Please repeat after me...
This. Isn't. Field of Dreams.
Websites. Do. Not. Work. That. Way.
Great! Now that we've got that out of the way, we can talk about why just having a website is NOT a marketing plan.
First of all, don't get me wrong, inbound marketing services are not for everyone. An inbound marketing campaign may or may not be right for your business, but EVERY business should be using at least a few inbound marketing tactics to increase traffic to their website, help convert traffic to leads, leads to customers and/or customers into promoters.
Far too often, businesses have a fancy website built with no game plan after that. The idea of 'If you build it, they will come' is not a reality in today's world. You could have the best website ever built, but if no one knows about it, it's doing you no good. It's time to think past the fancy widgets, chat pane, and font selections.
Let's take a look at some inbound marketing tactics that any business could (and should) be using to make their website more valuable and attract customers.
SEO is kind of a buzz word. Everyone's talking about it, but for some reason many businesses skip it. SEO, or search engine optimization, is very important to the success of your website because it is the practice of optimizing your content in order to show up (rank) in search results on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
SEO isn't a quick fix though - which may be one of the reasons why many business owners don't buy in. The process of conducting keyword research, incorporating those keywords into your content, waiting, and trying all over again to hit the mark can be daunting and time-consuming. SEO is a longterm solution to increase traffic on your website, but you'll need to do your research and be consistent about monitoring changes. It's a way to introduce strangers to your brand and website organically. If you're not investing in SEO, you're behind the game.
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2. Social Media
We've heard it many times, "we tried social media, it didn't work." Does that sound like you? One of the biggest problems with social media marketing is that many businesses jumped to it because it is "free" and their niece - or part time employee - or cousin - or kid's babysitter - or sister's friend's aunt's dog walker - is on social media all day so they must know what they're doing, right? Not exactly. the 1% Rule of internet culture is that 99% of people consume the content that only 1% of users create. So, while someone might seem like the perfect candidate to manage your social media because they spend every waking moment on six different platforms, that doesn't translate to an effective social media manager.
We see three major flaws in social media marketing:
- Treating it as less important
You'd never pass off your billboard design or radio spot to your niece, right? Then why would you pass off any other major piece of your marketing? Treating Social Media as a less important piece will only produce less impactful (or no) results.
- Treating it as only a sales outlet
Social media is not a place to shove your sales messaging down the throat of your followers. It's a place to be social, helpful, and start a relationship.
When it comes to social media, consistency is key. Too many businesses spread themselves too thin and try to be everything to everyone on social media - causing it to all fall off when they get busy. Choose just a couple networks that your target personas use the most and focus your efforts in that direction.
3. Pay-Per-Click Advertising
When you're launching a new website, it can take some time to start drawing in organic traffic to your website, which can leave you feeling like you're just spinning your wheels. Enter pay-per-click advertising.
Pay-per-click (PPC) is advertising through search engines. Most commonly, it is done through Google Ads. In its most common form, Google Ads are developed through search engine results pages (SERPs) by targeting specific keywords/phrases, then you're able to show up when your prospects are searching for you, your solution, or your product or service.
If you're looking to draw more traffic to your website, PPC is a great way to accomplish that quickly.
Blogging isn't just for beauty icons or travelers anymore. Blogging is an impactful way to spread your message, educate your visitors, provide value, and - maybe most importantly - draw new visitors to your website.
Blogging is a tool that every business should be taking advantage of. We recommend blogging at least once per week with engaging and educational content. All posts should be at least 500 words, but we recommend shooting for 1,000+ words per blog post. Download our blogging checklist below to see how to create blog posts that truly attract new visitors.
5. Downloadable Content
Just getting someone to your website is the first step. The next step is getting them to give you some type of valuable information. That can come in many forms, including newsletter signups and purchases, but the lowest barrier to entry is through downloadable content.
Downloadable content, such as eBooks, white papers, infographics, or checklists, provide the visitor with immense value and also provide the business with a small amount of visitor information in order to nurture those leads.
Don't fall into the trap of only focusing on getting as many people to your website as possible - there has to be a goal for what happens after they arrive. Make sure you're setting your website - and your business - up for success by incorporating these key inbound marketing tactics.