Getting Website Visitors: It’s About Value, Not Glitter

value-not-glitterYou can have the snazziest, coolest-looking site on the web, but if you ignore it after the launch dust settles, you’re missing a huge opportunity to capitalize on your investment. Marketers see this too often: A client needs a new website with X components within Y budget and it must launch by Z date. That’s all well and good, but what about after the launch?

From a client service perspective, we want to deliver high-quality websites at a reasonable price, and we’ve pulled off deadline miracles in a crunch. But it’s equally important to have a strategy and resources for after the site goes live. For this reason, marketers shouldn’t be afraid to offer alternatives and advice and ask four very important questions:

  1. What do you want your website to achieve?
  2. How are you going to measure your site’s success?
  3. Who will be updating and paying attention to the site after it launches?
  4. How will you continue to add value to the site to make it worth visiting?

You can slap the site’s URL on your business cards, letterhead and car bumper, and have a cutting-edge design and robust content management system, but your website will be borderline worthless without an audience. It’s important to consider that up front when looking at budgets and features.

Whatever your business model or potential customer base, regularly updated and relevant content (extra points for creative content!) will be your site’s bread and butter. Whether you’re creating the content in-house or working with a content creator like Parthenon, keep these tips in mind:

Deliver what your audience wants. You may think you know what they want, but when’s the last time you asked? Do a survey or some other type of feedback invite. It’s not about you, it’s about them.

Try to mix up your storytelling. There are lots of mediums out there and different ways to write and present information. You need a style, but you also need personality.

Consistency is better than frequency. Consistency lets your audience know when they can expect fresh content. Consider making a schedule until you or your organization has established a rhythm.

Use the inverted pyramid. This may sound high-school, but pretend you’re a newspaper reporter and present the most important info first in case they don’t scroll down the page.

Don’t underestimate the value of an editor. If you’re developing any type of content, this is an absolute must. Content is more important than what you’re selling. Nobody is going to buy into copy laced with irrelevance or errors.

Communicate the value your site brings. If you expect your audience to find you, chances are you’ll always be waiting. Depending on your business, social media, email marketing, blogger outreach and a little public relations may help. When teasing your site in materials or via third parties, make sure you give people a reason to visit you. If they click a link to your site, what are they going to get?