So you have a website for your business, now what?
I've worked with thousands of clients who are either just getting started, have dabbled a bit with online marketing, or who have quite a bit of online experience. Although they all have different backgrounds and knowledge about internet marketing, most usually seem to have one thing in common...
They don't know what they really want their website to do.
What can a website do for my business?
- Makes Sales: Products, services, memberships, information, affiliate products, advertising space, cross promotions - what CAN'T you sell online? To me, if you have a website and you're not selling something (even another companies products, services or ad space), you're missing a source of business revenue.
- Generate Leads: A website is the perfect place to build a database to market to over and over again via email. You can also create leads to contact via phone or direct mail and share valuable content to get visitors to continue coming back over and over again (this can also be known as "online reputation management").
- An Online Resume: This is a no-brainer. Your website should share information about your business, answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and show directions and contact information. If this is your only reason for having a website, I strongly suggest you find a way to integrate one or both of the first two suggestions in to your online marketing plan - otherwise, you're definitely not using your "online real estate" effectively.
What should I do NOW to make my website most effective?
This question can be broke down in to two categories:
1. Make sure your website is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly:
- Use keywords effectively to get you the right traffic;
- Customize meta info: title tags, meta descriptions, meta keywords, page names and category names for all pages;
- Follow friendly URL rules (ie. http://utahcountyreviews.com/tag/provo-utah-restaurants/ = friendly vs. http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=115 = not friendly)
- Create an internal linking strategy so all pages have a chance to be indexed by search engines
2. Create a way to capture names and emails
- I use a couple different options for this: Aweber or Constant Contact.
- There are pros to both of them
- They are known as email auto-responders
- Aweber has a $1 sign up for the first month and then a $19 monthly fee after that (it's the one I use most)
- Constant Contact has a 60 Day Free Trial (I've used this one a little too)
- Even if you don't have products to offer for sale, capturing a name and an email can be extremely valuable long-term
- Here's what an invitation might look like:
Helping over 75,000 businesses like yours raise profits and build customer relationships using AWeber's opt-in email marketing software for over 10 years.
Like the first recommendation, this is both short AND long-term. What I've found, though, is that the sooner you have invitations like this on your website, the more accustomed your visitors will get to it.
3. Pay per click campaigns
- You'll need a budget for this, although it can be small at first
- Again, keyword research is ESSENTIAL - going after phrases like "attorney" or "lawyer" will break the bank in a few clicks and it WON'T get you the targeted traffic you want
- There are a few different places to test PPC campaigns - Google, Facebook, and maybe Yahoo are the three I recommend
- Hiring an experience professional will save you lots of "trial and error" money (if this is something you're interested in considering, contact me)
What questions can I answer for you?
How did this article help you get a better picture of what you want your website to do for your business?
Next I'll talk about HOW to do some of these things!
Nate Moller offers online marketing consulting to small to medium sized businesses. He specializes in on-site search engine optimization, keyword research and implementation, email marketing, and pay per click marketing campaigns. For more information, contact Nate on Twitter or add the Moller Marketing Fan Page to your Favorites on Facebook.