Aileen Barron: Is a website still important in light of other digital marketing tools?

By Aileen Barron, Green Acre Marketing

Considering 84% of farmers use smartphones and assuming that these farmers are using digital resources, online is a really important marketing hotspot. With the vast array of digital tools and resources; where should your agri-business website sit within all of this?

A website is a fundamental requirement for any business, regardless of its use to sell online or not. It can be argued that your website actually acts as a selling tool even without an e-commerce facility; as it funnels people to the point where they are informed and present themselves as a sales opportunity.

Your website is your shop window where potential customers make assumptions and create a given perception of your brand.

Recently asked, if in light of social media, is a website as important?; the interesting thing here is, that’s what makes it more important. A website should act as the hub for all other activity.

It is the centre point where an interested party should go to gain more information, purchase a product or build trust in your offering. The absence of a website challenges your authenticity and will have a negative impact on sales. This is due to the authority and trust a website brings to a brand.

Driving quality leads

Most of what we do in digital marketing, be it search engine optimisation (SEO), social media, pay-per-click or email marketing, if done correctly, is geared to drive quality leads to your website.

The next step is to encourage the visitor to your website to complete a form, make a phone call or make a purchase. Social media is the brand awareness piece and your website is the lead capture part.

Many of the do’s and don’ts, content, SEO and user experience (UX) requirements have been penned about already in previous pieces over the past couple of months and are relevant to developing or maintaining the impact of your website, but the basics also apply.

Getting someone to your website is a considerable feat in a busy digital space, and therefore making sure you don’t disappoint your visitor when they land is of utmost importance.

It needs to be easy to navigate around; whether on mobile, desktop or tablet; easy to find content on; and, most importantly, contain strong obvious call-to-actions – call, email, order, download, etc; whatever it is you want the visitor to do.

Having a website is not a box-ticking exercise. It is something that should be given due consideration in terms of what it should offer visitors in order to be useful and to capture leads. It should be both functional and visually appealing which will often mean IT and marketing needing to work closely together to ensure web coding meets visual design and creative.

There is no doubt that developing a website is a considerable investment when time and resources are taken into account. The best advice will tell you to take on that investment and treat it as just that; an investment, as a good website that contains all of the best practice protocols will pay dividends.

For any assistance on developing a new website or bringing an existing website in line with your brand, contact Green Acre Marketing on: [email protected].