Nearly every business has a website…but is the website aiding in the branding and marketing efforts of the company? Is it utilized as a tool for customers to improve their affinity to the brand? For most, the answer is no. And the reason is simply a lack of awareness in how a website aids in these areas.
Businesses will update their websites every few years and while there is hope that the investment leads to a positive ROI, the expectation is that the website is more of a cost of doing business.
I’m here to tell you that developing a website to generate a positive ROI is a possibility for your brand. Let me take you through some of the possibilities in how a newly developed website can become an asset to a business rather than an expense.
A Branded Website: The Foundation to a Successful Marketing Strategy
Too often do companies build their marketing assets in silos. They see everything as individual initiatives instead of the integrated roadmap in which a customer uses to discover a solution. Marketing initiatives can stand alone, but when combined into the roadmap for a customer journey across multiple channels, they become more effective.
The website plays a very important role in this journey and is one of the foundational pillars for any marketing, sales or customer satisfaction campaign.
- Want to advertise? Where do you send customers? Your website.
- Want to create organic lead generation from Google? How do you do it? Through your website.
- Need to improve the customer experience with beneficial information or a client portal? Where is it housed? Your website.
But remember it’s not just about your company’s wants and needs.
- When potential customers want to learn more about you and your company where do they visit? Your website.
- When looking for potential solutions what do buyers do? Explore various websites.
In fact, customers don’t just want a brand to have a website, they expect it.
Your website is the foundation of your online presence. Once this is understood, it is easier to understand the various ways it can aid a brand in growing their business.
How a Website Aids in a Company's Branding Efforts
Who are you as a company and how are you a solution to your target markets’ problems? Branding answers these questions and your website has a unique place in the branding process.
Branding takes place in many forms, but the ultimate goal is to paint the picture of why your company is the right solution for a customer’s pain point. Consumers will judge your brand image from every channel or experience they have with your organization. It is vital to understand that your website plays an important role in ensuring you have a positive brand image.
Here are a few ways in how a website can aid in your company’s branding efforts.
Consistency in Brand Identity
When a consumer looks up your website what will they find? Is it enough to trust in your services? Modern consumers will explore a business’s social media accounts, look for reviews, and visit their website to explore offerings, while also seeing if the brand is legitimate. One of the simplest forms of this is ensuring your website looks professional and up to date so that a bridge of trust and confidence is built between your brand and potential customers.
Wait, isn't SEO supposed to be a lead generation effort? How is SEO considered branding? Well the way I see it, if you aren’t found, no one will know who your business is. While SEO is not branding per se, it helps your business get discovered. When you’re found first, then you become the standard to which the other web presences get measured. Even better yet, if your website is found first and your brand identity is strong enough that website visitors contact you, they may not even look at your competitors. What better way to brand yourself than being the only one in the market space.
Industry Expertise and Content Creation
People don’t want to be sold, they want to make discoveries that will solve their pain points. Many people would rather spend hours online researching before calling an expert or speaking with sales. If you are a service-based business you likely have people coming to you all the time with the information they found online (I’m sure doctors love when we pre-diagnose ourselves based on our WebMD research).
The truth is when we create content in the form of blogs, vidoes, or podcasts, you are empowering your customers by allowing them to do their own research. This also aids in positioning you as the expert in building trust..and where is the best place to house all this content? Your website of course!
How a Website Supports the Customer Experience
Your website is not simply a branding tool that allows your company to look good and generate more business. In fact, one of a website’s main functions should be a tool for users. That’s what we want after all, right? As consumers, we look to a website as a resource to aid us in our buying process or as a customer service tool.
Modern consumers expect your business to have a website, however, it’s not just about having a website, it’s about adding value to those using it.
But what do consumers want and expect from a website?
- Information to find the best solution for their needs
- Self-service tools to help them buy and get the best experience from their purchase
- Company information to discover if they are the best fit
Ultimately consumers want something that will aid them in the purchase process in a convenient way. They are literally asking for something that will help them buy your solution. Why make it challenging for them by creating a bad user experience on your website?
Websites are a Company-Wide Asset
A majority of businesses see a website as a way to generate more business. There’s nothing wrong with this. Who doesn’t want to generate more revenue? But there’s more to it that businesses miss out on.
A website can actually be a source of lowered cost per acquisition, it can lower customer service costs, it can aid in customer retention improving the life-time-value, it can act as a pseudo sales/marketing person, and can be used to improve internal processes.
Here are a couple of simple applications businesses can utilize their website for:
- Enhanced view of marketing efforts with analytics
- Lower service costs with self service portals and chatbots
- Become a valuable resource for consumers keeping them loyal
SRTA is one example of how an organization actually lowered its service costs while gaining a significant number of users with a new website (you can read their story here).
Of course, for a business to benefit from these areas, it has to be thoughtfully planned and it has to be a win-win for the company and the users. You don’t just accidentally build a customer service portal after all. It takes planning, vision, and takes the right skill to develop a website such as this.
Developing a Website as an Asset, not an Expense
Website developers and designers seem to be a dime a dozen these days. From $99 websites to $10 an hour freelancers and with free (i.e. Cheaper) CMS products like WordPress and Wix, you can have a website developed by nearly anyone.
But let me tell you the truth…not all web designers and developers are the same. Sure you can have just about anyone build an “online brochure” for you so that you have a website and a presence.
However, having a website and one that aids in your business goals are two very distinct things. If you wish to develop a website that helps integrate your omni-channel marketing strategy, provides insightful analytics, is optimized for SEO, provides an excellent user-experience, and enhances your overall marketing equity then you have to find a developer or company who is experienced with not only website development, but a larger scope of marketing and digital presence.
Developing a website for a website sake is not the best investment. Sure, we provide website rebuilds and refreshes and these are helpful for their own purposes, but for businesses who want to get the most out of the website and create an experience that their customers desire requires much more.
Take a few of our clients for example:
- SRTA - they needed an updated website and enhancing their look would have helped. However, overhauling the site with better navigation and the ability to integrate it with their backend systems not only generated a 40% increase in web users and traffic in six (6) months but also saved them a significant amount in operation costs due to having a user-friendly online violation payment solution. (read the case study)
- Glyph Production Technologies needed a brand refresh and could have stuck with an updated website look. Instead, they trusted MOJO to not only improve their brand image but increased demand for their product. (read the case study)
- Microcom Environmental knew that their website needed improvements to work for their needs. They partnered with us at MOJO to create a website that they could control, would improve their brand image, and would become a useful tool for their potential customers to explore solutions. (read the case study)
When thoughtfully considered and developed properly, a website can become a huge digital asset for companies in a number of different ways.
It really comes down to what you want your website to do for you and who you choose to work with. Developing a website that aids in branding, customer experience and the overall marketing goals of a company takes the aid of experts and specialists.
If you’re looking for a company that can help you develop a website and improve your brand, then let's have a conversation.