Marketing-The Never Ending Story

Posted on Monday, December 6th, 2010 by nancy.

This post is in response to a number of conversations with business people who ask about changes to their website.

Usually the conversation goes like this. “Can you take a look at my website? I want to increase the traffic. I don’t seem to be getting many people to the site and don’t get any business from it.”

I look at the site, get back to them with suggested changes and additions, and talk about what it takes to drive traffic and sales on the web.

They consider the proposal and say to go ahead. They also ask, “So is that all I have to do? After that will I be done?”

Then the resistance factor takes over. Websites are something they don’t understand, think they cannot manage by themselves, but know they need, and consider just another expense. It’s like having a tooth pulled…they just want to get it over with.

They  ask, “Why doesn’t my website easily attract buyers like other websites do?

The assumption that other websites attract buyers without work is easy to make when no research is done into whether they are using social media marketing, the number of incoming links to the website, the lucky break they got when an online or offline influencer mentioned their products, the fact that they have been selling online for years,

There is so much hype from people that have something to sell that will “revolutionize your business” or “allow you to make money easily without working for it”. They will either imply or tell you directly that with their system you put up a site and immediately start raking in the money, the leads, the sales. It rarely happens that way.

BUT do you want to depend on luck? It may take awhile for your site to be indexed by the search engines and even longer for people to search out your new site. If you have broken any of the cardinal rules in the content or technical end of your site, they might not be back ….if they find you at all. Then again, just because the search engines index your site and people start to find it, does not mean anyone will buy what you have to sell.

If you think of your virtual business as being an integral part of your bricks and mortar business, it makes sense to work on it. It should receive the same attention to grow and evolve. Think of it as a pipeline to deliver qualified prospects or as an opportunity to create another, not so hands on, income stream that completes sales electronically 24/7. It is a chance to reach clients who you do not reach with conventional marketing and advertising.

Marketing as an everyday part of your business

  • Plan to either pay someone to update your website on a regular basis or have your website designed with a content management system (CMS) so you can easily update the site yourself. If you have to hire someone to make every little change, are you going to do it?
  • Decide what you want to call each page of your site. Write each name on a separate piece of paper and lay each out on the floor so you can see if the navigation of the site makes sense.
  • Consider the layout based on scalability. Will your site be able to grow & still allow people to find what they want easily?
  • There is a good reason that most have similar navigation throughout the website. It works; so don’t try to redesign the wheel.
  • The area of your site that fits in your browser without scrolling is the most important part of your website – so put what is most important to your customers in that space.
  • Less is more, especially with website copy. People scan websites so consider that when writing and designing the layout of your content. If you can’t tell visitors everything, at least tell them the things that are going to persuade them you have what they want.
  • One topic on one page. On a website there is no one door to access your business, there are as many entrances as you have pages. Help the search engines figure out what each page is about– one page, one topic, one focus.
  • Add content on a regular basis to encourage the search engines to keep coming back to your site. The single greatest reason that people search the web is for information. Give good information to them and they will come back and bring their friends.
  • Have someone experienced in SEO do your Meta titles and Meta descriptions once you have your basic site content written.
  • Create multiple opportunities for people to find your site by encouraging other relevant sites to link to your site.
  • Above all, keep looking for chances to promote your website whether it is by connecting on social media sites, pay-per-click advertising, at live networking events, trade shows and don’t forget traditional marketing and advertising.

Market, Market, Market…it’s what drives business.

Rapid change is a fact in our technologically driven world.

Life changes, people change, their wants and needs change. Successful businesses look at current results, watch trends, examine socio-economic factors, and look for opportunities to make connections. Responding to these opportunities requires non-stop marketing and modifications to keep appealing to your niche. The greatest advantage a small business has is the ability to turn on a dime.

You can write the ending of your own story in any number of ways, but if you intend to stay in business – write marketing into your script!

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