Your website without marketing is just another pretty face.
Nothing will happen until you start marketing your website.
There will be no traffic, no visitors, no leads, no prospects, and no sales.
Marketing your website can be done by advertising, word of mouth and with a good public relations strategy. These are old and trusted methods of marketing.
If you want to take your website marketing to the next level, you have more options.
The latest methods of website marketing revolve around SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing.) By using these marketing methods, both old and new, you will attract visitors to your website and hopefully increase revenue, sales, leads or whatever is your goal.
Identify The Market Need
If you have an up and running business, then you have presumably already identified a market need. If you are just starting out then you need to do this. You identify the market need which then becomes your target market. You then fill that need. You also need to recognize who, and how much they will pay, to have that need filled. This is basic business sense but is a strategy you will need. To effectively market your website, you must identify the right market.
Features and Benefits
Standard website marketing involves features and benefits statements. On your website, ensure that you follow this strategy for every service or product that you wish to sell or provide.
Features are the actual characteristics which you display on the site, while the benefits are what they say. They are the benefits that a visitor will get from using your service or product. Basically, the features are created so that people will buy or use the benefits. Generally, people will buy the benefits but occasionally the two do merge together.
Good marketing strategy involves emphasizing the features to sell the benefits. This means that you can explain and show the features of a product or service in order to sell the benefit.
A Competitive Edge
To market your website successfully, you need a competitive edge. Somehow, you need to be different from the others in the marketplace and make it stand out from the crowd.
Most websites fail to differentiate the business.
You can gain the competitive edge in several ways. You may have a patent on a product, for example. Alternatively, you might be offering a particular set of skills that very few people have. It could even be something as simple as having a unique phone number. That, in itself, can give you a competitive edge.
Other examples of things that will give you a competitive edge are updated web content, fast loading pages and, of course, good old customer satisfaction!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It cannot be stressed enough how important SEO is in getting your website noticed. SEO is how you increase the visibility of your website by using keywords and phrases that people will use when they are searching for something in particular on the internet.
It is important to get your website as close to the top of the search results as possible.
You need to edit your web content so that it includes your target keywords. This has to be done, of course, so that the content is not stuffed with keywords. So it is a matter of getting the number of keywords just right so that it still makes sense.
A good rule is to have your target keyword in the following areas:
- Page title. Start the page title with your keyword. For example, “San Diego Web Designer.”
- Include the keyword within the first paragraph.
- Optimize your images by using the keyword in the the alt tag.
- Include the keyword 3-5 times in the body of the page content.
- Your inner link anchor text should also include your keyword.
Optimized web pages will help you increase the amount of traffic to your website and, hopefully, sales and revenue.
SEO also requires link building the following ways:
- Guest post on relevant blogs. When you publish a guest post, you mostly get a link back to your own site within the byline.
- Get local businesses to link to your website. Ask businesses in your network to link to your website. You can link to them in return. You could create a local resources page.
- List your website in local and industry directories.
- Comment on relevant blogs.
- Network with relevant bloggers.
- Research competitors’ backlinks. Once you have a list of the backlinks, you can get links from the same sites to your own website.
- Make your content shareable on social networks.
- Post links to your website on social media sites.
- Create infographics and offer to websites free to be posted. Often, you will get a backlink in exchange.
It can be some time before you notice any significant results with SEO but it will happen if you are patient.
Search Engine Marketing
SEM is similar to SEO but it is a service that is normally paid for. It is when a search engine will include a website in its search results through paid advertising.
The best thing about SEM is that it is immediate. While SEO could take many months or even years, SEM works right away. As soon as you pay, traffic starts flowing to your website.
You need to have a significant budget to make SEM work. You could pay $10, $20, $30, or more for each click.
Blogging is a great way to generate traffic to your website. If you have a blog, you can post regularly relevant content. The blog is less about selling and more about building credibility. Hopefully, visitors to your site will contribute to the blog with their own posts. This is basically an excellent marketing ploy.
You could get your team members to write. You can also invite experts to guest post on your blog. Your blog can turn your website into an authority site. Your blog can increase website traffic. It can also increase your website conversion rate. Your blog can be an excellent credibility builder.
You can also post, as a guest blogger, on relevant blogs. You would add a link to your website at the end of your post. This is quite normal practice and will bring attention to your company on another website. You can allow experts to guest post on your blog too.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC is a form of SEM. With Pay-Per-Click, you have to pay a fixed price to a search engine such as Google. You are paying money for each click. You are buying traffic with PPC.
You choose the target keywords, select your geo-target area. Then, the most important part. You decide how much money you are willing to pay per click. It can get expensive. Most small businesses can’t really afford PPC. Paying $10-$50 per click is out of reach for many small businesses.
Regardless of the cost, PPC might make sense for your business.
You have to calculate the cost per click combined with your conversion rate, to determine if PPC makes sense for your business.
Every business has a place on social media. Both B2B and B2C businesses can benefit. When you think how many people use Facebook every day then you can see what a large market you have there.
You can even create our own company Facebook page and attract visitors that way.
The other option is to advertise on social media. This is a system similar to pay per click or you can pay a set amount for an Ad.
If you have a B2B business, LinkedIn might be a great way to drive traffic to your website. You could network with potential customers. You can also post articles and join industry groups.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to market your website. Email marketing is a great way to stay in front of your prospects and customers. Through your email marketing communications, continue to help people.
Don’t focus too much on selling. It is more about being helpful. About 90 percent of your email marketing should be about providing helpful information. Only about 10 percent of your emails should be about selling.
At least once a month you should email your subscribers.
Retargeting is second chance marketing. Retargeting is a tactic which works by you putting a tracking cookie on every one of your visitors’ devices. After they leave your site, they will then see your ads coming back to them. This way you are able to bring people back to your site that leaves without converting to a sale or lead. You probably know that this is most of your traffic!
With retargeting, people will see your ad throughout the Internet. This gives you a second, third, or fourth chance to convert to a sale.
The good news is that you have many options to market your website. The bad news is that your website will get no traffic without marketing.
So, the secret is to market your website and keep marketing. Make yourself a marketing plan that will give you definite strategies for increasing your traffic and ultimately increasing your revenue.
photo credit: Working with MacBook outside