website as a reflection of your overall firm, if it’s not maintained well and is full of outdated, inconsistent content, guess what impression they will have of your firm?
However, if your company website continues to publish helpful, relevant information and content that provides a true reflection of what your firm is about, this becomes a great opportunity to build trust with future customers, showcase the value of your firm’s services, and increase your overall brand presence.
Here are 4 best practices for website management that helps you stay relevant and updated.
1. Invest in a CMS
A content management system (CMS) such as Hubspot or DIY wordpress is of great assistance when it comes to upscaling your firm’s online branding by helping you organize and run multiple-channel campaigns, strategies, and activities all under one platform.
Even better, a CMS will help improve your company’s overall workflow by allowing you to independently edit website pages, save pending blog articles as drafts, auto-publish posts, and create landing pages, even if you don’t have much working knowledge of visual design or coding.
This not only ensures you retain greater control over managing your own content, but investing in an advanced CMS will also include more key features such as mobile optimization, adding helpful FAQ pages and support forums, and being able to update your site’s navigation. All these actions work to help delight and answer any customer questions while supporting an excellent user experience as potential investors search through your company website deciding whether or not you are the right firm to process their money for them.
2. Decide who will manage your website (In-house or Outsourced)
With the accelerated growth of the internet in recent times, this has led to a booming explosion of the outsourcing industry. The benefits of outsourcing are obvious, where companies have an opportunity to be more cost-effective while gaining access to a wider supply of talent. However, there are risks that come with outsourcing that should be considered such as decreased control over the work that is outsourced and lessened communication between your firm and contractors who produce the external work which may impact content quality.
Look over your firm’s goals and consider your annual budget to find a balance, allocating what work needs to be done by your in-house staff that specializes in company knowledge versus general work that can be outsourced to increase efficiency. For example, strategic planning for a marketing campaign on introducing alternative investments and preparing sales representatives accordingly may want to be helmed by in-house staff, while copywriting and producing basic content may have its place in outsourced work.
3. Create fresh, high-quality content
If your website should primarily provide value to prospects and leads, then ongoing, high-quality content is the fuel to maintaining a dynamic, engaging website. If you deal with long sales cycles, providing relevant, educational content to potential customers throughout the entire process is critical to keeping them interested and building solid trust with them from the beginning all the way to the point of purchase. This type of fresh content can be found in the form of blog articles, media (podcasts, videos) and downloadable resources.
Rather than creating these content pieces just for the sake of filling your website with content, get down to the nitty gritty and deep dive into the key pain points and questions your buyer persona may be asking, and then write your content accordingly. When your content is written with the aim in helping your customers truly achieve their goals before anything else, this will transform your readers from just skimming over your content to being highly engaged and wanting to learn more.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is that once they’ve published great content on their website, their publishing frequency tails off into inconsistent posts and communication with prospects and customers. Using a CMS to plan your monthly content well ahead of time will ensure content is written and published in a timely manner instead of important tasks being left to the last minute.
4. Make reporting a priority
If your website has stayed the same since when it was first created, something’s wrong. Your website should be fluid and constantly changing with the evolving preferences/needs of your customers, marketing trends, and company goals. And in order to learn what improvements to make, time needs to be spent looking into your website analytics. For example, to track your website’s current performance, you may want to assess:
- Clickthrough rates (number of clicks your visitors made)
- Bounce rates (number of visitors who hastily left your website)
- Conversion rates (number of visitors who completed your call-to-actions)
It’s also important to pay attention to and gain customer feedback. Whether this is done by engaging with customers through the comments section of blog posts and social media, email correspondence, or by providing surveys that customers can be filled out, it will always be of benefit to your firm to learn what things are aligning with your target buyer’s preferences and needs and what can be improved upon in order to boost customer satisfaction.