What was your last visit to the yellow pages?
There is no distinction between online and offline anymore. It’s not surprising that many business owners are still unsure why they need websites. Many people who have websites think that online marketing is just waiting for traffic to come in. It’s not so simple, unfortunately.
A comprehensive marketing plan is essential for your website to be successful. Although I don’t recommend spending thousands on an agency to make your website work, there are many things you can do yourself.
Here’s a list of things you can do that will increase traffic and attention to your website. You will also learn how to integrate your website with other online channels, such as social media. This is a critical online marketing tool that many businesses neglect or don’t use.
Are you ready to get started?
Create the right kind of website
Many businesses spend thousands to get their websites designed. They assume that a beautiful website filled with the latest bells and whistles will mean all their needs are met.
In reality, however, most businesses don’t require a fancy website. They just need a site that answers basic questions and guides visitors through the decision-making process (which could include buying something, making an appointment, or finding out how to get there).
Your website should be set up to allow visitors to interact with it. This includes making an offer, calling for action or asking for contact information to help them in their decision-making process.
Your website must also be optimized for search engine traffic. This can be done by making sure your page titles and contents contain phrases that are relevant to your business.
You should make it professional and attractive to let potential customers know you are trustworthy. Make sure that everything is correctly spelt. Your website will make it seem like you don’t care how your reputation is perceived.
Flash is not recommended for website design. Although Flash may be cool and provide impressive effects, websites should be built in HTML/CSS to ensure compatibility with every browser and mobile device. Flash is not compatible with iPads and iPhones.
Search Engine Juice: Get Positive Results
Once you have your website set up, it is time to get traffic. Search engines will likely drive most of your traffic. About 20% of all searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo are for local businesses. Therefore, you will need to ensure that your page titles contain essential keywords.
Local business directories can help you increase your visibility. The most important (at least in the United States) of these directories are Yelp and Google+. These directories include consumer reviews which can be part of what will influence consumers to purchase from you.
These directories rank highly in search results and, in the case of Google, display their ratings wherever your business is mentioned. It is essential to have five-star ratings if you want anyone to click on your business name. These ratings also appear next to your Google ads.
It is best to build strong relationships with customers and encourage them to leave positive reviews.
Social Media Marketing
Many businesses believe that social media marketing is not for them. However, if you want to reach your target audience via social media, then you must be there.
While Twitter and Facebook still dominate social media, Google+ is also an essential player in the space. Google’s search results include Google+ content. These platforms can be used to keep in touch with customers. You can create a Facebook fan page, a Google+ business account and a Twitter account for your company. Start adding friends by looking for people in your area.
Finally, make sure you syndicate content from one platform to other platforms so that you don’t duplicate your efforts.
Make a list
An email list of prospects and customers is one of the best assets for any business. Imagine being able to send an email and be able to increase sales. This is the power of your own list. Your competition may not be taking advantage of it either. So maybe you should.
It is easy to build a list. You can invite prospects and customers at any time to give their email addresses. Incentives can be offered in exchange for their email address. A coupon or a sample of your work are good options. Once you have your list, make sure to keep in touch with them often to ensure that they are always in the loop.
It is much easier than you think to market your business online. It is essential to have the right pieces and not be distracted by activities that are too time-consuming or don’t deliver the desired results.
Your entire marketing system can be online in a matter of hours and will be even more effective than you thought!