By Judith Middleton, Founder and business development director at DUO Marketing + Communications.
While B2B technology companies are increasingly going online to drive brand awareness and potentially generate leads, many continue to be challenged by one of the most basic tools in the digital marketing kit – their website.
Even though companies might put a lot of effort into the technical aspects and aesthetics of the website, they need to place just as much importance on the wording that is used. Even where a company has the internal skills to build a website, they shouldn’t underestimate the value in working with content specialists to ensure that their website accurately represents their brand.
As an example, if your brand promises simplicity, shouldn’t that be the first impression of someone visiting your company website?
SEO at the heart of it all
Critically, search engine optimisation (SEO) needs to be taken into account from the very beginning. Search engines, especially Google, are major drivers of traffic to your website, and due diligence here helps you identify differences between how you position your products or services, and what people are actually searching for online.
It is no longer about cramming in as many keywords as possible in a misguided effort to raise your search engine results ranking, but about creating well thought out messages that echo your business messaging. It is also about taking care of the little things, such as internal and external linking to give your readers easy access to additional relevant information, should they require it.
SEO is not meant to be a stumbling block, but it does challenge content writers to be efficient, clear and engaging communicators.
Change is good
The modern website is not meant to be static, as search engines place much importance on how often new content is posted to your website – and this goes beyond just ensuring that company, product and solution pages are up to date.
Businesses, and the markets they operate in are continually evolving, and your company needs to ensure that its website reflects these shifts in messaging – just like they would with their PR.
Including news and blog pages not only helps ensure a steady stream of new content for your website, but also gives you an additional platform to amplify earned media coverage and position key company employees as thought leaders and experts in their respective fields. Companies can further make the most of their investment by combining quality content with marketing automation tools, to more effectively reach out to potential customers.
In an increasingly mobile era, companies would also do well to consider using more video to showcase their expertise, highlight their unique selling proposition and amplify company news that is less likely to secure media coverage.
This can range from short videos filmed on mobile devices that are meant purely for social media usage, to more comprehensive productions that can be used for broader marketing or even advertising purposes.
Finding out what works
Regular monitoring of website analytics is key to identifying where your traffic comes from and which content readers are interested in. Without installing analytical tools, such as Google Analytics, you are essentially in the dark and have no understanding of whether your website is worth the investment you’ve put in.
Analytics also helps determine whether your advertising campaigns – whether through search, display, social or native means – are yielding the right results.
Companies looking to develop a new website, or overhaul an existing one, need to take a holistic approach: a well-crafted website not only provides them with an online shopfront, but also a platform to amplify broader public relations and marketing messaging, and they need to work in partnership with technical, design and content specialists to ensure this is done clearly and effectively.