Think of a map where all roads lead to one central destination. If your website is the hub of your business and the place you make your sales, this is how you need to look at your marketing. Everything you do in relation to it is in some way providing a navigational aid or incentive for your customer to find that all important focal point.
- Promote yourself offline: It might sound strange to start outside the digital sphere but this is an area that many businesses overlook. Do you have a business card? Include your website address. Do you have a hardcopy brochure or promotional gifts for events? Get your address on those too. And if you travel a lot and want to promote your business then spend a little a money on stick on advertising for your car or van or even your sales fleet. Sit down and make a list of all the places you can put your website address and you’ll soon find new and innovative ways to promote yourself.
- Article marketing that works: According to many a marketing executive, content is king. One of the benefits of finding other sites to post articles on is that you create a valuable link back to your site. Search engines like Google love high quality back links and enough of them can greatly increase your visibility online. The emphasis here is on quality, useful content. Gone are the days when it was wise to spread 100s of badly written spam blogs across the internet (that earns you a slap on the wrist from sites like Google). You need good quality, interesting content that people want to read.
- Sponsor a team or do something newsworthy: You don’t need a vast amount of money to sponsor a team. If your business is local then putting money back into a community team can give you a good deal of kudos as well as the opportunity to advertise your website. Good news stories come around just once in a while but if something newsworthy does happen involving your company then make sure you get a properly written press release out about it. You never know, it might just go viral.
- Spread the love and the knowledge: Those millions of web citizens out there generally don’t like to be preached or sold to. If you’re a big brand like Nike you can probably get away with it. For the rest of us it’s a question of being a little more altruistic. If you operate in a niche environment then build your content around providing valuable FREE knowledge for your potential customers. Provide something interesting and people will want to follow what you say and that, again, leads back to your website.
- Get to know your KOLs: Key opinion leaders are normally people like celebrities or academics who can help spread the word about your website. They are good because they come with a ready-made audience and people trust what they say. If you have a spare few thousand you can pay one of them to post your website url and sit back to reap the benefits. If, like most of us, you work on a more limited marketing budget, the good news is that KOLs don’t have to be famous. They can be fans of your product, service or brand. They might also be people who have a vested interest in your particular industry. Identify them, get to know them, and you could have a loyal brand ambassador who regularly sends traffic to your website.
- Spread your net wider on social media: The big push in marketing is how to leverage social media. Many businesses make the mistake of building a chaotic following and pumping their website details to them at every available opportunity. It’s the quickest way to turn your following off – the clue is in the name, it’s social with a capital S. That means you have to build a relevant following, engage with them and you have to listen and respond as much as talking yourself. Don’t stick to just one platform either, explore others to find out how you can best use them to drive traffic to your site and pick up prospects.
- Forget short keywords, explore long tail: When writing your content, articles and blog posts, many marketers will tell you to concentrate on a few, select keywords. The problem is that a lot of keyword marketing is overcrowded so that it is difficult to get noticed and appear on page one of Google or any other search engine. What may work better is if you go for long tail keywords. These are essentially three or four word expressions which will probably have a lot less enquiries because they are more specific. The up side is that they will bring highly relevant traffic to your site.
- Give them a reason to go back/make it the place to find out more: If you have nothing on your site that changes then the likelihood is that most visitors will not return once they have made that initial foray onto your pages. Create engaging content – develop a useful blog with prominent social sharing buttons, introduce a forum where users can log on and discuss the issues surrounding your product or service, run competitions on a regular basis; in fact build anything that generates interest and gets those visitors coming back for more.
- Grow a meaningful email list: Links from social media aren’t the only tool that works to drive visitors to your site. The humble email is still a great marketing tool and carefully crafted marketing messages or regular newsletters can draw people back to you. Make sure you keep track of your list or lists – they’re like gardens, they need cutting and pruning and replanting every so often if you want them to blossom. Provide a clear area of your website that allows interested visitors to sign up for email updates as well.
- Find the right #hashtags: They used to be confined to a small number of social media platforms like Twitter but you can now use them on practically everything from Facebook to Google and YouTube. Find the hashtags that are related to your business and use them in your social and written content. You’ll find that some work better than others but you will get more people interested in your content and, hopefully, more people heading for your website.
And finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. What works well for one business won’t necessarily work for you. It pays to try different things and track how they succeed or fail. If you are worried about giving yourself a bad reputation then set up a dummy account on social media platforms to try things out there or show your latest promotional video to a select number of (honest) friends before you post it on YouTube.
And just to show that we like to give you something with that value added extra – here’s a bonus tip. Make sure that your website is mobile ready. More and more of us are accessing the web via our smartphones nowadays and most templates out there have a mobile version that makes your site automatically easier to read. If it doesn’t there are plenty of widgets that can be downloaded for free to make it so, there really is no excuse.
I hope you’ve enjoy some of suggestions above.