Many organizations depend on a healthy online business model to survive. If you believe that your business can benefit from such a model, then you’ve likely considered online marketing.
Despite how tempting online marketing may seem, however, if you’re not careful about your execution, it could end in a poor return on investment.
We’ve worked with hundreds of clients over the years, most of which came to us for help with this specific issue. While each business is different, we’ve come up with some basic questions one can ask to take their first steps in marketing their website.
Question 1: Who is My Website For?
What kind of eyes do you want to see your website? Chances are, your business already has an idea of who this is, but further determining who you would like to see your content will subsequently decide where, how, and what you’re marketing. The more specific you can get, the better.
You should know if your ideal viewer, or target audience is a business owner. If so, what kind of business do they run? Other things to research include their pain points, geographic location, social media platform of choice, political leanings, professional network, online use frequency, and past purchases.
Question 2: How Will They Find Me?
Unless you have a very unique business, i.e. a Facebook Group or YouTube channel, you’ll likely want people to find your website. The concern from there, however, comes when considering how you want people to find your website.
Discover which platforms your audience regularly uses, and which search terms they commonly look for. Focus your click-through funnel on those terms and platforms. Optimize your site for those search terms, co-publish content on your site and social media pages, and become an active part of the online community of your targeted platform.
You can use this platform to discover more specific needs and pain points of your audience.
Is your audience on Facebook? Are they on LinkedIn? Do they frequent forums? Reddit? Do they frequently watch YouTube? Do they listen to Podcasts?
Question 3: Is My Website Catered to My Audience?
Your website needs to be built in a way that your target audience can understand. If they’re primarily looking for written content on your site, for example, then putting that on the front page would be more beneficial than hiding it in your drop-down menu or footer bar.
Catering your website goes beyond aesthetic design. You want to make sure that your site is optimized to be as easy to find in a search as possible.
Update your business name, address, phone number, and email across your website, Google Business, social media, Yelp, and any other site you can think of. It needs to be uniform.
Optimize your site’s metadata to include keywords that track well with your audience. Include keywords that your competition is regularly implementing as well. You want to make sure your site can be next to theirs in any search query.
Update old pages with new dates and links. Google de-prioritizes old content. Providing minor updates to your older site pages, such as new images, dates, and subtitles, go a long way into making it more search engine friendly.
Question 4: What Advertising are You Investing In?
If your business has a budget to invest in online advertising, they need to understand where to effectively put their investment.
You can’t just put ads on Google and call it a day.
Google is a great platform for advertising, but before investing in Google ads, you should perform research to see what kind of ad you’d like your audience to see. If your market is consumer-based, then Google is likely the way to go.
Of course, it’s never quite that simple, but Google is a buyer ready platform. People are usually searching for terms because they have specific problems they need to resolve.
If you’ve determined that your target audience doesn’t immediately need their problem resolved, or know of their problem to begin with, then Google wouldn’t be the best choice for advertising.
Email marketing, LinkedIn advertising, Website spot placement, or traditional boot-strapping techniques may be a better fit for your business.
We suggest determining the search volume for keywords relevant to what you’d like to advertise. If the volume seems low across Google, Bing, and even social media search engines like YouTube and LinkedIn, then you may want to consider a different advertising platform.
Note: Test each of these on international, national, and local levels before making any final decision.
This is the tip of the iceberg.
There are hundreds of tips and tricks that you can start implementing to market one’s business effectively over the Internet. For more tips, we recommend viewing other articles on our blog or contacting us directly for more information.
We hope this simple checklist can be another step in finding web success!