Just getting a good website up and running can be a daunting task in and of itself, so naturally getting to the marketing aspect can sometimes be like walking in a dark forest without a flashlight.
Hopefully this quick guide will give you some direction in getting your business ready to start generating more customers and leads online.
1. Is your website direct response ready?
Most small business websites I see out there are set up as “brochure style” websites. These sites have no real call to action and they only display some basic contact information with a few pages about the kinds of services they offer or products they sell.
My advice: Don’t do that.
Give your visitors a real call to action. A form to contact you with, a free consultation, an “internet only” discount, something.
If you’re in the business of retailing products, give your website visitors a reason to drop in and buy something. Think loyalty program or discounted first purchase. Some businesses use tools like printable coupons so they can directly track how well their website is generating real customers.
If you are in a service-based business like a real estate agent, set up a lead generation form and get people to sign-up for a free market appraisal on their property. The real estate industry is one of the most tech savvy industries out there and you can find a lot of ideas for improving your service-based business website from some of these folks.
Remember, track everything! (more on this later)
2. What are your target keywords?
Doing proper keyword research for your local niche is important so you know where to aim your marketing efforts.
The most common type of keyword research people do is done with the Google Adwords keyword tool.
However, there’s a couple other ways you can mine for golden keywords that will convert your visitors into buyers/leads.
- Ubersuggest is a great free tool that will give you more ideas for keywords you should be targeting.
- Look at your analytics. Find keywords people are already finding you for and see if they’re worth targeting. The kind of keywords we’re looking for here are highly relevant but also show good engagement metrics (high time on page and low bounce rate).
Hopefully you have your conversion tracking set up so we can also pinpoint if these keywords are delivering real value to your business.
Which brings us to #3…
3. Is your tracking set up?
Before you even get a single visitor, it’s important to make sure your tracking is already set up correctly.
As a new webmaster, here’s 3 essential things you need to be tracking.
- Your visitors. Not just how many visitors come to your website each day, but also where they’re coming from, what keywords they’ve searched to arrive at your site, and what pages they’ve visiting the most on your site.
- Conversion rate. Hopefully you’ve set up your site so that you’re getting leads or contact queries from either a form or a tracked phone number. In order to effectively gauge your ROI from your marketing activities, you’ll have to track your conversion rate (per 100 visitors how many buy/opt-in/contact you).
- Engagement metrics. User engagement metrics are steadily gaining steam in Google’s ranking algorithm’s and shouldn’t ignored. Does your website as a whole have a below-average bounce rate? How long are visitors staying on your website? Are they engaged or are they repulsed by your businesses site? Most businesses don’t have any idea. One tool I like to use to get a direct look at how visitors are engaged with a site is clicktale.com.
4. Are you blogging or do you have enough content to draw enough organic visitors?
In a recent facebook post made on our company page, we posted a screenshot of Google’s guidelines regarding content. Here it is if you missed it:
As you can see from the guidelines, having great content is “one of the single most important things you can do.”
So do you have great content?
This is one of the easiest (but a tad time consuming) things an internet marketing newbie can do to generate more traffic.
Producing great content is something that will get people talking about your business and hopefully even get you some inbound links to boot.
Naturally, the very best content comes from the person that knows your business the best: You.
But what to write? Luckily, that question can sometimes answer itself.
- What kind of problems does your market face that you can address?
- Do you have any opinion on recent events in your industry?
- What can you write about that is important to your customers?
- Can you teach your clients something new, maybe write some kind of tutorial or how-to?
Hopefully these questions will get your creative juices flowing.
5. Are you listed with the top business directories yet?
One of the first and easiest steps a business owner can make to getting their website found online is registering with the best business directories online.
There are hundreds and hundreds of these directories online so it can be a web of confusion if you’re not familiar with the process.
One free tool that makes it easier is GetListed.Org. Just punch in your business name and zip code and it will give you a run-down on the top 12 or so business directories and tell you if you’re listed. If you’re not listed, it will provide a submission link that you can follow to fill out your businesses details.
If you have your heart set on marketing your site online yourself there’s a ton of things you can do if you have the time and inclination to learn.
But remember for busy business owners who just don’t have the time, outfits like SEOm Company can help a lot to get your local business more traffic, sales, and leads.
Why not ask and see what we can do for you?