Ten Website Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Whether you already have a website or you’re in the process of putting together a website marketing plan, you can find use in this blog post. I’m going to throw ten website marketing tips your way that will help you determine whether or not your current website marketing strategy is missing any key nuts and bolts.
First, take a look at a couple statistics:
- 59% of consumers use Google every month to find local businesses (BrightLocal, 10/24/2011)
- 60% of small-to-medium sized businesses in the U.S. don’t have their phone number on the home page of their website. (BIA/Kelsey, 4/16/2012)
More than half of local businesses’ customers go online to find what they’re looking for. This just proves the importance of having a solid website marketing strategy that focuses on the ability to be found by your customers.
But what do we make of the more than half of businesses that don’t list their phone number on their website’s home page? We could say that their website marketing could use a little polishing. It’s a good thing if your website can be found easily, but you need to make it easy for visitors to contact you once they’re on your site. This is just one example of a poorly executed website marketing plan.
Small business owners oftentimes struggle with their website marketing and management. Many times it can boil down to the infamous “so much to do, so little time” scenario. Sometimes it all has to do with the question of “okay, my website is built – now what?” In either and any case, I have compiled ten general website marketing tips that will give any small business a leg up online.
These tips will help you, as a small business owner, to create and maintain a successful website marketing plan. And if you’re already doing these things, hats off to you!
Ten Website Marketing Tips for Success
- Don’t launch your website too early. Write a one-sentence description of what your company is all about, develop your positioning and finalize all creatives (taglines, logos, etc) before even thinking about your website marketing.
- Identify and define the goals of your website. What do you want your site to achieve? Of course you want to attract visitors to your site, convert them into leads and then ultimately into paying customers. Do you want to tell people where to go next, how to purchase something from you, or something else? Your goals can be as broad as those or as specific as “I want a 30% click-through-rate on my landing page” or “I want to double my monthly traffic.”
- Take a look at your competitors’ websites. Do some research and find out what your competitors are doing and how they are marketing their websites. Should you be doing those things too? You don’t want to copy website design and content, but this will give you a good idea of what others are doing and how you can stand out from the rest of the crowd.
- Claim a domain name that’s easy to spell and remember. Contain your most important keywords and location in your domain name, if possible. That means that your company name may not be the best domain name. For example, if you’re opening a café in Worcester, claim the domain name WorcesterCafe.com if it’s available.
- Make your website easy to navigate. The more user-friendly your website is, the easier it is for visitors to find what they’re looking for.
- Make it easy for visitors to contact you. A company phone number and email address should be on every page, especially the home page. Your contact information should be easy to see and preferably near the top or in the footer section as well.
- Make your menu system simple. Use brief and descriptive headers that you don’t have to squint to see.
- Make every word worth it. Content is key. You must make your content engaging, exciting, relevant, fresh and meaningful for TWO audiences: search engines and real people. Every word should have a purpose.
- The word “welcome” in your title tag means nothing and is a waste of space. Your title tag should define your entire website, so use this space to state your product or service and location, using the keyword or phrase that you most want to rank for.
- Understand your audience. Who is reading what you write? What do they want? Are you writing for them? Are you making their job as a reader easy? Are you giving them plenty of ways to interact with you? Are you solving their problems and answering their questions? Your content (on your website and blog) should include those long tail keywords that brought visitors to your website in the first place. Your readers should find real value in what you’re presenting to them.
- Throw your “electronic brochure” in the recycling bin. Talk about the benefits of your products/services and how you can solve your readers’ problems. Talk about value for the customer. A customer wants to know “what’s in it for me?” not “tell me more about you.” Educate, entertain, tell a story and provide meaning.
- Think of your website as your home base. Every aspect of your online marketing should lead back to your website. It’s important to have outside sources linking to your website, as it helps tremendously with where you rank on search engines. When major sites like Facebook and Twitter, for instance, are directing traffic to your website, search engines take notice and you move up in the rankings.
- Gently push your social media fans and followers to your website.
- Direct e-newsletter recipients and blog visitors to relevant pages on your website.
- Include links to your website in online press releases, email signatures and business cards.
- Test, Measure, and Improve. Find out what works for your customers as early on as possible, and commit to continually improving the performance of your website.
- Try different ways of driving traffic and converting that traffic into paying customers. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
- Set up Google Analytics, record the metrics that make most sense for what you’re trying to achieve, and use these metrics to better understand your audience. For example, if one of your goals was to grow your email database, record the number of email subscribers and where they came from.
Keep your eye on what works and adapt your website marketing strategy.
Grabbing and Keeping Your Audience’s Attention
One last thing to think about…
You have less than five seconds to grab your visitors’ attention. How will you do it? That’s something you should be thinking about before you put your website marketing strategy into action.
Will you capture people’s attention with attractive design, calls-to-action, and “YOU” language? You should. First impressions are everything if you want to get someone’s attention, so make sure you portray a professional image. The key is to keep their attention, though, and to empower them to take action.
Once they’re past their initial reaction, they will look to see if you’re giving them the information they need and if they can find it quickly. Structure AND content play a big role here. What you’re showing your visitors should seamlessly lead into what you’re saying to your visitors. Everything needs to resonate with your audience.
What do you have to say? Can you add any basic website marketing tips to this list? Please submit your two cents in the comments section!
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