The world has changed. The internet has literally reshaped how we live our lives. People don’t buy things the same way that they used to. The balance of power has changed from the business to the consumer. And if you’re running a business, the way you market to your prospects has changed… hopefully, at least.
If it hasn’t, then, well… you’re in the right place.
This is the first part of a five-part series that aims to help you up your marketing game. Specifically, we’re talking about inbound marketing, which is by far the most effective type of marketing in the digital age.
Inbound marketing, put simply, is a strategy for attracting your prospects back to you by offering them a ton of fantastic educational and entertaining content. Instead of interrupting people while they’re trying to do something else—TV ads, radio commercials, pop-ups, billboards, ads in the local Yellowpages, etc.—Inbound marketing is all about giving your prospects what they need, when they need it.
Before you can start an Inbound marketing campaign, though, you need to get the basics down.
And what’s more basic than your website’s inbound homepage?
Here’s how to optimize it.
Simplify Your Top-Level Menu
Only include the pages that your prospects are going to want to visit. Think about it from their perspective. If they’re coming to you for answers, then what are the questions they are asking?
Keep it simple, clear, and concise. Don’t overwhelm them.
Calls to Action
You want the prospect to do something. So give them a clearly delineated direction on what, exactly, that is.
Do you want them to contact you? Give you their email in exchange for a valuable piece of content? Buy now? Get a quote?
Whatever it is, tell them what to do. Make it stand out by using a contrasting color. And put it in a place that makes sense… from your prospect’s perspective.
Your prospects like to feel like your website is designed just for them.
That means keeping the copy simple, conversational, free of industry jargon, and chocked full of the information they came to you for in the first place.
Make your page search friendly
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important if you want people to find you. This means using the right keywords in your copy, making sure your pages are titled correctly, and that all your images have alt-tags.
Again, all of this is just making every effort to make your site as user-friendly as possible.
Case Studies and Customer Reviews
People tend to take action on recommendations from other people far more than from what a particular business says.
Part of this is because marketers have ruined things… big promises that didn’t pan out, outright lies, or just tired or lazy copycatting that’s broken the element of trust with a majority of consumers.
So if other people like your product, put it on your homepage. And if you have specific examples of measurable results your product or service has gained, include a case study section detailing how it all worked.
If your website isn’t mobile-responsive, you’re in trouble. People are addicted to their smartphones, and Google recently reported nearly 60 percent of all searches happen on mobile. For non-math majors, that’s more than HALF of your target audience that’s gonna miss out on your offerings if you’re not coming correct with your site’s mobile version.
Social is huge. So if you’re on social, let your prospects know. Include social links in a place on your page that’s visible, but not overbearing.
It’s called an inbound homepage for a reason. Before you start inviting people over for a party, you need to get your house in order. It’s no different online.
So take these tips, get your site tuned up. Next up in this five-part series: The Landing Page.