How Good Is Your Website Marketing?
Most business owners I have been talking with have stated to me that their sales numbers have been down a lot during the last few years. The recession is hitting everyone pretty hard. I recently read a report that stated sales are down between 25 to 50% in the Waterloo Region for most industries. People seem to not have as much disposable income as they used to. Another statistic I came across recently stated that 17% of Canadians are dipping into their savings to make their monthly mortgage payments. As a result, more business owners are turning to website marketing to reach out within their communities.
Everyone's trying different website marketing techniques. Some of the traditional advertising methods don't seem to be enough now-a-days. The business owner of today needs to look into many different advertising options. Website marketing incorporates many smaller components. There are a lot of things to consider in this field, such as all the social media platforms, online business listings, and of course even the traditional print advertising as well.
In regards to what you can do with your website, there's probably plenty of room to add more content. The search engines love to index website content. The more you have, the more chances there are of potential clients finding you. Here's a list of things you can do for your website marketing, to grow your online presence and make your site more interesting:
- Have a professional copywriter create the content for your website pages. They can write the text for you in a more marketable way.
- Add more products and pictures. Your website can have separate pages for each type of product and/or service. Each section can have dozens of sub-pages. Each product/service can have multiple pictures and a detailed write-up.
- Add a blog to your website and write an article at least once per week. The article should be informative and not try to sell anything. You want to establish a trust relationship with readers by providing free information and advice regarding your industry.
- Add a newsletter to your site. Quarterly to monthly works well.
- Add social media to your website marketing endeavours and link those social media sites and your website together. There are a lot of them out there and they all have slightly different purposes to them. Some of them should be used every few hours (Twitter), while others can be used every few days (LinkedIn). Here's a list of some of the most popular ones:
- Google.com (Google+)
- Ensure that your website address is listed on all your marketing material, including:
- business cards, letterheads, envelopes and other stationary
- promotional items you give away, such as pens, keychains, hats, etc.
- state your website address on your answering machine
- vehicle lettering
- email signatures
- online signatures in forums
- name tag to be worn while at business networking functions
- any electronic products you may distribute or display, such as powerpoint presentations, ebooks or videos
- clothing you may wear, sell or give away, such as hats, shirts, jackets
- business Christmas cards, thank you cards, or other correspondence
In regards to your website traffic, have you checked out your statistics on Google Analytics? Do you know how? Is your website integrated with a Google Analytics account? There are two main points which you should concentrate on to improve your website marketing. The first is to increase the number of visitors to the site. The second one is to get them to become more involved. The more involved they are, the more their trust in your establishment grows. That will ultimately lead to more sales.
If you want to get more people to your site, getting involved with social media and blog writing will help.
In order to get visitors to the site to interact with you more, there are a number of things you can do, such as adding forms to fill out. These could be for polls, collecting visitor information, entering a contest, etc. Provide a free gift or enter them into a draw for a prize in return for them completing a form. That will provide the incentive. Make sure to collect their full name and email address at the very least.
Once you have collected a number of people's contact information, you can do all kinds of additional website marketing and traditional marketing, such as sending out newsletters (either in paper form or via email), sending promotions, coupons, mailers, industry news, etc.
You can also create online promotions. For example, you can provide a link in your Twitter account to a page on your website, where visitors can print out a coupon to bring into the store. The coupon would only be available via Twitter. You can do the same with all your communication avenues, including all the different social media sites, your website, your newsletter, your blog, and so on. This provides you with valuable feedback, as you can see which website marketing efforts bring the greatest returns.
Outsource Or Do It Yourself?
There are a ton of things which can be done to improve your website marketing. Realistically though it means spending a lot of time. It will also mean spending money too if you can't do it all yourself. You can get setup with copywriters, social media advisors and online marketers if you want. You could have an entire marketing team assembled who all work towards promoting your website, and ultimately your business. Of course it will come down to how much time and money you want to spend on such an endeavour. Once you start looking around at what such marketing efforts can cost, you'll realize that it's not uncommon for even a small business to easily spend thousands of dollars. Even then, just like with all marketing efforts, results can never be guaranteed.
Just remember that you can have someone setup the systems for you, but you will have to use them. That means you will have to write the newsletters, blogs and social media entries. That's where your time will need to be spent. Alternatively, there are services where you can pay someone to do so for you. They can get to be expensive quite quickly though, and they may not portray your company the way you would like them to.