In the last few years we’ve seen opinions diminishing the importance of the website as a marketing channel. It’s not that marketers are negating the value of a brand’s website, but many are putting it on a more even footing with all the other digital platforms used to get your message out: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn. The message is “relinquish control, and let your brand flow and grow through all the channels you employ.”
We accept the rising importance of social media for building a brand, but we feel that the website is still paramount. To a much greater extent, you control your website and you can use that control to say more about your brand. People expect it.
While Facebook pages allow a certain degree of customization, your job is to work within an existing format — someone else’s construct — to create a platform for your brand. On the other hand, on your own site you’ve got much more latitude to create engaging formats to present your ideas and create perceptions about your brand. The medium is at least part of the message.
Search remains a crucial channel for travel brands looking to grow their customer base. While you can certainly impact SEO through social media, most travel brands still get the largest percentage of qualified, engaged traffic through Google and other search engines. Your website is at the center of this effort. Create a content strategy, produce insightful content to deliver on it, and house it on your own domain.
Conversion and Measurement
A well-designed site should be constructed to allow marketers to capture leads, engage in eCommerce and measure goal conversion. When your tracking is set up properly, you can measure everything and get the most out of your marketing budget. Micro-conversions such as Facebook Likes/Shares are important, but for most are less valuable than direct revenue or growing your opt-in database.
Finally, and possibly most important, is your brand itself. Your website is still where relatively smaller brands, who lack the budgets for big brand advertising campaigns, can establish and define themselves. Audiences look to your website for a clear statement about who you are and where you fit in the marketplace.
Dana recommends following a plan:
- Build a website that presents a clean, non-duplicated profile to search engines
- Design your site to encourage and measure goal conversion
- Use the site to make a statement that is consistent with all your branding
- Set up remarketing and advanced demographic profiling
- Then drive the greatest possible volume of the most qualified traffic you can afford and measure the results
Want help with the design and construction of a state of the art website? Contact Lynn Kaniper at email@example.com.