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Megan Prangley
by Megan Prangley
on January 25, 2017

For a manufacturing company or value added reseller, the overall eCommerce performance of your business website is critical. However, keep in mind that to further enable your sales teams, a site that's designed with inbound fundamentals in mind can do much more than just sell. Before you make a significant investment developing a new website, make sure you know everything it should be able to do for your business besides eCommerce.

Build Brand Awareness

Your website can help build your brand by being a digital ambassador of your company culture, skills, and solutions. Make your website attractive to new visitors by investing time into a style guide, which is a set of standards that ensures a cohesive look across your site and all of your social media channels. That way, when a person lands on your pages from your Facebook profile, for example, they will know they're on the right company's site because your brand is consistent. The colors, design, and even tone of the text on your website all help inform strangers of your brand and makes you look more reliable.

Another tool on your website that builds brand awareness is your "About Us" page. Don't underestimate the importance of an about us section; clients look for this content to decide if they trust you, if your business is legit, and if they even want to work with you! By sharing professional team photos, interesting bios, certifications each employee holds, etc. you're giving your business a human face, which is a smart way to earn trust from your website. 

An established blog is another part of your website that helps build your brand. Start producing content that answers your personas' questions and shares updated industry news, so you appear more reliable in your field. Blogs are also a great place to share company events and updates, such as moving offices. Even though blogs are becoming commonplace, they're still key to build your brand. 

If you want more information about blogging, check out our free eBook,

"How to Grow and Scale a Business Blog." 

Brand Awareness Checklist:

  1. Create a consistent style guide
  2. Make a unique "About Us" page 
  3. Develop and maintain a business blog

Convert Strangers into Leads

By having a website sprinkled with calls-to-action and landing pages you can ensure that you'll convert more visitors into leads. Lead generation is not easy, and many businesses struggle to have a consistent flow of people in their sales pipeline. Posting resources like eBooks and webinars, without asking people to submit information is doing your sales team a huge disservice. Designing a website so visitors end up on a CTA, saying something like "contact us" or "start a free trial," is an excellent way to convert strangers into leads seamlessly. By utilizing inbound best practices surrounding CTA's and landing pages, your website can do much more than sell, it can convert strangers into leads.

Converting Strangers Checklist:

  • Create premium resources & content
  • Gate premium content with a landing page
  • Use CTA's to direct to landing pages 

Nurture Leads

After you've gathered information from prospects, your pages can also be a powerful lead nurturing tool to help propel people along the buyer's journey. By creating helpful resource pages, hosting videos, and updating your news section, you can help move leads from the awareness stage until they're ready to make a buying decision. Keep in mind that the majority of the people visiting your site are at the top of the sales funnel and need additional educating before they're ready to make a purchase. Speaking of nurturing leads, a big part of that is your business blog. Not only does your blog improve your brand, but it allows you to answer your leads' questions to help them make a buying decision. Trust us; your buyers are looking for answers online before they buy. One study estimates 81% of shoppers conduct online research before they make big purchases (Retailing Today, 2014 - Source link at the bottom of this post.)

Your website can also provide valuable data about your leads depending on what software or CRM you're using. A website that's built through HubSpot can show metrics like page views, conversion rates of a CTA on a page, organic search views, views from social media, etc. This data is crucial for effective lead generation, so your marketing team can better target content to your personas based on their website actions. Here are more details about using HubSpot in businesses like yours. Your website is a powerful inbound tool that can do so much more than eCommerce. With the right inbound strategies in place you can build your brand, improve lead generation efforts, and nurture leads until they're ready to talk to a salesperson. 

Nurturing Checklist:

  • Analyze your site performance to gain persona data
  • Create resources for every stage of the buyer's journey
  • Blog to address personas' pain points
BloggingSources: HubSpot Stats Creating CTAs that Convert HubSpot for Business Style Guide 101