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This is part two of a 2-part article. It is better to read the first part, then this part, so as to get the whole picture. If you have not read the first part, here is the link – How to Promote A Business Online? – Start with One-Time Tasks – Part Six A
Driving traffic to your business website alone is not enough. You mustn’t be a passive participant who waits for people to contact you and purchase your product and/or service.
You need to take control of the communication process by adding a lead capture system to your business website.
A lead capture system enables you to have the opportunity to acquire the names and contact information of those who visit your business website. You know what this means, right? Now, you can capture information of potential customers, build it into a database, and market your products and/or services to them!
Effectively, you have created a database of sales leads. This is something tangible to work from to get more sales. I am sure you can see the value of having a lead capture system by now.
A lead capture system comprises an opt-in online form on a web page where visitors can enter a name and an email address in exchange for more information; for example a free report, free audio, free online video or free eBook. Sometimes it is simply to subscribe for e-newsletter to be updated on latest news of a product or service.
Some lead capture systems may ask for more details such as a mailing address and/or a phone number. When setting up a lead capture system, try to refrain from asking the visitor to provide too much information. It will turn people off, and reduce the likelihood of them completing the sign-up form, or worse they won’t submit it.
Those who visit your business website, and opted in to be on your email list have actually indicated to you that they are interested in your products and/or services. You can be confident that these leads will mostly likely be your future customers.
After setting up the lead capture system on your business website, you need to nurture the leads that eventually end up in your database. You must keep regular contact with these people, and you can do this by sending them newsletters regularly, keep them updated on new sales and offerings, make them feel special by offering unique deals only for those who are in your email list (a good way to generate business when sales is slow).
The entire lead capture system requires not just an opt-in form. As part of an entire process, you need to do some of the items mentioned in the 6 Things You Should Be Doing chapter. For one, you need to have autoresponders in place. This is so that when people sign up, the autoresponder will automatically send them a greeting, a welcome email to acknowledge their inclusion in your email list.
In that same welcome email, take the opportunity to introduce a little more about your products and/or services. Over time, with regular e-newsletters, you can feed more information about your products and/or services so as to encourage them to make a purchase.
As you build your email list, and market your products and/or services to them regularly, with useful information, you will enjoy the power of a larger customer base, and be able to generate cash on demand.
Most large businesses recognize the value of email lists. And lately, more and more small and medium businesses are beginning to realize the benefits of having an email list, too. Here are the advantages to having an email list:
Without a lead capture system, visitors to your business website may just leave without buying anything, and they may be gone for good, too. At least, with a lead capture system, you will still be able to maintain contact with them. This way, you have lots of opportunities to sell your products and services to that visitor in the future.
Your existing customers should be on your email list. If they are not, you should make sure they are. Then have some form of indication in your database to show that they are your existing customers. Every now and then, create special offers and promotions to your loyal customers, to induce further sales.
With an email list, you can write to them and ask for referrals. Chances are you will most probably get it.
People love specials, deals, offers and sales. So when the time is right, send these out to your email list. It is known that during festive season, people are more in a buying mood. And sales usually go up during these times. So take note of all festive seasons, where you are at, and send out that holiday special in a timely fashion.
Communicate regularly to your email list, especially with useful information that positions you as an expert in the field. Again, building a brand and image creates trust. And with trust, people are more willing to buy from you.
As you can see, effective use of your email list can help your business to thrive, and you will be able to see growth in your sales.
Strong branding can establish you as a trusted expert in that field, in your local market. Figure out the kind of feel you would like your website, and all other online property where you have a presence, to have. They should reflect who you are, and what your brand is.
By tapping into the unique resources the Internet has to offer, you can have strong branding. You can increase traffic to your business website, and create more buying customers, too.
Today, the people who surf the Internet are a sophisticated audience. Compared to the past, they are savvy, and wary of things marketers throw at them. Most will conduct some form of research before making purchases. Their attention spans are relatively short, and they make quick decisions.
More and more of them are comfortable with buying things online, especially the younger generation. Of course, often they buy from brands they trust. When they come across your business website, you would want that trust from them, or at least build that trust with them.
As such, you must show them who you are, what your company is all about, your commitment to service, and most importantly, your trustworthiness.
The right and accurate content on your business website can help you build that trust, and your brand. It can reassure these people that you are able to offer them the right products and services with good quality.
These days, especially with the advent of social media, people want to get up close and personal with businesses. You should do the same. Get to know the people who are interested in your products and/or services. Engage them, and let them know who they are doing business with.
Unless the field in which your business is in requires it, try to stay away from the ‘stuffy’ corporate type of website or any online presence that you have. Some tweaks to your business website can give that impression, and help increase sales for you.
