I remember a few years back when every company was rushing to get a website designed because we were told ‘online is the new shop front’. People said having a good website was the key to sales success and for a time they were right – until everyone got a good website. Unfortunately, it’s not enough anymore.

Of course, that doesn’t mean having a good website isn’t important. But it’s like thinking that doing good work will make you stand out in the workplace. Good work is the expected minimum. If you don’t have a good website, don’t even try to compete in the market. Having a good website is like having good customer service – it’s just not negotiable!

What you need is a great website that anchors all the rest of your marketing activity. What, then, is a great website?

The best websites are easily navigable, speak directly to your target audience and offer value. They also educate users and change regularly with new updates and content. And don’t forget good SEO to deliver the right visitors to your site.

Take your site from good to great

Start by realising that people will be connecting with you from many different sources. Make sure your site is easy to access from a computer, tablet or phone.

Link everything you do online back to your site. This includes your social media and your blog, as well as any podcasts, YouTube videos, photos.

Make sure that everything you’re posting or sharing is of interest to your target market, and that your website is an accurate reflection of the products or services you offer. Often, businesses shift focus or diversify, but forget to update their website accordingly.

Finally, and this is the most important part, regularly audit your site. Things change, your business will change, your customers’ needs will change, and your website should change.

Think beyond your website

You can have the best-looking website in the world, but if it’s not part of a customer-focused marketing strategy, it won’t help you one jot. It’s very exciting to jump right in and design something that looks gorgeous, but it’s a far better investment of your time, effort and money to start off by developing a decent marketing strategy.

To do that, you have to understand your clients and what your competitive advantage is. Then you can strategically channel your efforts and your funds in marketing to the right market in a way that ensures your target market sees the value of your offering.