This is the first of a series of articles focused on marketing strategies for non profits and small businesses, such as building trades professionals and wellness practitioners.

Today we’ll look at website design strategy.

This first step is to get really clear about the goal of your website by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Am trying to drive search engine traffic?
  • Who is my intended audience?
  • What is the goal? A call? A Facebook share?
  • If they don’t call or buy… What do I want them to do instead?
  • Is it okay if they just learn how to do it themselves?

Answering all these questions seems like a lot of work, but the alternative is a website with no clear goal–which can leave a viewer unclear about their next step.

When you’re building a website, you want to think in terms of website pages. Each page is going to be scanned by viewers for content, helping them decide what to do next: call, click away, or keep reading. They are looking for information to make a decision, “Should they buy your product (or retain your services)”?

What is the point of this page? Is it to inform? To get a sales call? Or is the goal to generate search traffic from Google? It’s true, your website pages will be getting scanned by Google (and other search engines which aren’t very important because…well because Google won the Internet.)

Website traffic building strategies and Search Engine Optimization

If your website will be designed to generate search traffic (SEO), you want to be thinking about keywords and text. A great tool is the Google Keyword Planner. Here’s a link to Google’s Keyword Planner Tutorial.

If your goal is to simply inform, which is awesome —I’m a strong advocate for education, you should allow that to be your goal and not distract yourself with salesmanship. Informational web pages dovetail well with search engine optimization because Google wants to make the Internet a better resource for getting people the information they need.

So we’ve touched on informational strategy, and how that combines well with search engine optimization. But what about getting calls and selling product?

Website Conversion and Sales Strategy:

Let’s imagine that your goal is to get a phone call. If you think about it, that may be the entire reason why you have a website. Heck, that may be the central goal of your entire online marketing strategy… so every single word, image, and button is either helping to make that phone call happen, or it’s just a distraction.

A good rule of thumb for calls to action (like the one pictured below) is:

  • Put it at the top of every single page on the website
  • Make it big and clear
  • Give two ways to easily reach you (phone and email are both good)

Remember: On top, clear, and easy… everything else is working against your goals.

But what if they’re not ready to call? A fair question. Then what?

You want to have some back-up, secondary, goals. If they need more information, provide it in simple clear funnels that lead to information that’s pertinent to them. If they’re not ready to call, but maybe want to keep in touch, allow them to sign up to receive you mass email that you send every month or quarter.

So now we have looked at the two basic strategies for a website:

  • Traffic building through search engine optimization
  • Sales strategy through calls to action and conversion points

In our next article we’ll explore online social media marketing, from boosted Facebook posts to blogging.