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Are Traditional Websites Dead?

REPORTS OF THE DEATH of corporate websites have been greatly exaggerated, but there’s no denying that traditional sites are experiencing declines in traffic. WebTrends analyzed the number of unique visits to Fortune 100 websites. 68 percent of these sites experienced declines in unique visitors compared to the previous year, with an average decline of over 20 percent. The study points to Facebook as a primary reason for this decline. Since Facebook’s content is updated more regularly and there’s a greater opportunity for consumer engagement there, the market is often electing to visit your Facebook page instead of your website. Today’s websites need to operate more like Facebook, with multiple content updates each week and more opportunities to easily share, like or comment on that content. If you have a traditional corporate site, odds are that most of your site visitors are quickly scanning your home page, and then leaving because they aren’t looking for promotional information. They want practical, useful information, like best practices, informative facts and customer stories. Your site should function like a hub for interaction, and you should consider yourself more of a publisher versus marketer as a result. Few brands are doing this well, with InboundWriter.com reporting in 2013 that 90 percent of most website traffic comes from just 10 to 20 percent of a website’s content. Imagine the number of site visitors you could generate if 50 percent of your web content was socially engaging. Many advertisers are actually using their Facebook pages as their primary ad campaign call to action, instead of their websites, with some small businesses using Facebook in lieu of a brand website all together. After all, social platforms are driving brand recommendations like never before. Regardless, most brand marketers can’t rely exclusively on social media channels of communication for all of their brand messaging, because on social media, they can’t have as much messaging control. Websites continue to play a necessary role in establishing a strong, recognizable brand, but it’s social media that is driving real business results for many companies. An effective social media strategy should involve actively participating in relevant online communities where your target market is already spending its time. You should also work to build a community on those social media platforms for consumers interested in your products or services, where your brand can be established as an expert on the subject. Being active and engaged allows new prospective customers to experience your brand firsthand before they ever purchase your product or service. Sometimes, that social experience is enough to create a sale on its own, but positive social media experiences can also drive consumers to your website, where they make their purchasing decisions. The success of your brand’s online presence depends in large part on your social media engagement.

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RedRover Sales & Marketing

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