Here are some of the things that you can include on your business website to help you create that special personal touch:
As mentioned earlier, you and your business need to be perceived as friendly, not stuffy. Take some time to invest in personal branding. You will discover that it is worth it as it will attract more and more buying customers. Also, you can gain the trust you needed to be successful in the online marketplace.
I hope you enjoyed this article? Do write a comment to let me know if you? Or if there is a particular topic you would like me to share, feel free to suggest it. Also, if you have not done so, please do subscribe to my newsletter for updates. More good things coming soon. I promise.
Now that you have created your simple digital marketing plan, the entire project may seem rather daunting. Do not feel overwhelmed. There is a way to approach this that will make you feel at ease.
Take a good look at the list of digital marketing tasks. Many of the items on that list are important and can make a difference to your digital marketing strategy. Some are ongoing tasks, and some are just one-time tasks.
Start with these one-time tasks:
1. Identify and find your ideal customers.
2. Do detailed keyword research.
3. Do onsite Search Engine Optimization updates.
4. Add a lead capture system to your business website.
5. Complete personal branding changes.
These tasks are the foundation of your digital marketing plan. They are essential for increasing your online presence. Without them, many of your other digital marketing strategies may fail.
Similarly, they must work together with your other digital marketing strategies. If you only do these tasks, there is no guarantee your business website will rise to the top of search results, or even on the first page of it.
So it is very important for you to take note that you cannot simply do only these one-time tasks, and then stop. You need to do the other tasks, too. To help you and to make sure you do that, set yourself a deadline for the completion of these tasks. Then once all have been completed, move on to the other digital marketing tasks.
In the previous chapter, Your Simple Digital Marketing Plan, we discussed about this. All you have to do is to sit down, and think of who your target audience is. Consider the following:
These are just some examples of questions that can help you identify and find your ideal customers. Feel free to add more questions that can help you achieve that.
Carrying out detailed keyword research goes hand in hand with identifying and finding your ideal customers. After discovering who your ideal customers are, you need to find them, lead them to your business website, and successfully convert them into actual paying clients.
Remember, they are prospects until they buy your product and/or service. Then they become your actual customer.
Detailed keyword research is typically a one-time task that should be done at the beginning of your digital marketing campaign. I say ‘typically’ because there are sites that require ongoing keyword research. For example, an ECommerce site that is always adding new products will require keyword research for every new product.
But for most, this can be a one-time task. My advice is to delegate this to a keyword research specialist for they are very good at this job, and can yield extremely effective results.
In the past, you may have been stumbling around in the dark, wondering what your potential clients are searching for and what words and phrases they use in search when they look for similar products and/or services like what you have to offer. Keyword research is like turning on the light.
When you do keyword research, you will no longer guess, but you will know exactly what words and phrases people use when they look for products and/or services like your products and/or services.
Fortunately, this is a task that needs to be done once. It is repeated only when you have a new line of products or services to offer, or when you open a new division of your company. You get the gist, basically when your products and/or services are affected by changes.
To find out what are the keywords that people use to find products, services or businesses in your field, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
Ask yourself these questions:
Some people are motivated by certain factors to search for a particular product or service, and it can come through in their search by using specific words such as ’24 hour’.
Here are some examples for your three considerations:
“Plumber”, “plumbing contractor”, etc.
“plumber Singapore”, “plumber Kowloon”, “plumber Budapest”, etc.
“emergency plumber Taipei”, “24 hour plumber”, etc.
A keyword research tool can be very useful, and you should employ it as a critical part of your keyword research. There are many such tools available in the market.
There is a free tool that is of great help as it can also generate keyword ideas for you as well as synonyms is Google’s Keyword Tool (external). It also cross references your keywords with geographic modifiers. This becomes very useful and effective in getting your business website ranked for strong keywords.
Alternatively, consider hiring a digital marketing firm to do it all for you. Besides building a list of long-tail keywords, your digital marketing expert can help you find out which specific keywords are most valuable. Plus, they can also gather intelligence on keywords that your competitors are using.
It is always good to keep records of everything you do. Archiving allows you access to past efforts or even use data for current or future projects. This is why it is wise to keep a tab on all the keywords that you discover. Also, it will reduce the need to repeat any keyword search.
The keywords will become very valuable to you. They can be used in every aspect of your digital marketing. This research that is done one-time and in the beginning, about your ideal client and what he or she searches, will be used in all your online content. You can use the keywords for the following:
Use a couple or more keywords from your keyword list every month. Just by simply adding one or more traffic methods to your existing traffic generating strategies can produce significant results.
This is a one-time activity that will that will transform your business website significantly. Your site will be changed from its current state to a search engine-optimized version that will be very attractive to web crawlers.
