Many small business owners have had their websites up and running for a long time. More recently though, small business owners are starting to revisit their websites and ask, “What has my website done for my business lately?” For many the answer is “not much” and that’s because they really haven’t done much to keep it up over the years.
Times have changed and if small business owners aren’t tending to their website garden, weeds will take over and it won’t be much use to their business and driving new customers. Below are a few ideas I picked up at the MIMA Summit which, if implemented, can help small business owners start to see a solid ROI on their web marketing efforts.
1. Static websites are dead. The days of building a web site, filling it with content and waiting for Google to reward you with a first page ranking are gone. More than ever, companies need to do a better job of putting out steady stream of fresh, relevant content if they want to get people to find and engage them online.
2. It’s not about the platform, it’s about the message. Many companies are spending a lot of time focusing on which new platforms they should be launching instead of focusing on how to produce better content. Launching a new platform like Facebook, Twitter or others with the same content strategy you are using now will not yield any better results in the form of visitors, leads and sales. Companies who are trying to get more traffic and leads online should review and improve their content strategy and focus on better content before they start launching new platforms.
3. Every content plan should start with keyword research. The problem with most website content is that it was written without any relevant keywords in mind. Before writing content for any page on your site or any other platform for that matter, conduct thorough keyword research to determine what keywords your prospects are using to search for what you are selling. Incorporate these keywords in your content and in the title whenever possible.
4. The #1 source of influence when making a purchase is people we know. This definitely makes a case for developing a solid social media strategy for your business. As I mentioned above, the message is still the most important part of any social media strategy. The best thing to do on your social media platforms is to engage your audience so in addition to publishing great content, add in questions, surveys, photos, videos and other interactive content to get and keep your audience interested and coming back.
5. Don’t miss out on the opportunity with Google Universal Search. Google has been adding images, videos, local search results, and news results to their SERPs for awhile now. This is a great opportunity for companies to start showing up in the search results for keywords where they were having trouble ranking and also to start taking over more of the first page real estate. If your site is ranking reasonably well for particular keyword and you also have a video or image, and a news story appearing on that page, you just increased your chances of getting a visitor and you made it more difficult for people to see your competition. Remember to use good SEO and digital asset optimization best practices when posting your videos, photos, articles and other media so they will have a good chance of showing up on the first page.
As Internet marketing becomes more competitive, business owners can no longer take the “launch and leave” approach to their website. It’s important to stay active, have a plan and stick to it if you want to grow a steady stream of new customers from your website. The 5 ideas I’ve shared in this post are a great place to start if you are one of the small business owners who is painfully aware that your website isn’t driving any business and you’re asking “what now?” Keep in mind, content before platform, keyword research before anything and remember, your prospects and customers are social so meet them where they live online.
If you don’t have the time to manage this process but you really want to start seeing the results, our TopRank for Small Business solutions may be a perfect fit.
This guest post is from our newest Online Marketing Account Manager, Ken Horst.