You already know that having a great website that reflects your business is imperative to creating your business profile. You’ve put lots of thought into presentation. You’ve chosen some great images. Your products and offers are ready for the world.
Now all you have to do is get the world to come in and have a look.
No matter how wonderful and creative and easy to use your website is, you’ll need to find ways to direct traffic to it to put it to work.
Think of your website as a shop in a busy marketplace (which is what it is, really). Millions of people are walking by and browsing around. A thousand merchants are shouting out to them, trying to draw their attention.
This is what the internet is like. How can you get your little market cyber-stall to cut through all the noise and attract some attention?
The truth is, there isn’t any magic formula and it’s not going to happen overnight. It will take some dedication and planning as you build your business’s online reputation.
If you’re just getting started in your business, you need some quick results to get some sales in the door. I get that. These are things that you can do right now that will have the most immediate results.
The two largest search engines out there, Google and Bing, offer free services to help advertise your business. These are easy to set up and allow you to create a business profile and choose how you appear on search and on maps. They also offer analytics so you can see how many people are finding you through search functions.
Your Google My Business account gives you access and control over your reviews on Google. The foundation of good Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is about building trust online. Google reviews is one the fastest and easiest ways to start establishing that trust.
Find the “Share review form” button on the home page of your Google My Business account. Copy the link and share it.
Include website links in your social media strategy. Your website and social media channels should integrate and act as a team, where each helps you build the other.
Don’t just slap your website url in a post and expect people to go exploring. Give people a reason to click. We have all grown accustomed to being spoon-fed information online and have gotten rather lazy.
Here’s a few tips on how to share your website effectively:
No matter how much of a splash you make, not everyone is immediately going to become a customer. Plan for the long game to build trust online.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art of making your website more valuable to search engines.
Search engines work by crawling websites and cataloguing the information they find. Your mission is to create content that is easy to catalogue and easily found by potential customers.
SEO is an intricate and ongoing operation. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is SEO. In essence, SEO is about building your reputation online. You have to earn it.
You know who owns Youtube? Google! Posting informative videos to Youtube is a great way to increase your professional credibility and give yourself an edge in search engine rankings. Don’t forget to link your videos back to your website!
Don’t let your website visitors just disappear. Shoppers often need to look at a product several times before deciding to buy. Capture email addresses of your website visitors so you can continue to showcase your products, services and expertise.
Blogging can be great for SEO. Search engines prefer websites with fresh and meaningful content. Your blogs do need to be lengthy. They just need to be informative. Use your own expertise in your industry to select subjects that will be of interest to your target market. If you find yourself staring at a blank page trying to decide what to write, start with bullet points of ideas. Do an internet search of the topic for information to supplement what you’ve written. Include links to the articles you found most helpful – search engines also prefer sites that include outside links to other websites.
Perhaps most importantly, put yourself on a realistic blogging schedule. Set some time aside each week to work on your blog. Make an appointment with yourself to get it done. There is nothing worse on a website than a blog page that’s out of date.
Try what I call Monday Morning Marketing. Set aside the first few hours of your week, before you get bogged down in your day-to-day, for thinking about and writing your blogs. Make a list of blog topics. Brainstorm bullet points of information that could be included in each. Do your internet searches. Then you can either write up your blogs from your bullet points and hand them off to a content writer.
Guest blogging is where you write a blog for someone else’s website. “Why on earth would I want to do that?” you say. There are several reasons.
And don’t forget to splash links to those blogs across your social media and in your newsletter!
We’ve grown accustomed to a digital world. Truth is, marketing has been around far longer than the internet has. And in an age where internet browsers have become blind to the constant barrage of internet advertising, throwing a little bit of the traditional ways into the mix can give you an edge.
How old fashioned and basic can you get? A well designed and crafted business card will place your website address literally in the hand of everyone you meet. They’ll keep it in their wallet or hang it on the refrigerator. And when they need what you’re offering, you are the person they will think of. Keep a supply of business cards on hand and give them out whenever you meet someone. Give a small supply to your family and friends so they can recommend you easily to anyone they come across looking for the products or services you offer. Hang one up whenever you see a public bulletin board.
Online workshops have become so commonplace that it can be easy to forget that they can actually be done face to face. While it may seem that everyone on the world is doing everything remotely, there are still may people who appreciate and prefer face to face contact. Contact your local school or community group to see if you can offer a workshop or talk on your area of expertise. They’ll include include your website and branding in their advertising and you’ll be able to pass out your business cards or other swag to the attendees.
The world of digital marketing is a moving target. Trends change. If you find your marketing strategies aren’t working well for you, do your research to see what you can do differently. No one strategy is perfect, and no one strategy will work perfectly for the (hopefully) long life of your business. Be prepared to change with the times.
If you’re new to website marketing, I would suggest choosing one or two of these strategies as a place to start. Work on them until you’re comfortable and consistent before adding more. Keep reviewing and tweaking to make them fit your market and your way of working. Your website isn’t going to sell itself. It needs you for that. You got this.
All you have to do is ask!