You want to get the most out of your online marketing. But where do you start? How do you know where to focus your time and money? We’ve outlined the process in these 7 steps:
Your first task toward marketing online: set up your website – the “hub” of your marketing activities. Make sure the design and content is up-to-date, reflects your brand, and clearly markets your services. A few basic tips:
Navigation. Is your menu simple and clear? Don’t make your visitors guess or labor to find the information they need. Keep important information at the forefront and include apparent calls to action.
Be personable. People are relational. They want to know there’s a real person behind your services and that they matter to you. Spend special attention on your “About” page. Share your experience, but most importantly what can people expect if they choose you as a service provider.
Value added content. Beyond your basic content, showcase your knowledge and ability to meet client’s needs with value added content. Think case studies, white papers, e-books, newsletter subscription, or a checklist. What do your clients regularly request or ask about? What type of value added content could answer these questions and meet these needs?
Critical information. Where do you put critical information such as disclaimers, licenses, physical address and phone number? Put your footer to work.
If you’re ready to move beyond the basics, check out this extensive website developer checklist.
2. Get local
Quite simply, local search allows people to find local services easily online.
When you register your business with Google, Bing, and Yahoo, you will appear closer to the top of search results in local searches. Your listing will also include information your clients need: address, map, phone number, photos and a description of your business and services.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of setting up your website and brand so that the search engines find it, know what services/products your offering and what areas your are offering them to, and identifies you as an authority in that industry/area.
There are extensive writings on the importance and value of blogging. Beyond sharing pertinent information to your readers, that can also be shared on social media platforms. It’s a cost-effective marketing tool with SEO benefits.
We use the blogging platform, WordPress, with great outcomes. WP Beginner is a storehouse of information for anyone new to setting up a WordPress blog. If you don’t have the time or interest to set up a blog, hire it out.
5. Social Media
Engaging on social media platforms is a solid method for networking, connecting with potential clients, and fostering relationships with existing clients. You don’t have to be on all social media platforms. Seriously study what platforms your clients are using and is best for your industry. Remember to drive followers back to your website for more information and calls to action.
Most importantly, social media for marketing is about creating relationships. Engage others in dialogue. Support others with comments and shares.
6. Capturing Leads
Establishing your web presence and gaining targeted traffic are important elements in your web marketing strategy, but you have to make sure that you’re benefiting from that traffic. How are you capturing leads before they leave?
The most effective method is to offer valuable content (white paper, eBook) as a “Free” download. In exchange for that content, your visitor (and prospective client) will provide you with their name and contact information.
This process can be set up using most of the commercial email marketing products – we prefer Aweber (affiliate link).
7. Following Up
Once you have a lead, be sure to continue to develop a relationship with them. Send regular, informative newsletters and create great content on your blog. Most email marketing software allows you to set up auto-responders – a chain of messages that will be sent out to your new leads automatically at pre-determined times.
What has been your most effective online marketing move?
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