The problem with most web designers these days is that they have little or no idea how to create a business website that actually generates leads and is profitable for its owner. Small business marketing is changing at such a rapid rate these days with the popularity of social media but the underlying principles remain the same.
Just getting a website is not enough. But once you have your website, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re told “just start a blog”, “do Twitter” or “create videos or podcasts” because how do you know that it’s right for your business?
Your website is like a 10 speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use. Follow these 7 small business marketing tips and your website’s success will suddenly shift into top gear.
- Develop a strategy
- Create an effective website
- Get quality traffic
- Capture leads
- Nurture your prospects
- Sell to your list
- Test & measure, then optimise and repeat
These are explained in more detail below.
Step 1: Develop a strategy
Do your research. Survey your ideal clients. Find out what your customers really want. Define exactly who you’re targeting? Get specific. Once you know who you’re targeting, you can then figure out where they hang out so you can market to them directly instead of spraying and praying.
Ask yourself: “What are my objectives?” “Why am I doing this?” Set some specific and measurable goals. What are you going to offer your prospects when they land on your website? What free content can you develop to use as ‘bait’ to collect prospects’ details?
It sounds simple but the strategy is often skipped over altogether in the rush and excitement of getting online but it’s probably the most important part! If you haven’t yet developed your website strategy, download our Website Starter Kit which will help bring your thoughts together into an actionable plan.
Step 2: Create an effective website
Start with your keyword research. If you’re new to this, check out Wordtracker. It has awesome tools and resources for effective keyword research. Develop your site structure based on your keyword research and include them throughout your content in all the right places.
I’d highly recommend hiring a professional copywriter for your website content but if you must do it yourself, make sure you write compelling, engaging, emotionally charged copy. Demonstrate your value to your prospects. Solve problems. Don’t sell. Solve.
Make sure you tell your visitors what you want them to do. This is called a ‘call to action’ and I’m appalled at how many sites I come across that have zero calls to action. Call now. Book a free consultation. Download this free report. Sign up to our weekly tips. These are all examples. Make sure you make them prominent and ensure they’re on every page.
Step 3: Get quality traffic
This is where most business owners fall down. Don’t expect that if you just build a website, they will come. You need to work hard to drive the right kind of traffic to your site and it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Here’s the 5 best ways to generate traffic:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which is the process of moving you closer to the top of Google ‘organically’. If your industry is competitive, this can be very, very time consuming. Consider paying a professional for SEO services.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising on Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook
- Go to where your audience is already hanging out. Try Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, forums or social bookmarking. Write articles and publish them on popular websites your audience frequent.
- Email Marketing – do your own or advertise in others or rent lists that are inline with your target audience. Make sure if you advertise or rent a list, make an opt-in offer so you can own the eyeballs yourself.
- Publish a blog. Blogs are great traffic generators if done right and tell Google that you publish regular content. Your website will get ‘spidered’ by Google more often if you publish regular blog posts.
Step 4: Capture leads
What are you going to use for lead capture once you drive all this new traffic to your site? Have you got specific landing pages that focus on one main action you want your visitors to take? If not, consider creating a free eBook, report or guide to help your prospects. Offer this if they give you their name and email address in return. Once they’re on your list, then you can nurture them, which leads us to…
Step 5: Nurture your prospects
It takes 7-20 touches to convert prospects into customers. Now is the time to work on how you’re going to get in front of your prospects often. Repetition is key.
Use email marketing to build credibility. It doesn’t have to be an epic every month either! Try sending out one brief but useful tip each week to your audience. Once they get to know, like and trust you they’ll feel more comfortable buying from you. They could even be referring you business before ever becoming a client themselves because you are in the front of their mind.
Consider setting up ‘auto-responders’ to automatically nurture your leads for you. Auto-responders are pre-written emails that you can set up to send automatically to help move your prospects along the buying process. You could set them up two years in advance if you wanted to then kick back at the Bahamas! Try Aweber, iContact or Mailchimp for auto-responder email services.
Step 6: Sell to your prospects or clients
It’s no good having this great long list of prospects if you’re not going to sell to them. After all, that’s why you’re doing all this isn’t it? Use traditional forms of marketing as well as online methods to get your offers in front of your list.
Consider offering something low cost when they opt-in to your newsletter or download your eBook. Actually, if you are selling high priced products or services, I’d definitely recommend having a lower priced product to warm them to you first. Selling high priced items online is a real process. Build trust first with a less expensive sale. Think of it as going on a few dates first before asking for the first kiss.
Step 7: Test & measure, then optimise and repeat
Remember those goals you set at the beginning? Now it’s time to pull them out, dust them off and see how you’re going. Use Google Analytics to analyse your website’s statistics and metrics. Check your website statistics often, at least weekly and see where you can improve. See what keywords are working for you in getting organic traffic, then follow Wordtrackers’ methods for getting more of a good thing.
Try different things and do A/B split testing. Test your headlines, copy, calls to action and forms. Try using video to increase conversions, especially on opt-in pages.
Find out what works best and do more of that. Simple really, isn’t it?
To sum things up, remember, strategy is King and your list is Queen. Don’t rely on your web designer to do it for you – unless you find a really good one and that’s sometimes like finding a needle in a haystack. You need to take your business by the reins, harness the wonderful power of the Internet and learn for yourself. If you become a small business marketing guru, you’ll be successful (and profitable) in any business you create.
What are your thoughts on small business marketing in today’s online world? Leave us a comment below.
If you need help with your small business marketing, get in touch with the friendly bunch here at Web123. We’re all about creating websites as good as the big guys but for a fraction of the price. Call us today on 1800 932 123.