In my last blog, I shared how my digital journey began and the six key learning from my journey as a Digital Marketer. In this blog, I will focus on my first learning and elaborate on what goes into “Building the base” in the digital space.
Have you heard about PESO? At the risk of sounding jargonish, all the mediums available for marketing/advertising in the digital space are classified into four buckets of PESO. PESO expands as Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned. I will touch upon each of the four buckets in my subsequent blogs. But here, let’s start with the “Owned”. Owned, as you can already understand covers anything which is your own asset. Namely, a website, app, social media pages, blogs etc. So, the right thing for any Digital Marketer to do before anything else, is to have one’s own house built with a lot of care and love. And where do you think could that begin?
Well, it all starts with the hero… the WEBSITE
According to me, creating a website is the most important thing to start your presence in the digital space. Picture this: if someone wants to know about your brand, your company, your products etc, where would they go? People simply search for it on Google and more and more people use Google every day. Your own website would be considered to be the most credible source on your brand. Developing a website can really be a time-consuming and cumbersome process if you do it the right way. I would suggest you give it the time and effort it needs.
I have developed many websites, with multiple iterations and updates. In the process, I learnt that a ‘good’ website should feature the following:
- An easy name – While Shakespeare said “What’s in the name”, when it comes to the name of a brand’s website, I would say everything. Choose something that is simple and associates with the brand’s name. Ideally, create a domain name that is your brand name. For example, http://www.apple.com.
- A well-structured Sitemap – Now this one is really tricky. It is very complicated in beginning and one pays the least importance to it. Sitemap helps in laying out all the content one has in a structured way. It is like a path/network of pages in any website. Some of the sections which should be part of the website are ‘About us’, ‘Products’, ‘Contact us’ and ‘Media and blogs’. Sitemap is also helpful in SEO.
- Rich content – Content is what consumers come to your website for. A good website allows consumers to know what products are marketed, what their USPs are and how they differ from other products. It gives information about the organization, the contact details and where the products can be bought. Comprehensive FAQs make it easy for consumers to form positive opinions about your brand. Blogs are a good way to keep consumers engaged. Enough and more is spoken about on the importance of content in every Digital Marketing forum. Remember to keep the language simple and avoid use of jargons.
- Attractive design – A good design is nothing but clarity of thought visualized. Your website should be pleasing to the eye and clutter free. Stick to the key colors of your brand and use the available visual identity assets. This will make it easy for existing consumers to relate to your website. Use light imagery to ensure your website opens easily, even in situations of poor data connectivity.
- Mobile responsive – Smart phones have become an integral part of our lives. Many people disregard this fact while developing the brand’s website. Whilst creating the website, one needs to ensure that consumers have a seamless experience even while accessing the website on their phones. One needs to know that what works on desktop, does not necessarily work best on a handheld device.
- Well optimized – One comes before the other and that is how it works best. Optimizing a website should not be an after-thought. You need to know the key words before you start putting the content together. The key words can be pertaining to both, your brand and the category. Optimizing the website early on will help in search initiatives and your website will be there, when your consumers need to see it.
- Links to Social pages – We are in the world of social media and sharing with each other in the digital space is a trend. You don’t want to miss an opportunity there. Your website should lead consumers to follow your pages on social media to remain posted on new content. Consumers should also be able to share your website contents easily with friends and family. It is imperative to create social media handles on all key platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.
- Contains contact information – Your consumer is like your spouse. Even after thorough preparation, there are high chances of something being amiss 😉. The contact information page actually bridges the gap between your brand and it’s consumers. Consumers can reach out to you on anything that you might have inadvertently missed in your content. The ‘Contact us’ page is a MUST have. You can add your address with a link to your location on Google maps, contact details and also an email id. Just ensure the consumers reaching out to you through your ‘Contact us’ page are attended to. And timely.
- Leads to Shop Now – We are in the era of eCommerce. It’s growing leaps and bounds. When you have your consumers on the website, you do not want to leave them high and dry, you want them to buy. And the best way to convert them then and there is to give them an easy way to buy. If your brands can sell online, ensure your website links consumers to your product listings on the likes of Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, 1mg etc.
- Easy to navigate – While consumers would often come to your brand’s website looking for something specific, you want to engage them further and keep them glued to your brand. Ensure your website is not designed like a maze. You need to make sure consumers do not get stuck and find it easy to browse through the pages. Weave in your brand story in a way one thing leads to the other and design your website’s interface accordingly. Page links, homepage links, back button, related articles/products and buy now are some of the important elements to interlink on a website. .
Having listed the above, I would say creating a website is a no-brainer.
There are a lot of portals where you can host your website in the digital space and have scores of information to guide you on how to go about it. Some popular ones are http://www.bigrock.in, http://www.godaddy.com; http://www.wordpress.com (used by yours truly) and many more. For less than Rs. 500/-, you can book a URL, create a website, try and test all your theories and have fun. It might take time but it is completely doable and will be worth all the effort. All you need is patience, time and a glass of wine.
Well… so get started and share your experience with me… Ciao…