Guest

The Website Is Alive and Well

By: Guest | June 9, 2011 | 
24

Jennifer Devitt is a co-owner and VP of business development at SYDCON Web Development.

What’s the one thing mobile, social media, PR, marketing, advertising, Facebook, Twitter, and QR codes all have in common?

Websites.

Ultimately, what are Facebook and Twitter?

Websites.

Where do PR, marketing, and ad campaigns direct customers and prospects?

Websites.

What tool in your online quiver takes priority?

Your website.

But Wired Magazine declared the website dead some time ago, you say. 

Think about it. If your campaign is successful and your target audience is listening to your message, what happens then?

If you nailed it, you leave your audience wanting more, right?  They want to learn more about the firm/promotion/product. So where do they go?

To the corresponding website!

Social Media

But wait, “I have a Facebook fan page. My website isn’t important!”

Really? Then why do 250 million people engage with Facebook from EXTERNAL WEBSITES?  This is a statistic right on the Facebook site.

That’s right: 250 MILLION websites are the first stop in traffic then onto Facebook!

Also, take into consideration that not everyone is on Facebook or Twitter. You value their business, don’t you?

According to a recent study by ForSee research,  social media is responsible for an average one percent increase in traffic.

This comes from companies such as Kellogg, ESPN, Ticketmaster, and General Mills.  All of these probably have fans and followers in the thousands, and more “Likes” than we can imagine.

Yet, they are generating an average of one percent traffic increase from social media.

This means three things:

  1. All those “Likes” are gaining less attention than a firms’ other marketing efforts.
  2. Customers are accessing the websites without Facebook or Twitter.
  3. Ninety-nine percent of the traffic is from people interested in hearing directly from the OFFICAL site.

In a recent interview with SmartBrief editor Mary Ellen Slayter, Chris Brogan used this analogy of Facebook:

Businesses that rely on Facebook pages as their ‘website’ (are like) people who would call a hotel room their ‘home.’ Like a hotel, Facebook doesn’t allow the complete customization you would find in your home — plus, it can kick you out whenever it wants. Facebook is where you congregate fans and reach out to them, but a website is where you establish your identity.

Website checklist

Every marketing and PR pro needs a developer for a best friend.  Before you launch that mega-campaign, have someone analyze and bring the website up to date.

They should look at:

  • Navigation
  • Fresh content
  • Call-to-action
  • Easy to find contact info
  • Limited or no flash
  • Clean URLs
  • Social media integration
  • Mobile version of website

Your campaign will more than likely fail if you launch without updating your website. You could knock it out of the park, create a great traffic boost, and then implode.

A site that doesn’t back up the campaign confuses and frustrates customers. If the content doesn’t back up the social media buzz, the visitor is likely to leave and in all likelihood, find your competitor.

Bottom line, no matter what kind of campaign you are designing, your website should be your hub. Make sure this becomes part of the scope of the project whether you are an agency or in-house marketing team.

Is it integrated with the campaign and can it handle the attention it will bring?

Jennifer Devitt is a co-owner and VP of business development at SYDCON Web Development, a custom web & mobile development firm in the suburban Chicago area.  Check out the SYDCON blog.

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