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Adjusting Your Website To Excel In A Down Economy
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When the economy slows down, many marketing expenditures get reduced, or even dropped entirely in an effort to survive. This is always a poor choice however sometimes it is a necessity, especially for smaller businesses that may not have the cash reserves or credit lines that larger businesses have access to. If you find yourself in this situation, don't despair; all is not yet lost because there are some things you can do to make the most from the marketing tools you all ready have. You can also take solace in knowing that most of your competitors are probably going through the same thing, so chances are in your favor that they are not gaining ground on your business.
The first step that you should take is to ensure that your website is indexed in the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Live and Ask). This is as easy as entering site:www.yourdomain.com into the search box on each search engine. This will tell you precisely which of your web pages each search engine knows about. If they appear to know about most of your web pages, you've got a solid foundation; if not, you'll need to find out what is causing the problem. In most cases, it is one of the following:
1. Improperly configured robot.txt file
2. Improperly configured .htaccess file
3. Invalid XHTML markup
4. Few or no inbound links to your website
5. Lack of a sitemap
Once you know that the search engines can properly crawl and index your site, your next step is to make sure that you're getting as much traffic as possible. Search engine optimization is a excellent option because it often delivers the best long-term return on investment of any marketing medium, but it takes time to achieve results and if you're doing it in-house, the learning curve can be steep. This means that while conducting your campaign, you'll need to implement additional channels which will take effect in real-time. Since cost is probably a big factor in your decision at this time, you may want to consider some of the free or low cost methods. Article marketing is one approach and another is to guest post on other blogs. Online advertising, PPC and email marketing are also effective options.
Tremendous website traffic is great, but what you really want is conversions. Millions of website visitors will be of little value to you if they don't buy anything. This is where most people go horribly wrong. In an effort to generate as much money as possible, they often jam a little bit of everything into their website design. The result is a website that has no clear purpose and confuses visitors. When people arrive on your website, they want to know exactly what you can do for them, and they want that information quickly and easily. If you make it difficult for them to find the information they're seeking you can be sure that they will quickly move on to one of your competitors. Focusing on a niche is always a good approach, but it is critical during a slow economy because it simplifies your sales process and helps you to be viewed as an industry leader. You can also improve conversions by giving your visitors multiple ways to contact you because it presents the appearance of a more stable, trustworthy company. Finally, you should streamline your checkout process so that it contains as few steps as possible. Shopping cart abandonment is high even for ecommerce experts such as Amazon.com, but with less than optimal check out procedures, it can often be over 90%. Simple details like requiring minimal information to checkout or even not requiring a visitor to register can make a tremendous difference in conversions.
Is your website presenting the right image for your company? If not, maybe it's time for a new look with a professional website design from Wildfire Marketing Group.
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