One of the 'tactics' that many small business owners already have in place is their website and yet one of the biggest concerns I hear from people is that they've spent a heap of money on pay per click advertising with either very little return or their enquiries are not coming from the 'type' of customers they want to attract.
For me, this comes back to having a clear marketing strategy in place that profiles the 'perfect client' and how you plan to attract them. Once you have these 'basics' in place you can begin to build your digital marketing plan.
And it's a lot easier than you might think. Here's how to get started:
Develop your website
There's no getting away from it: in today's tech-driven world, building your online presence is a must. The 2016 Sensis e-Business Survey found that 92% of small business owners use the internet to look for information about products and services.
Your website is your first chance to impress potential customers and all businesses regardless of their size or industry should have a web presence. Without it, you risk missing out on opportunities to not only get your 'brand' out there but to generate new leads for your business quickly and cost-effectively.
The key thing to remember when building your website is who you're trying to attract. Your website copy should be written with these things in mind:
Your target market: what style of communication is going to connect with them?
Your positioning: how do you want to be perceived? what type of language and imagery will you use to influence this?
Your competitors: who are you competing against and what makes you unique?
Develop your keyword strategy
Now ideally you want your website to rank on page 1 of Google. However, this is no easy task when you consider the volume of websites out there. In fact, according to the website 'Internet Live Stats', there are currently 1.1 billion websites online right now!
So how do you start to get found online? Start by thinking about the terms that your target market might type into Google when looking
for a business like yours. Basically, Google and other search engines use keywords to rank your website so you want to do everything you can to associate your site with the words your customers and prospects are searching for.
This really goes hand in hand with creating your website as when you are writing the copy for your website you should really have the keywords and phrases in mind that you want your website to rank for with search engines.
There's quite a science behind identifying the right keywords for your website and ideally you should understand the volume of searches done for the keywords you select and how competitive those words are. Ideally, you want to target high volume, low competition keywords. Google has a free 'keyword planner' tool to help with this.
Putting a little time and effort into your keyword strategy upfront really can pay dividends in the long run and ensure your website attracts the 'right' customers.
Optimise your website to be found in online searches
Once you know the keywords that you want to target in online search, you need to apply the 'secret sauce' to your website! For your website to appear high in the rankings for your selected keywords, you need to understand a little bit about the word of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
While many people may be put off by the jargon and terminology, giving your website the opportunity to rank well in targeted searches isn't as difficult as many people make out.
The thing to remember is that the search engines are aiming to display the websites that are most relevant to the searcher, regardless of the size of the business.
The good news is that there are plenty of really simple things you can do to help your website appear higher in the search rankings such as ensuring that each page of your website has a unique title and description that accurately describe what is on the page, ideally with a few keywords mixed in.
My advice would be to get these key areas right before embarking on any pay per click advertising like Google AdWords campaigns. So much money can be wasted with an ill-thought-through strategy.
In my next blog, I'll talk about the key tactics you can put in place to improve your natural search engine rankings.
In the meantime, if you need any support developing your website with a strong keyword strategy and improving your position in online search rankings don't hesitate to give me a call on 0478 042536 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.