The first step before embarking on any website development exercise is to define its primary purpose. It could be to build credibility to aid client retention, or it may be a lead generation tool. Define the purpose of each piece of content you write. Is it brand building, link building or lead generation? Failure to define the purpose of content leads to poor results.
The Importance of Branding
The corporate brand helps build long-term customer and prospect relationships. When most sales come from existing customer retention carrying the brand through into the website content is all-important.
If the target is the existing customer base then most traffic to the website will be direct. Either the company name will be searched or the website address typed directly into a browser. Therefore, search engine marketing is not of great importance. What is important is delivering a consistent message and maximising credibility. Understand the content existing clients need and deliver it via website and other relevant channels.
Lead Generating Websites
If lead generation is the goal, a website that is not found is a waste of time and money. Unlike a branded website, search engine marketing is essential. That leads to specific decisions on layout and navigation that can clash with the design and layout demands of the brand.
A lead-generating website should deliver content that engages and provides value. That information should encourage prospects to return. It should build relationships, gather Email addresses to facilitate ongoing communication and convert. The value of a lead-generating website is not in graphics and layout but in content.
Best search engine marketing practice is required to drive traffic (visitors) to any lead-generating website. This should combine traditional SEO with a solid content marketing plan. The impact of this approach is measurable in fine detail so appropriate improvements can be made over time.
Regardless of the choice between a corporate brand or a lead-generating website it is a single element in the overall marketing mix. A lead-generating website is a tool to deliver leads. The sales team with the support of the entire organisation should take that lead through to conversion.