It’s not enough to have a bright and shiny website. The old adage ‘build it and they will come’ just doesn’t apply when it comes to getting your website and your business seen online. You have to have the latest marketing buzzword, you have to have a strategy.
Whatever your website designer or developer told you about how just having a great, new, all singing, all dancing website and this alone being your highway to business greatness, was far from the truth. The hours of planning your website, the structure, the user experience, the copy, the images and the important widget that takes you to the top of the page again are nothing to what comes next. This is where the real hard work starts.
You’ll obviously already know who your clients or customers are, where they hangout, where they shop, what car they drive, where they live and how much they earn – you do know this don’t you? So now you’ll know what your unique sales proposition (usp) is and how you need to talk to and attract these people – won’t you?
Now you’ll need to put all of this knowledge into some kind of internet marketing strategy (or ’plan of action’ if you prefer). So let’s take a look at a few things you might want to consider within your strategy;
Another of the current marketing buzzwords, but a very important one.
You laboured long and hard over your website copy, but that will be nothing compared to what you’ll be producing over the coming year if you really want to attract people into your lair (sorry – website). Content really is King. Without the King the followers have no one to follow, no one to turn to for help, advice, guidance and… you get the picture. You need to become the King (or Queen) of your business or profession. Great content can make you the King, and as ruler, you’ll be above your competitors when someone needs your services and who wouldn’t want the services of the people at the top of their profession?
So what kind of content could work? Well, blogs. Blogging may seem passe, but it’s a quality way to deliver your quality content to your soon to be quality clients. Blogs are a fantastic way to express your company values, beliefs and your knowledge, as giving away your knowledge (not everything, but enough) and helping people is a sure fire way to connect with your future clients.
As part of your blogging you’ll also be using images and perhaps infographics. We process images much faster than reading copy, so hooking them in with the right pictures will encourage them to read what you have to say – it’s that simple!
Finally, you may be looking at video content. This is where we get a little controversial. Regardless of what other people say, video is not the be-all-or-end-all of content and should be used in the right context and be as professionally produced as you can afford if you and want to use it. Personally, childsdesign’s opinions of how well video works for the majority is open. We see a lot of Google Analytics for websites and a lot of sites have video on them. When you look at the amount of time spent on any one page containing video it is often quite high, but when you look at the number of views the video has had, the numbers don’t match up – a page that has 2+ minutes spent on it with a 30 second video looks promising, but drill down and the page has had 3500 views of which less than 5% of visitors have actually watched the video.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is often seen as some kind of black art and like most occult practices comes with a heavy price. Well things have changed, the ravens have flown, the cauldron of keywords has been spilt and just being a real person with real content can easily be enough to give you the visibility and high Google positioning that once could only be dreamt of. If you have a content managed system (CMS) within your website, built in something like WordPress then you’ll have all of the tools and control you need to do everything yourself.
If you aren’t capturing data from prospective clients on your website then why do you even have a website? Capturing a prospective client’s email details and them allowing you to send them an email is a big step in the right direction, to getting that new client.
Depending on your approach or strategy you may send a straight text email or you may send an html email, all singing (the right tune) and dancing (the right steps – getting them to call you for an appointment perhaps). Rather than sending directly from your computer you’d be advised to use a CRM or Customer Relations Management system. This will allow you to send out in high volumes (depending on your email list size) and importantly, track who opened your email and what interested them enough that they clicked on it and went to your website – you now know a little more about that potential customer.
There are many CRM systems out there to suit all needs. Mailchimp is one such system that is popular with both small and large businesses. It’s of special interest to small businesses as it’s free to use for emailing lists of up to 2000 entries with ample free email capacity each month. The system gives plenty of detail and stats about the emails you send and you can use either their own templates or you can create your own (which we’d recommend as part of your overall branding) html templates.
Social Media Marketing
We’ve left this until the end as it really does incorporate all of the above and would take up a vast number of posts on its own to even get near to touching the tip of the iceberg. A Social Media strategy should be part of your overall marketing strategy. Now more than ever, Social Media Marketing has become the biggest driver of qualified traffic to your website. Social Media Marketing has the ability to lift your brand profile high above your competitors and if you’re a small business, to take on the big boys and girls and get to the clients and customers first.
So what next?
Well, we’d suggest reviewing your website and if you are already doing something online, then reviewing honestly how it’s working and the results that it’s bringing in.