Your Website is Your Most Valuable Employee
It’s widely understood that your website is the backbone of your digital presence. All online activities should eventually lead back to your website. For instance:
- While your social media accounts help you reach new audiences through new channels, ultimately they should link back to your website – if only to align your social messages to your website brand.
- Blog posts can be written to promote key thought-leadership positions, highlight subject matter expertise of key individuals at your organization, but those blog posts ultimately should lead back to your website for deeper engagement (and conversion).
- You may have apps to help your customers or patients do things easier (like pay bills or access their patient records), but these apps should really just be extensions of activities they can also do on your website.
- Nurturing key audiences like prospects, patients, and employees is an effective way to drive ongoing engagement, but what opportunities do you miss when those email clicks don’t point back to your website?
Let’s face it: your organization’s website is the sun of your digital solar system. But when you think about it, your website does much more than that.
In fact, your website can be the most important asset you have at your company. It can become your most valuable employee.
Your website is always on, 24/7/365.
Any time of the day or night, people expect to be able to get information about your organization through your website. Contact information, your latest press releases, information about your services, etc. In the U.S. alone, 87 percent of people regularly use the internet, (and 72 percent of them use it to look up health information). And they expect to get to it through any device – their phones, their tablets, their computers. In fact, in 2015 alone, more people are accessing the Internet through a mobile device than their laptops. And they are accessing it anywhere – while waiting in line to get coffee, flying from one state to the next, or (shhh- don’t tell anyone) while waiting at a stop sign.
And your website is expected to be there: fast to load, easy to navigate, and giving them the information they need any time they need it. Otherwise, they could get frustrated, causing a pain point in their customer experience, or, even worse, go to your competitor’s site. Your website cannot afford to sleep.
What if your website was your best marketer?
It can tell the story of your company better than anyone at your organization. Whether through compelling (and inspiring) stories, or through video, or interactive tools, your website can demonstrate your organization’s strengths, capabilities, and differentiators by showcasing your unique understanding and insight into your visitors’ needs. Your web content has to have depth and breadth for each of your services by linking with relevant content, helping connect visitors to the content that is most compelling. Developing a robust website content strategy is becoming equal to – if not more important than – a good marketing strategy.
And like any good marketer, your website needs to be relevant when communicating with your audiences. It should tell a full robust story of your services and offerings, and be able to understand your web user’s needs and preferences through how they act and navigate your site. Your website could be your very own Chief Online Marketing Officer (COMO?).
Imagine your website as your best public relations professional.
Your website needs to host all of your press releases and brand journalism content, and use that content to strengthen the messaging of your brand. It should have resources available for the press to learn the latest news from you and answer their questions. It should provide ways to easily contact your subject matter experts or executives to comment on relevant stories – not only about your organization, but about other relevant events and stories that are related to you and your company.
In the event of a crisis, your website needs to step up to support you by providing a single online – and trusted – place to actively share engaging content to all interested parties– your community, your investors, government entities. And it must be updated regularly, being nimble and fast to respond to any particular situation.
What would it be like if your website was your best salesperson?
Your website should support you in helping qualify leads and make the sale. Tools like marketing automation (which help you nurture messaging throughout the decision-making process) and CRM (which help you track your ongoing relationships with people interacting with your company), have to be integrated as part of your website experience, helping you communicate and understand your visitors.
Your website should make it easy for people to get the information they need to help make the sale without you (whether that’s making an appointment with your doctors or purchasing your product online). And while you might have a sales staff tasked with generating leads, don’t be fooled: your website is their best sales assistant, supporting and validating your sales team’s efforts, helping nurture the sale, even when they can’t be around.
When it comes to marketing, communications, and sales, your website is your most valuable employee.
But are you treating it like it? Are you ensuring you have the right content on your site to appeal to your audiences? Is it showcasing your strengths, and supporting your brand? Does it look and act professional, and is it always able to help anyone that uses it find the information they need? Is it aligned with your strategies (and willing to adapt to new ones, as needed)? Is it easy to update and are you spending time to learn what it’s telling you?
If your website is already your best employee, bring your web team a plate of cookies (trust us, they’re always hungry).