It is a very important step that gets your business website ranked as high as possible in search engine results. Many website owners are not aware that while some features on a website may look aesthetically pleasing, they may not be appealing to a search engine. In fact, some of these fancy programming can be detrimental as they can produce negative results from search engines.
First of all, you must analyze your current business website. Check the following items:
These days, more and more people surf the Internet on their mobile phones. The small screen on a mobile phone does present some problems with viewing the content of a website. To meet this need, many websites are now done with responsive web design.
This is a form of design that provides optimal viewing experience for the user. Websites with responsive web design adapts the layout according to the device used. As such, here is one more item for your checklist:
Is your website with responsive web design?
Over the years, when we did audits of many a website, we did discover many critical components missing. It is quite disappointing to find some web creators not providing their best for their clients, or perhaps they too are not aware of these critical components. Nevertheless, do know that these components are essential for the success of your business website.
They will make your business website appealing not only to visitors but also search engines. Go through this list and make sure all are in place. If not, include them immediately for the best results.
A website that is easy to use will encourage your visitor to stay a little longer and explore the site. Keep the navigation straightforward; for example, clear menu options that are always displayed at the same location on every web page.
Not everyone will bother to scroll down, go to a next page, or click on a link to another page unless you made it so enticing for them to from the home page. So it is best to place all the important information on the home page for the visitor.
It is frustrating to visitors and search engines when a link is broken. Make sure all links are working well at all times.
Do ensure that, at the very least, all these pages exist on your business website, and filled with useful and timely content.
Once you captured your visitor’s attention, lead them to where you want them to go on your site. Do this in order to eventually have them make a purchase.
Be specific with any instructions on any page on your business website.
Encourage your visitors to take action throughout your site. Of course, do it elegantly. Don’t be loud, or scream at your audience, or be tacky. Use motivating words like ‘Call now’, ‘Buy now’, etc.
Pictures should match the content. Better if it provides explanation of the content. After all, a picture tells a thousand words. Using pictures correctly includes proper sizing of pictures as well as captions for it.
The design should not distract the visitor from the content, unless the design is the content. For example, do not use animated background that is too distracting. Also, keep the fonts simple and standard. Do not use funny looking fonts, try to avoid italics, and preferably do not underline any text.
Studies have found that people find it easy to read when the text is dark and the background is of a light color. Keep that in mind, and make it standard on your business website.
A contact number and/or email address should be available on every page, discreetly and elegantly positioned at the same area. This makes it easy for the visitor should he or she decides to contact you.
Your business website is the best place to showcase your trust certificates and awards. If possible, find a way to highlight this on your home page. If not, have at least a link to web page that features these.
Nowadays, testimonials are displayed on the home page, especially websites with responsive web design. Some even make the testimonials displayed using a slideshow. Testimonials are a great way to build trust for your brand. When visitors see what others have to say about your brand, they feel confident to do business with you.
As discussed in Your Simple Digital Marketing Plan chapter, a strong brand is a valuable asset. Besides a logo and a slogan, there are many other elements that make up your brand.
For example, in your About Us section of your website, pictures of you, the management, and your staff communicates who you are, as a brand, to your audience. Other forms of communicating your brand include branding vehicles, online videos, audios, social media, and many more.
I have said it before, and I will say it again for I believe repetition to be a good learning style. You must take the time and effort to do keyword research. This is so that your keywords are optimized properly.
Using good keywords is a huge plus for search engines. For example, one way of using your keywords is to have them in your business website with title tags, meta tags, the URL, the headers and description of a web page.
Also, ensure that all the text on your business website is search engine-optimized with strategic use of keywords. At the same time, beware of duplicate content. This can have detrimental effect on search results of your website.
Search engines love it when websites contain content that has relevance to the main subject of the website. You can create relevancy by starting broad, and then drilling down within themes. Tip: Always optimize for one keyword per page. Don’t do it for multiple keywords per page.
These do not add any value to your business website, especially when optimizing for search engines.
By now, with the implementation of the above critical components, your business website should naturally move closer to the top of search engine results.
But a word of caution here. Do not just rely on this alone.
You need to also implement the other tasks in your digital marketing plan; for example, maintaining a blog, regular updates on social networks, implementing other Web 2.0 applications, submitting articles with links back to your site in order to increase traffic, building quality one-way links, etc.
There are two more one-time tasks to discuss, and it will be in the second part of this article. It is in two parts because having all the information in one part is too long, and I have had feedback that it is too much to read at one go.
So do stay tuned for the next part coming soon – How To Promote A Business Online? – Start With One-Time Tasks – Part Six-B
Meantime, I hope you enjoyed this article? Do write a comment to let me know if you? Or if there is a particular topic you would like me to share, feel free to suggest it. Also, if you have not done so, please do subscribe to my newsletter for updates. More good things coming soon. I promise.