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In a world where social media follows us wherever we go, having a website may seem like an unnecessary step in your marketing. However, I’d urge you to reconsider. Why? We may live in a world consumed with social media, but social media sites change all the time. Having the stability of a website is the single most significant thing we can do for our business, product, or book. And today, there are a number of ways for you to build a great-looking site for free. If that seems to be too good to be true, it is.Newsletter Motivation 8 8.15.31 AM

What you cannot gain from those free services is an understanding of how to make your site effective, as well as attractive. Below, I’ve outlined the remaining important things to keep in mind for those of you who are looking to build a site, and for those of you who think you site may need a tune up. Read Part 1 here!

At the heart of every website must be the marketing principles that include well-defined goals, a mission, and an understanding of the principles that go into creating something that isn’t about you, but about your end user.

Write a Newsletter: Like I mentioned above, while having a social media following is great, it’s not enough to simply be popular online. Facebook, though still a great resource, has gone to a largely paid version. If you aren’t running Facebook ads, your updates probably aren’t consistently showing up in your fans’ newsfeeds. However, through a newsletter, you can consistently ensure that you’re communicating with your followers. Building a newsletter is simple, and can be free with sites like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Aweber.

Don’t Expect Something for Nothing: I’ve talked a lot about giving someone something in exchange for their email address. We live in a world where we are inundated with emails, so you need to give your visitors a compelling reason to give out their email. In the past, giving a chapter of your book or a free report was enough to drive sign-ups. Now, consumers expect more and you need to deliver. For some folks, offering a $25 gift card in the way of a monthly drawing could be a great way to drive sign-ups.

If you don’t want to give away a gift card, Backlinko has an excellent strategy to double, triple, and in some cases, quadruple the sign-ups you get to your website by expanding on popular blog posts and offering an “upgraded” or enhanced version of them. Let’s say you have one post that you know does amazingly well. It’s been shared a lot and has a ton of great comments. You can expand on that post and share it with users for their email address. You can see the full post here: http://backlinko.com/increase-conversions

Include Testimonials: We hear about online scams all the time, so the answer to my next question may seem obvious: Would you ever buy something from someone you didn’t trust? No! Yet I often see many sites without any kind of testimonials, reviews, or social media love. Including testimonials, reviews, or the number of social media followers helps to build trust and show your consumer that they, too, can belong to a large tribe of adoring fans. If your social media numbers are low, you can skip this until you grow them, but testimonials are definitely a must, whether that be written or visual.

Whenever you can, record people using/reading your product, or get them to record something after they’ve used/read it. Why? Studies show that having one enthusiastic consumer testimonial is more effective than any other promotion. You can also do it for them, here’s an easy way. Invite them to Google Hangouts and record it using their YouTube connection (see: http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/onair.html). It’s very easy to do and a simple way to grab more video for your website!

Direct Visitors: Once you’ve gotten visitors to your site, you need to direct them; meaning, you need a strong call to action. You should have several different types of these action statements to make the sale. Here some of the most popular:

  • Contact Us
  • Learn More
  • Call now!
  • Take our Survey
  • Request a Consultation
  • Click Here
  • Apply Now
  • Ask the Expert

Knowledge is Power: Installing Google Analytics is a fantastic way to gain insight into your marketing efforts by measuring traffic, seeing where visitors are coming from, what keywords are driving them to your site, and your bounce rate. A bounce rate is the percentage of people who “bounce” off of your site after landing on it. Regardless of what anyone will tell you, there is no typical number for this. If you’re not sure, check with your web person or someone who understands your market.

Whether you’re are making your website from scratch, or simply giving an existing site a tune-up, the 9 tips mentioned above will help you create a site that incorporate marketing techniques to make it effective, address your visitor’s needs, and provide you with knowledge about visitors to your site.

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