Musselwhite Marketing is an advocate of small business marketing! When integrated and implemented correctly, technology and social media can catapult the visibility of any entrepreneur or small business.
With an estimated 366,848,493+ websites in the world it shouldn’t be hard to believe that 97% of 1st time website visitors never return to your site. With so many websites competing for the attention of your customers and prospects, simply having a website will not guarantee you’ll make money or sales. With that being said, what are you doing to grow and attract more people to your website?
There is a lot of noise (shiny object distractions) on the internet as to what you should be doing with your website to increase traffic and online sales. Some of these are garbage and some are valuable, our focus here is a “Best Practices” approach.
To increase website traffic and ultimately sales online, your customers and prospects must be able to find you. You must grab and hold their attention; offer something of value to keep them on your site and reduce your bounce rates. Quickly establish a rapport and trust so that they take action on your compelling offer (ethical bribe). Tell them what to do next.
One of the internet guru’s we follow went “Old School” last year with a “Back to Basics” approach, Tell them (your prospects and customers) #1 Here’s what I’ve got; #2 What it will for them; and #3 What to do next. Far too often websites are too busy, too confusing, and too distracting. The formula really is as simple as “tell them what you’ve got and how they can get it”.
So, here’s a short elementary article on “How to Get Found” and “How to Convert Customers”!
How to get Found
A lot of folks we’ve talked to spent a lot money and/or time building their website(s) without doing any Keyword Research. Using the right keywords on your websites is a powerful strategy for successful traffic generation. If no one is searching for your keyword(s), you’re most likely not going to receive any traffic, especially in a competitive niche. Keyword research is an important strategy worth investing in and hiring an SEO expert with measurable demonstrated results to provide you with results too.
Search engines have changed their algorithms (a step-by-step process search engines use for finding an item with specified properties among a collection of items) to factor in how current and relevant your website CONTENT is. But what exactly is high quality content and how often should you be publishing content? First off, it pays dividends to sit down with your calendar and map out what you’re doing and when. We suggest that you post to your BLOG every two weeks (at a minimum) and post a quick video on the other “every two” weeks. Hold yourself accountable to these dates and post more often if possible.
If you’re like us, there are days when ideas just don’t flow as easily as we’d like them to. So the next time that happens, try this out. Let Google tell you what they consider to current and relevant. Go to Google Reader plug in a topic or keyword and check out the top to three articles jotting down a couple points (don’t plagiarize) from each article. Add a few sentences of your own opinions and/or experiences and you’re done. You’ve just created your very own relevant and current content! If you maintain your focus and discipline at the end of the year you’ll have 24 BLOG posts and 24 video posts which gradually establishes you in a position of authority with more visibility. Successful and savvy internet marketers publish their Blogs and videos on (lots of) other sites all over the web with links back to their site (when possible where possible). This simple strategy which produces higher rankings and increased traffic. Although this was a freebie, don’t overlook its importance.
Link Building is a process that creates inbound links to your website so that your website can be better indexed in major search engines, and attain a stronger Google ranking. Link building has become one of the major prerequisites of SEO strategy and online success. The greater number of quality back links ensures greater traffic to your website. Currently the more quality links you have pointing to your website, the more likely your search engine rankings will increase. Essentially, links attract traffic and if your (URL) links are on credible directories you will see increased traffic. Link building isn’t rocket science and is something you can do on your own but should be done as a continuous process. We’ve found that there is a formula to link building that works that doesn’t cause search engines to see this activity as just an anomaly. There are automated services for link building but as with all internet related services you must do your due diligence. Some of these automated link building services can cause more problems than benefits. Ultimately, patience and persistence are your key tools in link building. Though link building may seem daunting at first, you will eventually become well-versed in how to succeed, and your website will reap the rewards of a successful link building campaign.
How to Convert
If you could do one thing to dramatically improve your marketing ROI (return on investment), it would be to use a Landing Page on your website and to be clear, a landing page is not your “Home Page”. A landing page is typically a one-page website focused on nothing more than capturing leads and building your list (database)! Landing pages are strategically designed without all the distractions of your website to get visitors to either opt-in for something (ethical bribe/giveaway) or bounce (navigate away from you site). This may seem counter-intuitive but this is the first step in creating filters (some call your sales funnel) that produce more of your best customers automatically and an automated process it this level is exactly what you need and want.
If you’re not using a landing page you are missing a huge opportunity. A good landing page strategy increases the likelihood of converting traffic into leads. A good landing page has limited if any navigation (remember no distractions), delivers something of value (a report, white paper, chance to win, etc…), may include shared links to leverage marketing reach of your audience, is short (less friction) to increase conversion. Done correctly a landing page automates the process of generating a qualified lead without ever having to make a cold call, send postcards, etc… genius!
We could go on for days about the importance of using Video. Simply put, if you’re not using video, you’re losing potential customers. Think about this, Google is currently the worlds largest search engine. The 2nd largest search engine is YouTube, which is owned by Google. Implications aside, people like video. Videos convert visitors into customers.
The speed of the internet is changing at an ever-increasing rate. Just consider the amount of changes Google and Facebook made last year. To compete online today with any measure of success you need to stay on top of all the changes, new tools, new strategies, etc… while keeping the perspective it’s not what you like or want to see, it’s about your customers and prospects. So, a word of advice, investing in the talent to help you online can pay dividends.
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Charles & Linda Musselwhite owners of Musselwhite Marketing provide online and offline Marketing strategies and Tips from the mastermind groups, conferences and client applications they are involved with. We’d love to hear from you too!