Businesses nowadays have embraced social marketing as a means of improving their local search strategies. Aside from Facebook ads and Google reviews, a business owner's website today is his primary lead generation tool. A recent study tells that before a prospect calls a sales person, they're already 60% through the buying cycle. Indeed, the path to purchase has changed as the social web has become a destination-location for businesses and customers.

Whether you're a business owner or a marketing consultant, it's a must to understand how you can convert prospects into actual customers through a website. Those who really understand how the internet works know that a website is the face of your business on the web. How you approach your website should complement your offline strategies.

The look of your website matters, but that's just the icing on the cake. Even in the real world, people will leave your store if they don't see any good products inside, or you carry products that lack promotion for a customer to notice its value. Here are 5 ways to build websites that will improve your local marketing strategies:

 

1.) Determine your Target Market

Your website is your face on the web, it's a tool to that you use to talk directly to customers. But do you know who you're talking to? You can't sell a product or service to everyone, you must consider ascertaining your target segment and analyze demographics. Most business owners tend to apply a hardsell approach on their websites while ignoring the people who need their product the most. Crafting a custom-tailored message on your website will make the right people notice and inquire about your product. Align your website content with a coherent message that will cover target segments and buyer personas.

 

2) Use Content to be a Thought Leader 

It's a given that you'll have competitors in your market. While you can invest in tons of ads saying that you offer the best product there is, it's still a form of paid self-promotion. Ads can do a lot, but quality and relevant content will ace it out against your competition. When creating pages for your website, it's a good practice to check out the competition. No, you don't steal their content, you assess what they're doing and you make yours better.

Producing a set of quality content, sharing it with the right people at the right time will not only merit you positive feedbacks and referrals, you can be a thought leader in your industry. Converting prospects into actual customers will begin with content that you feed them. When you make customers' heads turn, others will follow even your competitors.

 

3.) Apply Responsive Design

Establishing a presence where your prospects are is a requisite especially when you want to increase product awareness. How'd you know where your target customers are? Well, you just have to check what medium they're using. Nowadays, most users are accessing the internet using their mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. This presents an opportunity for business owners and marketers to reach and cover their target audience in a broader scale.

However, desktop methods don't apply in creating mobile-friendly websites, an effective mobile website has an ability to garner feedbacks from a prospect – it's called responsive design. A mobile website with a responsive design enables users to easily navigate your site so they can understand and know more about your product or service. Avoid too much fluff on your mobile website and show your business details directly.

 

4.) Combine Effective SEO and Original Content

It's a common mistake that we get lost in context whenever we create content for web pages. Always keep in mind that every page on your website has a certain function that works in synergy with other pages. For instance, the Testimonials page will complement your Contact Us page when potential customers read client testimonials and decide to make an inquiry. Use customer-driven content to optimize your copy, URL, title with keywords that prospects will be using to search for your product. Always consider that good SEO should work for the user and not for the search engine alone.