Welcome to this week’s episode of the online marketing series for beginners! The first online tool we’re going to be talking about is websites. But, before you even start creating one, you’ll need to determine its look and feel – aka, branding -, its functions and the use you’re going to give it. But what does that mean exactly? How can you do all that with a website?

Online marketing for beginners - Websites

Your Website’s Look & Feel

In case you don’t remember, in episode #1, we used a bakery as an example for our online marketing vs. physical world comparison. Now, think of your website as your bakery storefront window. This is the first image potential customers get from your brand, as it’s the access door to your business. So you’ll need to design it – or get it designed – carefully.

First of all, choose colors, fonts, and images that match your brand and business. Using bright pink may not be the best branding choice if you’re going to offer psychological consulting, for instance. Neither may Comic Sans be the ideal font type.

Look, even though some may think that the aspect of a website isn’t as important as its content, finding the colors, font types, and images that convey your business’s tone and voice will help your customers feel more comfortable with your site. The right branding may even let your business look more trustworthy.

If you’d like to keep on reading more info about branding, check out this blog post on understanding font and color.

What Is Usability and Why Do I Need to Know About It?

Now, besides playing around with all shades of blue, you’ll have to plan how you want your web structure to be. How many pages is your website going to need? Is there going to be a menu? Where is it going to be? What are the menu options going to be? What are you going to have on the home page?

Your goal is to make it easy for your potential customers to find anything they’re looking for. Can’t they figure out what your business is all about after a couple of minutes? Then you may want to change your website structure to make it understandable – and user-friendlier.

You wanna show the world what your brand is all about. You wanna make clear what you sell or which services you offer. And you also wanna imply what kind of relationship you’re going to have with your customers.

So, similarly to what you’d do with a bakery, where you’d let your customers clearly know where the products are displayed, what their price is and what other products you offer, you want to let your website visitors know how to surf through your web.

In order to answer all questions you may have about your website structure, there’s yet another one you’ll want to ask yourself first:

What’s Your Website Function?

Before starting any marketing strategy, you should set a goal for your online presence. What do you wanna achieve with your website? These are 3 of the most common website functions:

  • Virtual business card.
    • Just a place for your potential customers to get to know your business.
    • Perfect place to showcase your services.
  • Online store.
    • Sell your products and services on your website.
    • In this case, your goal is closing sales.
  • Newsroom.
    • Platform to keep your customers or followers updated.
    • Best place to get some authority on your specific field.
    • Establish a communication channel with your (potential) customers.

No matter what your goal is, consider your website as your headquarter, your online hub. This is where you want all potential visitors to go, so whichever online marketing strategy you use, your goal should be to redirect all visitors (or “traffic”) to your website.

That means that you’re not pursuing Instagram likes, but people who click on the link that takes them to your website. Similarly, you aren’t pursuing Twitter followers either: You want your tweets to make your readers curious, and visit your website.

Recap – Websites As Online Marketing Tool

  • Set a goal for your website, that is, what do you wanna accomplish with it?
  • Plan your website structure in a way that it’s as user-friendly as possible.
  • Choose the fonts, images and colors which best suit your offerings.
  • If you’d like to get more information, check out this blog post on how to plan and build a strong online presence.

Ready for the next episode? You should be ’cause it’s all about content marketing, the best tool for you to attract people to your website.

Born to Freelance

Alicia

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