Why your website is still relevant

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When the internet began entering American households 25 years ago, it hardly seemed like a marketing revolution.

There was one commercial web browser and about 10,000 sites, none of which came remotely close to the present versions of Amazon, Youtube and Google.

So, a quarter century and countless innovations later, does it matter if your business has a website? The answer is a resounding, unequivocal yes.

Consider that Google gets, on average, more than 63,000 web searches per second. Websites are still the internet’s meat and potatoes when it comes to the way consumers get information.

Websites offer complete control in telling your company’s story, especially the creative elements. That’s something social media just isn’t geared for.

And websites provide invaluable data on your audience and how it interacts with your brand and products.

Your website isn’t a necessity, it’s the foundation for marketing, branding, engagement and getting potential customers into your sales funnel.

How well does your site accomplish those? Here are some questions and tips to make sure it performs as effectively as possible.

First, what’s the goal of your website? Is it there to generate leads and sales? Recruit new employees? Serve as a starting point for customer service? The more specific and measurable, the better your goal is.

Based on your goal, what’s the call to action? What do you want visitors to do? Are they performing that action? If not, where are they stopping in the process? Why are they stopping? Is it an obstruction that can be cleared?

When deciding on content, look at the material through the visitors’ eyes. Their question is, “What’s in it for me?” So, tell them as quickly and clearly as possible with concise content that gets to the point.

How well does your site work in different environments? Test for responsive web design by visiting your page on a desktop computer, a laptop, a phone and a mobile device. Try it on iPhone and Androids, and use different browsers. Does your site load and format correctly each time? Do all the links work?

In the next edition of The Network, we’ll look at ways to improve the user experience, as well as your site’s ranking in search results.

Ann Edelman is Vice President of Public Relations and Media for Zehnder Communications, a fully integrated advertising and marketing agency. Reach her at aedelman@z-comm.com.

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