Website Marketing, (Ep. 05)
Websites allow for potential customers and clients to gather all the information they need about your business and services all in one place. The actions that they carry out on your website contribute directly to business growth.
Website marketing is promoting your website to those who your service or products will be of interest to, so that you can drive traffic to your website. When you plan your website marketing you will create a strategy and select what you want this strategy to achieve. Generally, the main objective is to rank highly in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). The areas of focus in this strategy to reach this objective will be:
- Content marketing
- Social media engagement
- Email marketing
- Paid Advertising
Through using your research and understanding your buyer personas, you can understand your customer and therefore predict their need for your services and the pathways that will lead them to your website. For example, you know that your client needs your product, they will search for the product on a search engine using keywords that are associated with the product and their need; this can then potentially lead them to your website listing which will draw them to your website for them to see your product offering with the intention of making a purchase. This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) becomes essential.
Search Engine Optimisation
When you choose to use key and trending words and phrases that your customer is likely to search for, then you are sending a sort of signal to a search engines algorithm to let it know how useful your site is to the person searching.
When choosing these key and trending words/phrases and while creating your website for that matter, it is important to keep a few things in mind. For example:
- You should take into account whether engines can index the content on your website and website listings, and how easy it is for them to do so.
- You should also ensure that your content in fact solves the queries or problems a searcher may be looking for.
- Remember that attracting searchers through the use of keywords also allows search engines to identity them.
- You should also make sure that your website has an optimised user experience by making it easy to use, attractive on all devices and easy to load.
Furthermore, make sure your content is relevant and of high quality, you can increase your audience range through sharing and future reference/citations to your work. You should also make sure that any descriptions are clear, succinct and relevant.
-Don't forget to pay attention to your use of section titles on your website and those of the landing pages and make sure your URL contains keywords relating to the content of the page that your customers/clients are searching for.
-It is also important to think about your customer's needs and ensure you serve these by pointing them in the right direction by using keywords and phrases that address them. You are basically signposting both to the algorithm and to the searcher that your website has the answers.
Another way to market your website is by promoting it within your emails. Hundreds of email are received and sent each day to one person, you can use your outgoing emails to draw traffic to your website but you need to stand out from the rest. A key way to do this is by having an attractive image-based email signature that includes your name, title, company name, and a link to your website and social handles.
Your Website Marketing Strategy
Audit Your Website
Do an audit of your website based on everything we’ve spoken about so far. Are you utilising every opportunity to promote your website and draw searchers in? Are you making the most of SEO so that you rank higher on search engines and are easily indexed by the engine’s algorithm? It‘a when you’re conducting your website audit and analysing your website that your website insights become highly valuable. This data is then used to form decisions about what improvements are needed. For example, if there is a particular page that visitors land on, but then it has a low stay duration, perhaps that page is not serving the customer’s needs.
This links to content quality also - your content may answer the question, but if it is hard to read, does not flow, or uses too much jargon without explanations, then your audience will leave your site frustrated and unfulfilled, and therefore search for alternative sites to meet their needs.
Google Analytics is a great tool for gathering data around your website in order to inform your marketing decisions.
2. Customer Pathway
You also need to consider your customer’s journey.
Firstly, think about how they are arriving at your website? Is it through a link on social media, through email marketing? Through an ad campaign on Google or social platforms? Are they coming through a link from a blog, for example?
Then identify the possible routes they need to take once on your website to find what they are looking for or to complete a transaction if they are there to buy your products. Think about the buyer persona’s that we identified in the previous episode.
Depending on the complexity or variety of what you offer your audience, you may have an extensive number of pathways that they will take within your website. The key points to consider is how easy it is to move between the different pages, whether you have a link to a site map on the page to ease the locating of specific pages, is your content easy to understand, is it readily available or do they have to click through four other pages?
When looking at all of this the best practice is to keep the journey short and sweet. Make information easy to find. Make your products easily purchasable. Show that you value your customer or client enough to make their life easier when searching for products, services and information.
You want to make your user’s experience one that encourages them to stay on your website out of choice, not out of frustration.
3. Multi-Device Accessibility
You’ll need to make sure that the design and practical working of your website are suitable for the different devices that your audience will be using to access it. When you are using templates from hosts such as BigCommerce, they offer views and the ability to edit the aesthetics of your website to suit the various devices.
4. Content - Create a content strategy
Creating a content strategy is to plan content that will help you to achieve your business goals and objective. Only through engaging with your audience in a strategic manner will they perform the actions that you require.
Successful content will not only attract people to your accounts or website, but also keep them interested along their “customer or buyer journey”
We will go into content strategy & Creation in a later episode but I want to just go through the few key things to keep in mind when planning and creating the content you will use on your digital marketing platform.
When doing so, you need to consider:
Who is your content for?
Who are your audience?
What do they want?
What are they searching for? What problem are you going to solve?
What questions will you be answering?
Which platforms are they on?
Which formats of content?
You need to plan a variety of content in order to appeal to a wide audience, but you’ll also need to gather insights into which content types your existing or target audience already show they prefer to engage with.
Think about what makes you different and unique.
There’s so much virtual noise and content today that you need to be heard and seen through. Think about what things make you special, or are your unique points, and utilise this within your content strategy.
How are you going to manage, produce and schedule this content?
Think about what tools you will use, the time you’ll spend and so on. All of this matters both for your social media, and your website. Your website should provide the uttermost value for your audience.
5. Continuous development
Continuously analyse both your and your competitor’s websites to ensure that your website itself and your content are relevant and up-to-date.
Keep analysing the data provided by your insights and use this to make changes and continuously develop your website,
Paid advertising is an essential tool for getting your audience to your website and should form a really important part of your website marketing strategy.
One type of advertising is Pay-Per-Click (or PPC) advertising which is a model of paid advertising that is part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
With pay-per-click advertising you only pay for the ad if it gains interactions, so for example, if your ad doesn't get any clicks, you don’t pay (or in rare cases, there might be a minimum payment). But if 12 people click on your ad, you pay for those 12 clicks. The price will be rated on a price-per-click. So each click, for example, might cost you 0.70p. If 100 people click on your ad, then at the rate of 70p a click, you’ll pay £70.00 in ad cost.
If these ads are used with search engines such as Google or Bing, they are the ads that appear at the top of your screen before the rest of the rankings of results. Only a certain amount of websites appear on the first page of search engine results and so these paid advertisements are utilised by businesses to attract the attention of searchers since their business might not make it onto the first results page of the search engine.
Since the use of keywords has become more and more competitive, Pay-per-click advertising, although it can be expensive, can give chances to websites that don’t make it into the top ranking and therefore can't reach their target audience. You can also do this on social platforms too.
But don’t abandon your SEO efforts if your strategy is to go down the Paid advertising route. They go hand in hand and each technique complements the other.
TOP TIP: Your website marketing strategy needs to be well rounded. Paid ads are not the one and only answer, you also need to perfect all of the other methods we have discussed in this episode as much as you can.
A well-formulated and marketed website demonstrates to your customer the value that you are going to provide them.
Why not listen to our podcast series Digital Marketing, The Fundamentals to learn all things digital marketing.