Are you struggling with online marketing and failing to bring in sales or leads for your business?
You are not alone! Most online businesses are not profitable and the reasons are:
• Customers are highly promiscuous on the web and are easily drawn to competitor offers
• Most people do ‘repertoire’ shopping – they are not loyal to one brand or website but have a list of sites that they refer to in the same niche
• No unique positioning or differentiating features and benefits from competitors
• Don’t satisfy customer needs and wants because they don’t really know who they are
• No sufficient budget to implement promotional objectives
• And many others
If this sounds like your business, then you need to act now and do some research into your target markets and create a digital marketing strategy to meet their needs.
Here is a fact: price does not rule the web; trust does. So here are some online marketing tips to get you started:
1. Build trust
Trust is difficult to achieve on the web, but businesses that have managed to build it with their customers are often the most profitable. There are just too many competitors on the web nowadays and if your customers don’t trust your website, they will click away.
There are many things you can do to build trust including creating a secure website, having a quality website, displaying certifications, awards and endorsements and many other ways.
2. Create Loyalty
Loyal customers are very profitable and research reveals that:
• They are less price sensitive
• They stay as customers for a long time
• They leave positive reviews
• They purchase related products and services
Also, they can turn be advocates for your business through word of mouth and leaving positive online reviews that endorse your products or services.
3. Acquire New Customers
You can use promotional tools to drive traffic to your website like Google Adwords, Social Media, directories and many others. It’s not enough that your customers are loyal; you need to constantly bring in new customers through advertising and encouraging word of mouth with your current customers.
Some tools are free and some are paid like Paid Advertising on Google, Bing Ads and Facebook Ads, so you should calculate your ROI and ensure that you are reaching your goals.
4. Connect with Fans & Experts
Have a presence on at least one social media site and do it extremely well. So you should focus all your efforts on connecting with like-minded people and share your skills and experiences and use it as an opportunity to learn the strategy of competitors and other businesses too.
Here are some technical marketing tips:
5. Optimise your website content
Content marketing has come to the forefront in the last few years and this is mainly to do with the high competition levels that businesses in all sectors are experiencing on the web. Your content should be the best and should engage, educate, inform and convert your website visitors. So it’s important that you hire an experienced copywriter or bloggers if you lack the skills to produce quality content.
6. Do some website usability testing
Usability testing has many benefits including showing you what works and what doesn’t; how effective your navigation is; what is hidden and what is visible and how long it takes people to complete various tasks on your site.
There are a number of ways to carry out a usability test including hiring someone who represents your target audience and getting them to complete various tasks on your website as you record them and take down notes. All you need is a quiet room, a computer, notebook and pen, camera and a willing participant.
Updating your title tags and description meta tags is part of your Search Engine Optimisation strategy and you should take it seriously. Your title is what people see in the search results first, and if this is not optimised, it will lead to low click through rates even if you are at the top. Adding keywords to your title tag also helps to improve your search engine rankings.
8. Include your Bio
People like to know who they are dealing with and with online trust at an all time low, it’s important to put your name and face to everything you do. So you should include any relevant pictures of your business and staff and show what skills and experiences you have – it will boost your website stickiness.
9. Add a blog and start blogging
First, add a blog and then start blogging. Not blogging regularly is as bad as or worse than not having a blog because it creates disappointment with your visitors. Blogging has many benefits including:
• Increase in search engine presence and traffic
• Builds your brand and raises awareness
• establishes you as an expert
• people visit your site more and stay longer
10. Create a call to action on every landing page
One reason why many websites fail to convert visitors into customers or clients is because they don’t have a clear call to action on their landing pages. Usability testing carried out by many experts reveal that many people don’t know what to do when they get to a website and they need clear instructions to direct their browsing activity. Some common calls to action include ‘Buy Now’ ‘Download’ ‘Click Here’ ‘Search’ and many others.
11. Move your site to wordpress
WordPress is the world’s leading content management system. It is used by millions of websites and has many benefits over its rivals such as being free, a blog system with thousands of 3rd party plugins and themes to enhance the design and functionality. It’s easy to setup too and many hosting companies now offer one-click setup which takes only a few minutes to complete. You should have a very good reason why your site is not a wordpress site.
12. Optimise for local search
Local search is growing in popularity and for businesses that harness its power, the possibilities are endless. Customers trust local businesses more and they have more confidence that should a problem arise, they have easy access to the business to rectify any problems. Even large organisations are looking at the benefits of local search and implementing campaigns to reach local customers. (This point ties in with point 14 Google Maps).
13. Post quality whitepapers, case studies etc.
Do you or your business have a skill that clients can benefit from. One way to demonstrate your skills or experience is through whitepapers, guides and case studies. They set your business apart and give you a competitive edge that many competitors will find hard to replicate. Also, people are likely to share your downloads with others and this increases your reach.
14. Be present on Google Maps
For local businesses such as dental clinics, accountants, builders, plumbers, hotels and many others, a Google Maps placement is important for customer acquisition and boosting local presence. Over 96% of people use the web to search for local services and if you are not on Maps, then you are losing out big time to competitors.
15. Create an Analytics account
Google analytics is free and this tool has the power to transform your online marketing campaigns. You can keep track of your traffic volumes, traffic sources, engagement metrics, landing page experience and see which channels are bringing you the best ROI.
One thing you should avoid is purchasing links from other websites, because it’s likely to lead to a penalty. And the difficulty of being penalised is you will struggle to remove any links that you’ve purchased, especially if there are hundreds of them.
There are many ways to build genuine links including guest blogging, creating quality content that people want to link to and submitting your site to top directories.
17. Get positive online reviews
Start collecting positive Google reviews to build your credibility and showcase your skills and experience. These reviews show up in search results when people search for your company and on Google Maps too.
18. Make your site mobile friendly
Google has recently changed the rules around mobile friendly sites and any websites that are not optimised for mobile will not achieve high rankings or will be penalised. This is because of the change in how people access the web and the recent surge in mobile searches and purchases around the world.
19. Claim Your Google+ page
If you have a Google account, you can easily create a Google+ account and this is one of the leading social media networks. It has many benefits including:
• Connect with followers and colleagues
• Link to Google My Business account and have a Google Maps local listing
• Collect reviews that appear in search results and Maps
• Improves your organic search rankings
• Promote your products or services
20. Stay Alert
Lastly, keep track of any news about your brand, company and products by signing up to Google Alerts. It will help you with online brand management and you can quickly respond to any comments or questions people have about your offers. It also helps you to keep a close eye on competitors and on what is happening in your industry
Do you have any online marketing tips to share? Post them in the comment section below and tell us how they have performed for your online business.