Website marketing is very different to web design, IT IS how you are going to promote your website once it has been designed and revealed to the world.
People won’t just stumble across your new site, you will have to let clients and potential customers know how to find you.
Below are 15 helpful suggestions to market your website, generate more hits from a targeted audience, gain valuable business leads and promote your business to a much larger audience.
1. CONTENT MARKETING:
Good web design can make your site look attractive, but it is still the content that gets the real message across. Content marketing, is all about providing content that your clients and potential clients would like to consume and share with their own online communities. It is a very powerful form of marketing that allows you to develop your brand and create loyalty all at the same time.
Examples of content marketing include:
• social media posts that direct back to the website
• webinars and tutorial videos
• print articles and website articles
• client case studies
• fact sheets
• infographics shared on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest
Once people look past the great visuals and realise there is no content, they will turn away in droves and never return. If you struggle with preparing content, and your web developer is unable to assist, then you may need to invest in an experienced website copy writer to construct your information if you are having difficulties. How many times have you visited a website and not had a clue what is was about, let alone consider doing business with them. It is critical that planning, research and content are all up to a high standard to have a successful website to market.
2. CREATE COMPELLING COPY FOR LEAD GENERATION
Copy will make or break your lead generation strategies on your website – there is no doubt about that. Your offer maybe incredibly compelling, however if it is not effectively communicated… who is going to know about it let alone opt-in for what you have on offer!?
This will cause you to lose out on sales and precious revenue, yet alone the time cost involved in setting the business back potentially by months.
Essentials of great copy include;
• Strong calls to action
• Descriptive language that influencers the prospect to buy
• Credibility factors that influence them to choose you over your competitor
• Drives them to ‘act’ in the moment and opt-in immediately
The best test of any copy is to send out a campaign to just a segment of your database. If you do not get a result within a couple of hours – it hasn’t been successful. If you get an immediate response, you’re on the right track. The trick is to test and measure until you are happy with the response rate and you can successfully estimate future responses to your marketing activities.
3. HAVE A BLOG AND VISITING OTHER BLOGS:
A lot of sites these days encourage discussion with their visitors, and do this via a blog or forum on their site. It is also a wonderful opportunity to pitch yourself as an expert in your field and show off your abundant knowledge!
Put simply, a blog is a series of content (called “posts”) that are usually organised by date with the most recent post showing first. Many blogs also have the posts organised by category for convenient browsing. They have comment forms at the end of every post that allow the readers to give the author feedback and interact with other readers.
As they become more and more popular, great businesses are being built off the back of a strong online blogging strategy. This is usually created by the owner or high profile staff member in the business, and is one of the sure fire ways to regularly communicate online with clients and potential clients, and keep top of mind and communicate all sorts of relevant information.
By responding to questions relating to your industry not only demonstrates your knowledge, it is also another marketing opportunity to include your name, business and website details. The more fresh content you post to your website, the more you are building relationships with your community. And because content is organically growing each day on your website, this is viewed very favorably by search engines and you will rise quickly in search engine rankings. It also gives a reason for people to keep coming back to your website, and reinforces the impression that you are a reputable business that is willing to assist their clients by giving away information and advice for free.
4. ADVERTISE ON-LINE VS OTHER MEDIA:
Popular and well trafficked sites offer banner advertising, column ads, small click on ads, shopping malls, directories… the list is endless. Advertising on-line may seem like the most logical way to promote your site, but do your homework first.
Research is essential, so speak to others who advertise on that site before you buy advertising and see if they are happy. Just because you are paying for the advertising space don’t assume it’s going to work, always track your results and try the free advertising options, you may be pleasantly surprised.
One area of promotion that is sometimes overlooked is your personal promotional material. It should scream out your website address! Your business cards, letterheads, brochures, packaging, it must all clearly show you website. And don’t forget to include your website address at the end of your standard contact details of every email you send out. A hyper link that leads directly to your website really does generate more hits.
5. PAY-PER-CLICK ADVERTISING
Pay-per-click ads are usually located on the right hand side of a search results page or shaded at the top. The advertisements are displayed based on users bidding on industry related keywords and you pay for each click through you receive to your website.
Google AdWords are the best known and most popular of all pay-per-click search engines. Many companies have great success with Ad-words as they bid each day for a nominated fee to appear on the first page of the search, and over time it grows your organic search engine rankings. The ads are able to be regularly edited, including modifying the daily spend until the desired results are achieved. As with all marketing ventures, you should test and measure the keywords you use and what is attracting the most hits to determine what is your most successful campaign.
A word of caution: If your website is outdated or doesn’t have a clear call to action, then we don’t recommend using pay-per-click advertising until you resolve the issues. It would be a complete waste of precious marketing dollars.
6. SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS:
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linked In… the list goes on and on, but which social networking site is right for you? The answer would be to look at your product and services and determine which platform, would be best for you to market your services on. These are all growing areas of how companies are building relationships with their current and potential clients. It is not the place to do the hard sell, but creates the framework which to build confidence in your services or product, and is a small piece of the pie that is your brand.
Small business owners are often cynical about social media marketing and while it’s not for every
business, it can be a cost-effective and engaging way to communicate with your target market. You need to analyse your target market and establish if you sell business to consumer or if you sell business to business, because this will determine what platform you choose. For example, LinkedIn is a strong business to business site, whereas Facebook or Instagram traditionally works better with business to customer target markets.
Any business that values relationships and hopes to build profits from repeat business or customer
referrals should always consider social media as part of their website marketing. Look at your relationship with customers, your target demographic and your competition’s online presence to determine if social media is right for you. And if you do choose to market through a social platform, promote it heavily through your website, your email signature, your enewsletter and your blog.
