Making your website work for your business
Making the most of the digital marketing opportunities flowing from your website doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are ten top tips from an industry insider.
Digital marketing is a part of business and requires dedication, commitment and attention. If you are unable to maintain a regular news feed/blog or Facebook page, even though you may be missing an opportunity, it doesn’t look great if you start something and then don’t have time to commit to it.
The good news is, if you do dedicate the time, most of the marketing tools are free! There are also hundreds of free online video tutorials to watch if you need extra training.
It is important to jot down a marketing plan for your business website. It will focus the mind, allow you to allocate a specific time to marketing and enable you to record any expenses. It will also allow you to analyse and compare the successes/failures of your marketing efforts against the original plan, allowing you to make changes in the future.
Website Traffic & Social Media
Traffic to your website can be generated through direct or indirect marketing. For example, direct marketing could be from someone who has received an email newsletter or someone who already knows your business name. Indirect marketing could be from someone who found you in the organic search results, paid advertising, social media or videos.
Indirect marketing is known as off-page factors (external influences). They play a huge role in helping you promote your business and most of the tools available are free to use. Social media platforms are an example of an external influence and everything uploaded should link back to your website to continuously drive traffic to your website.
It is also important to mention that social media should not be a replacement for a website. For the simple reason that a website is the one thing you own, influence and control. If a company solely relies on social media for all their business generation, what happens if the social media applications update their software and change their algorithms? It is too risky to leave a business exposed with the evolving social media software which you cannot control.
It’s free for businesses to register a company with Google to appear on a Google map. Google Maps also appear on the first page of Google. You can upload photos, images and more to your Google Maps profile (now known as Google My Business). This is a must for all businesseswith a link back to your website!
Online reviews are major influencers which can help promote your website and business. There are several review tools available (e.g. Google, Facebook) and they can all be displayed through your website.
Keep Your Audience Interested
Once you have a visitor on your website it is important to keep them interested. The average visitor has a 7 second patience threshold before they close the page and go elsewhere. In our experience, there are 4 main reasons why this happens:
1. Poor design (navigation & layout)
2. Poor performance (slow & technical problems)
3. Irrelevant information (written content & images)
4. Mobile unfriendly (websites which do not adapt to the screen size)
All of these on-page factors are easy to correct and it is really inexcusable to lose the customer at this stage.
It is important to remember the role of a search engine is to simply connect a person who is looking for something with a website which contains that information, product or service. The information added to the page must be consistent with the search and the layout of the page must follow the best-practices laid out by the search engines. There are also several free tools for you to tell the search engines to come and find you (e.g. Google Search Console).
The majority of people check their email regularly throughout the day. They also normally only have one business and one private email address. For this reason, direct email marketing is still very important as it is likely to reach them direct.
On the 25th May 2018 the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. All businesses were forced to ask their existing subscribers if they would like to continue to remain on the email list. Many lists disappeared overnight which we believe was a great thing. Businesses are now left with a list of subscribers who actually want to hear from them.
To help your business run professional email marketing campaigns there are free tools available online (e.g. Mailchimp). These tools also include online forms which can be added to your website for new visitors to subscribe to your newsletter.
Blogs / Latest News / Journal
A blog is a place where you can share interesting, relevant and informative content about your business. It’s a place where you can invite people to meet your team, your place of work and your daily work life. Technically, every time you create a new blog post, it creates a new page on your website. Without realising, you are growing your website organically. This is also beneficial in the eyes of the search engines as they can see it is an active website.
If your website is built using a friendly content management system like WordPress, you can add this content on your phone, tablet or computer. You can also schedule information to appear on certain dates/times in the future.
Write a press release, send it to the local newspaper and if they published it will go on their digital newspaper. You may also have a link back to your website. This association with an established website will also improve your website ranking.