These days you need to do more than just have a static website to promote your business. Here I explore some essential website marketing tools and tips to drive traffic to your site & increase your sales conversion ratio.
In June 2006, Matt Mullenweg launched WordPress: the open source website development and publishing platform. Little over a decade later it has become the website CMS of choice, used by 28% of all website managers globally. In making it open-source, Matt showed remarkable marketing foresight calculating correctly that the advantages of the system would attract like minded developers, co-promoters and brand ambassadors.
WordPress is free, relatively easy to use and there are literally thousands of “themes” or design templates to choose from
There are also lots of handy tools or “plug-ins” to add that make managing your website simplicity itself.
So, I’ll assume as a SME you have, or soon will have, a shiny new website. Now what are you going to do with it? It’s a bit like your first car purchase, you love the fresh polished showroom look and don’t ever want to get it dirty. But you didn’t buy it just to park it in your garage, right? Yet that’s effectively what many website owners do failing to integrate the site it into their business marketing strategy. This article will show you:
6 ways you can promote your website and utilize it as a vehicle to drive web traffic and business growth
Step #1 – Market test your website
Before launching and promoting your website to the world, it is worth checking that your website is fully functional and user friendly. Test it out by inviting trusted friends to visit the site and give you critical feedback. If necessary, ask them to fill in a questionnaire using Survey Monkey. In this way you will be able to determine if critical feedback is just one person’s opinion or the informed view of many.
What should you be looking for? What do they think of the overall design? How does the content read to them? Is the tone right? Can they easily navigate their way around the site? Is anything missing? Remember, web designers tend to focus on design rather than content, on features, rather than customer experience and utilize stock, web sourced images rather than shooting photographs unique to your business.
It’s easy to end up with a wonderful looking site only to discover down the line that you’re driving a Mondeo. Don’t be afraid to be different!
Step #2 – SEO the race for speed
When it comes to websites, speed is of the essence. A 2016 study on page loading times suggested that a 1 second delay in page loading could lead to 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction. Viewer attention spans have dropped to an average of just 12 seconds, so time spent waiting for your site to load may reduce time customers spent on the site. With good SEO your site will be more Maserati than Mondeo.
So let’s begin by checking your site loading time. Just because your site loads quickly on your computer doesn’t mean it will on everyone else’s. Check from an independent source such as Pingdom. Anything over 3 seconds is problematic, while under 2 seconds is ideal. You’ll also be able to read a report highlighting areas you need to address to speed up site loading time.
What if your loading time is seven seconds? Well, as Corporal Jones would say, “Don’t panic!”
There are generally 3 issues you can fix quickly. These are: graphics; website caching and coding.
Step #3 – Create compress & cache
Photographs and graphic images take up the biggest part of your page size when requested. Often photographs have been saved at too high a resolution for website viewing. Another common mistake is that they’ve been saved at the right resolution but are being resized on the page rather than installed at the right size. These are small matters and easily fixed once identified. You can use a programme such as TinyPing to further compress your images before uploading them to your site.
WordPress pages are “dynamic,” meaning they’re built on the fly every time someone visits a page on your website. To construct a page, WordPress has first to request it, then process the received information, build a unitary page and finally display it. However, you can address this by utilizing a caching tool like WP Super Cache. This will save the last version of the page or cache from the first request, to serve to each subsequent visitor, thus reducing loading time.
Once running, cache loading should speed up page loading time by 2X to 5X
I know very little about coding, but fortunately you don’t have to either, to fix some common problems.
Step #4 – New content attracts visitors
You remember that new car I mentioned at the start of this article? Well, it’s nearly time to take it out of the garage and go for a spin. But just before you do, remember that on longer journeys you may need to stop to refuel! It’s just the same with your website, every so often you need to add new content. The best way to do this is by publishing a blog or news section. In fact, a business with a blog will receive 7 times as much traffic as one without.
A business with a blog will receive 7 times as much traffic as one without
So what at are you going to blog about? Tell your customers about why you started your business. What motivated you and what you are passionate about. Remember, for sole traders and SMEs, in many ways you are the brand. Write about new products or promotions and invite your reader and customers to give you feedback. If you provide a professional service, why not blog about tips and tools your customers can use to use to make their lives easier. We are all on the same journey after all, just traveling in different cars!
Step #5– Use social media to drive traffic
The rise of social media has transformed marketing, creating new opportunities for customer interaction and the relatively new field of digital marketing. Indeed, many SMEs have a business Facebook page but no website. I believe this is short sighted. You own a website and over time it will become as valuable a resource to you as a bricks and mortar site. It therefore is worth investing in to maximise your competitive advantage.
You own a website and over time it will become as valuable a resource to you as a bricks and mortar site
Use your social media to drive traffic to the website, to promote your blog and to engage in two way conversation with your customers. Facebook is particularly good for B2C marketing and its advertising features lend themselves to sales promotion. You should combine it with other marketing campaigns to reinforce the brand.
LinkedIn is a professional networking social media that’s better suited to B2B marketing. Together with Twitter, these have the greatest number of subscribers in Britain and Ireland. My advice would be to focus on no more than 2 or 3 media that match your customers’ profile, rather than spread yourself too thin. Ensure that the social media icons are prominently placed on your website and particularly in your blogs for easy sharing purposes.
Step #6 – Using search engines to rank locally
When you are ready to launch your website, make sure you promote it across the web. Register your site with key search engines. A quick way to do this, is with Entire Web which will notify multiple search engines for you. Remember too, that when you publish each new blog posting you should use Entire Web to notify the search engines of fresh content. Do this by submitting your blog URL, in my case linengreenmarketing.com/blog
Think about promoting yourself locally. You can do this on the web with online directories like:
Google My Business
Each offer additional paid for premium services but the basic registration is free and very effective.
You can very quickly achieve a good ranking on local searches
There are many more but I’m in danger of developing repetitive strain injury. If you follow the above simple steps you will soon be driving traffic to your website.