28 May 2024, 11:28
By Furniture News Apr 25, 2017

Making your website marketing ready

Is your website an enabler or a barrier to your marketing efforts? According to Land of Beds' Mike Murray, having a web presence is the bare minimum required in today’s ecommerce-dominated world, and how you optimise that presence will make a big difference – not only to your bottom line but to your company’s reputation among consumers and the industry as a whole …

Assuming you have taken reasonable steps to ensure your website looks clean and uncluttered - that it’s easy to navigate and your products are listed and available for purchase - what steps can you take to make it marketing-ready? 

Last month I talked about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which is critically important if you want your company to be one of the top-ranking suggested web pages for relevant search terms on Google. Posting back-links in web forums and other so-called ‘black hat tactics’ will get you penalised by Google. Instead, use your product web pages to answer real questions that consumers are asking, such as ‘What is the best bed for back pain?’ 

But which other web pages should you be paying special attention to? Judges use it to fact-check award entries, and event organisers to write their brochure blurb – your About Us web page is often a first port of call for marketing-related site visitors. It also gives you a platform to share your company history and to communicate your mission, ethos and values to your customer base and suppliers. 

Keep it succinct, and think about presentation. A monologue about every single step of your company’s evolution looks and feels like a dense block of text. Presenting your key milestones – when you opened/moved premises, launched a new service, won an award etc – as a timeline graphic or in a video is a lot more user-friendly. 

Your About Us page should also set out your Unique Selling Points (USPs) – what is it that differentiates you from your competitors? You may have heard the phrase ‘show, don’t tell’. Don’t tell your visitors that you give ‘great customer service’, show them that you do by spelling out what specific services you offer. 

At Land of Beds we’ve emphasised our free delivery, removal and recycling, and product assembly options, as well as interest-free credit and expert advice. 

If you have won an award, add the award logo to your About Us page and to your homepage (as well as to your email signature and social media profiles). Awards are external third-party recognition for a job well done. They inspire consumer and industry confidence. 

A news page and/or company blog gives you dedicated space on your site to keep communicating developments in your business. This can be everything from new personnel appointments and product launches to event previews and lifestyle articles. Post links to this content on social media to encourage people to visit your website. You can also use this space to host content for your suppliers, such as guest blogs, strengthening marketing relationships. 

Adding social media follow buttons to your website advertises the fact that you have an active presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. This helps you to grow your social media following, making it easier for people to connect and communicate with you. Social media share and link buttons allow people to share your content on their own social media feeds, increasing the reach and impact of your marketing messages. 

According to BrightLocal’s annual Local Review Consumer Survey, 92% of consumers now read online reviews. Star rating is the number one factor people use to judge a business. Consumers say they trust online reviews more than an expert view or celebrity endorsement. To put it another way, if you don’t have the functionality on your website for customers to leave and read reviews, you are at a huge disadvantage during the information-gathering stage of the purchasing cycle. 

77% of consumers say they have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a video (Wyzowl, 2016), making video marketing a must. 

At Land of Beds, we have invested in video buying guides, which are embedded into the product pages of our website. You’ve got just 10 seconds to grab a viewer’s interest before they decide whether to click away – videos under one minute in length enjoy 80% viewer retention compared with 60% for videos that are two-to-three minutes long. 

The lesson is to use your time wisely! When you optimise your videos on YouTube – adding weblinks back to your product pages – and advertise them via social media, they become even more powerful marketing tools.  

In summary, reviewing your About Us page, launching a newsfeed and sharing your content through social media, are all great marketing strategies. For truly transformative results, invest in SEO, facilitate online reviews and increase your use of video content!   

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