Dana on Marketing Messages: 7 Guidelines for Better Websites

As promised in my last column, this one focuses on your Website. Printers need to accept that your Website is the first place an interested person will visit when hearing or seeing your company’s name. When I get to your URL, I expect to find out exactly what you do, what products and services you can offer me, and why I should consider you and not your competitors. All in under 90 seconds.

Although I am starting to see some great printers’ sites out there, too many are still dated. They feature pictures of equipment and pressrooms. They lack strong content. They’re full of trite promises (“We bend over backwards to deliver!” “We make your print sing!”). They haven’t been touched for months, even years. Everything seems dusty. Frankly, they look sad.

So, I’d like to share with you my list of seven significant improvements for a printer’s Website. These suggestions will impress your prospects, who have more to gain from your site than existing customers do.

Originally I planned to share a list of do’s and don’ts, but why focus on the negatives? Instead, here are my ideas for making your site positively better.

1| Your Website should be organic. At the rate at which information is changing today (by the second), your site must be fluid and constantly updated. Sections of the site might never change—like the page describing the history of your firm. Other than that, the content needs tending like a garden. One easy solution is to incorporate plug-ins that integrate your social media activity with your Website. So, even if you don’t touch a single word or image on your Website, your posts on Twitter, for example, can appear on your home page. If you have a blog hosted elsewhere, you can also add a plug-in for that.

Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched her new business in 2013 as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. Now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content.

You may know Margie as the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference. Although she’s exited the event production business, she’s still publishing her Print Tips newsletter. She looks forward to helping companies create and style all of their content so their potential customers sit up and take notice. For details and to sign up for her Print Tips and new marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com or e-mail Margie at margie@margiedana.com.
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