7. BENEFITS OF GOOGLE PLACES
There are many reasons why small business should use Google Places, including:
- Google Places offers small business a unique opportunity to advertise to their local area at a fraction of the cost of any other form of advertising.
- A small business owner who services a particular suburb has a very high chance of ranking at the top of Google for a number of keyword phrases simply by setting up a Google Places listing for their business (some location-based keywords might require additional work, but more on that later).
- If you are a new business and waiting for your site to be built, you can get up and running and rank at the top of Google simply by having a Places page for your business.
- People are increasingly searching on Google to find services in their local area. If you aren’t visible when they search for what you sell, you’ll be losing customers to your competitors.
- The increased usage of smart phones (eg iPhone, Android etc) means that more and more people are using their phones to search on Google. And because Google can use your exact location through GPS targeting, they can show you location-based search results even if you don’t type in a location!
8. SELL YOUR PRODUCTS ON EBAY AND OTHER CLASSIFIED / AUCTION SITES:
If you are selling a product you cannot ignore the potential of selling on Ebay, Gumtree, Trading Post, or any of the other many on-line auction and classified sites.
Place a listing and you are instantly showcasing your product to dozens, if not hundreds and maybe even thousands of potential new customers. Utilise this extremely cheap service and redirect traffic back to you website. The exposure is potentially limitless, and many profitable full time businesses have been marketed solely on Ebay, Gumtree and the like. Just remember to check each site’s terms and conditions and comply as you do not want to invest a lot of time and effort to your online shop to be promptly shut down for not complying.
9. PROMOTE YOUR WEBSITE WITH SEARCH ENGINES:
Surprisingly the easiest and cheapest method of gaining real traffic to a website is by submitting the relevant information to the popular search engines. A search engine will direct a user to websites that are relevant to the key words that you have submitted. By registering your site properly and gaining a high ranking, a user will find your site when commencing a search with one of the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN or Sensis.
10. MONTHLY E-NEWSLETTER:
Just as a published newsletter can do the job, an e-newsletter can also be an effective and even cheaper way to promote your products and services to existing and prospective clients. To generate a subscription, promote your e-newsletter on your site on every page, in social media, and blog, inviting viewers to insert their email addresses to receive their copy.
Points to consider are:
• make it a valuable resource, not just one long ad
• keep it exciting with discount offers, competitions and giveaways
• make clear reference to the privacy of their contact details
• don’t abuse the relationship with constant advertising, once a month is acceptable.
Remember, you always need the recipient’s permission to send an e-newsletter, otherwise it is just another form of unwanted spam.
11. FREE INFORMATION, OFFERS AND COMPETITIONS:
Providing free specialised information to a niche market is an invaluable draw card to your site. Promote it as a free service, and it gives your business instant loyalty and credibility. Keep updating your information and your potential customers will return for more. You can then work on softly working your potential client down the sales funnel with small priced items/reviews/reports/ebooks… whatever it is that entices people to begin the sales process with your business.
You can offer a free trial period of a product, a free bonus gift with every sale, or an on-line competition for offering two customer leads. Your special offers are only limited by your budget and imagination!
12. CREATE WEBSITE LINKS:
Linking your website to other topic related sites is a valuable cross-promotional relationship on-line. It can also greatly enhance your ranking in search engines if you can create great back links from reputable and well promoted sites. – Just make sure there is a mutual benefit to both parties when cross linking. The pitfalls of this however are if someone can come into your site from a link with another, then they can just as easily exit your site and forget to come back! So it is something to monitor through your google analytics.
13. KEEP IT FRESH AND UP-TO-DATE:
You may have a fabulous looking website, well promoted and getting lots of traffic. So don’t ignore it, it needs constant monitoring. Frequently check it is in good working order, with links going to the right destinations, pictures loading quickly, and outdated information and competitions promptly removed when completed.
If a visitor sends you an email, respond to it within 24 hours. If you receive an order, dispatch it in the set delivery time. And as frequently as you can manage, update the information content. Add new customer testimonials, recent case studies or staff appointments, and announce competition winners with a picture if possible. Basically, a good website has to look like the lights are on and someone is home!
14. PRESS RELEASE:
Is your website particularly interesting and useful to a certain demographic or industry? Send out press releases to relevant newspapers, magazines and trade journals promoting your website as a service. Highlight its unique features and benefits. You really have to be convincing that this is something new and different, because thousands of websites go on-line every day.
15. SEO AND KEY WORDS:
Search Engine Optimisation is one of the best investments you can make when you market your website, however it really is best left in the hands of the experts.
When creating a website, it is always advisable to allow for money in your budget for a solid SEO campaign. A search engine will scan your website, but you need to provide your keywords that concisely sum up your entire site. These keywords should also appear on the first pages in the body copy and in the meta tags of your index page.
A keyword is any word or short phrase that describes a website topic or page. – The more a keyword is used by searchers and websites the more attraction power it has. When selecting your keywords, step into the shoes of your typical customer, and what they might type in to a search. Resist using industry jargon if it is not well known.
Using your key phrases strategically is a better bet. Here’s a quick checklist you can use to make sure you’re incorporating your key phrases in such a way that both your readers and the search engines will know what your article is about:
- In the url of your page (www.abcaccounting.com/home-office-deductions)
- In the title tag
- In the title of your article
- At least 3-5 times in the copy of your article
- In at least one heading
- In the alt image tag of at least one of your images
- In the caption of at least one of your images
- In the meta description
- At least once in bold, if possible.
The first step when assessing keywords is to brainstorm the biggest list of potential keywords for your site. Take these keywords and run tests in google adwords to see their success. The tool provided above will show you the number of people that searched for that term in the last month along with similar words for you to consider. Doing keyword research will help you to determine if investing in a good website and doing SEO or PPC advertising is worthwhile for your business.