Remember when ads in the Yellow Pages used to be all you had to think about as a business owner? Well, those days are long gone. Sure, it was nice when you just had to think about your advertising once a year but that’s just not the case anymore. Your website is your online ad and you have to put work into it for it to keep working well for you.
Here are the top 10 marketing tips for your small website:
1. Keep Adding Great Content to Your Website
By far, the absolute best thing you can do with your website is keep adding great content to it. Even if your website isn’t set up right and is kind of ugly, adding content really helps. If you do one thing on this list, add great content.
It’s not super difficult to do and you can even hire writers for pretty cheap. I wrote a great article about how to do this:
How to Write Content for Your Business Blog (tonyherman.com)
Read that article and make a goal of publishing one great piece of content per week. In a year, you’ll have 52 new pages on your website and that content works for you 24/7 going forward. That’s better than a wimpy Yellow Pages ad, right?
2. Update Your Design
This isn’t 2009 anymore. I have a car that’s that old and runs fine but websites have taken a huge leap since then.
First of all, because of the rise of smart phones and tablets, there’s more mobile traffic than ever. In fact, there’s more mobile traffic than desktop computer traffic now. If your website isn’t set up to view well on mobile devices, then your website won’t be found. This is because Google looks at which devices are being used for searches. They know if a search came from a mobile device. When that happens, they’re really only going to show results that are websites made to show up well on that device. It only makes sense.
This is called responsive design or mobile responsive design. If your website hasn’t gone through this conversion, then you need to do it – for sure. Trust me on this. All new websites are being done this way and the old ones need to be converted.
To find out if your website is mobile ready, go to the website below and run a test on it:
If it fails, then get your website converted. If you don’t show up in searches, you’re not going to get good traffic.
The point here is that design isn’t just design anymore, it’s how your website functions. The design needs to work with all devices. Of course, having an aesthetically pleasing website that looks clean, professional and easy to navigate always helps.
3. Set Up Call to Action Statements
I’ve seen this a lot. A client sends us a website to look at and there are not enough call to action (CTA) statements on it. If they have any, they’re just weak – like listing a phone number without “Call Us” in front of it.
You have to ask your website visitors to do something. When you actively ask them, you get more responses.
Have you ever been to a store, needed help and there wasn’t anyone around? Maybe nobody came up to you and asked you if you needed help. Yes, that’s sometimes annoying but stores know to do it because they get more sales. Sometimes I do walk into a store and need a specific thing and I’m really glad they ask if they can help me. The point is, if your website doesn’t ask for anything, then it’s not helpful and people leave.
Your calls to action can vary in strength. Some can be strong (“Buy Now!”) and others can be less of an ask (“Like Us on Facebook”). You want a number of CTA statements on your website that vary in strength.
Here are some examples of call to action statements that you can use:
- Buy Now
- Join Our E-Newsletter
- Contact Us
- Like Us on Facebook
- Download Our Book
- Tell Your Friends About Us
- Share This Post on Facebook
- Click Here
- Download Now
- Start Your Free Trial
- Join Now
- Add to Cart
- Talk to An Expert
- Call Us
- See It In Action
- Reserve Now
- Limited Time Offer – Act Now
- Discover the Difference
And then here are some supporting phrases for your calls to action:
- Money Back Guarantee
- Best Value
- Limited Availability
- Top Rated
- Free Shipping
- No Strings Attached
- No Contract
- Easy to Use
- No Experience Required
And more supporting words that help with conversion:
Read more about this here:
The great thing about call to action statements is that they let you get more leads and sales with the website traffic you already have. So, with the same/existing traffic, you can be generating more sales and more leads by just adding in call to action statements. Pretty cool, right?
4. Optimize Title Tags
Ok, so what’s a title tag? What’s a tag?
That’s “geek speak” and we’re sorry for talking that way but it’s the best way to describe it. The short answer is that your title tag is what appears when you see Google results. Here’s an example:
On that first result, if you look in the HTML code of that page, you can see this:
These two “tags” are the title tags:
They say to start and stop the title. What’s between those tags is what the title is.
If your home page just says “Home” or “Welcome” or (worse yet) “Untitled Document” then you’re missing out… big time.
You want to use your brand name and keywords here. Don’t overload it but give Google some help with classifying your page and show them that you’re trying a little.
What’s really good on landing pages (main pages that aren’t your home page) is to use compelling text that makes people want to click. Here’s more about doing that:
Get More Clicks to Your Website With One, Simple Change (tonyherman.com)
5. Get Citations
I don’t means speeding tickets, I mean citation on the Web – on other websites. A citation is a listing on another website that lists your company name, address and phone (and your website, but it’s not required).
Yes, even though you’re not getting an actual link link a listing (sometimes you do), just mentioning your business name and address on a website counts. It shows that you’re a real company if there are references to you all over the Web.
A good way, still, to get citations is to buy one of those directory submission packages. You don’t want one that does thousands and thousands but a few hundred is fine if your website has been around for 6 months or more. If it hasn’t, then just wait on doing this.
6. Get and Manage Online Reviews
Much like citations, reviews matter. If you haven’t claimed your business page with Google yet, make sure you do that. If there are reviews there, you can reply to them. If you don’t have any reviews, then ask your clients to give you a review on Google, Yelp or anywhere else. Most likely, they’ll just do it. The best time to get a review and testimonial is right when you deliver the service or product you provide.
If You Have Bad Reviews – What to Do
If you do have some really bad reviews, try to contact whomever left that review either by email or phone. Ask them what you can do to make things right and then ask if they’ll take that review down.
Another way to combat bad reviews is to just get a lot more good ones. That’ll make the bad one look like an anomaly and people won’t pay much attention to it.
7. Measure Your Marketing Efforts
At the very least, you should have Google Analytics installed. You should also have what are called “goals” set up.
A good example of a goal is your “Thank You” page (often referred to as “TYP” in the industry). People can only get to this page if they fill out your Contact Us form or some other form. You can install code on that page so that if someone gets to that page, it says a goal was met. Keeping track of this information is important so that you can measure where your traffic and sales are coming from.
Another goal is the receipt page on an e-commerce/shopping cart website. You can look up each of those sales and see where they came from. This way, you know how to spend your marketing budget.
8. Use Social Media
Using social media does not apply to every business out there. If you sell or provide something boring, then using social media like Facebook and Twitter might not be worth it. Other social media platforms might be – like LinkedIn, for example.
With social media, you need to remember it’s social. Pretend you’re at a party or a networking meeting. Just talking about yourself and asking people to buy from you won’t make you the life of the party. You want to get to know who is there, take part in conversations, add value and then, once in a while, ask for something.
9. Send Out Press Releases
A little known secret to getting higher rankings and some great traffic to your website is sending out properly formatted press releases. You can get one written and submitted for $100 or less. It will get posted on many websites and you might even get some news reporters inquiring about what your press release is about for some additional exposure. They’re always looking at them for story ideas and yours might just be what they need.
10. Create Videos
Did you know that YouTube.com is the #2 search engine? People are searching for things on it all the time and, of course, Google puts YouTube results in their results.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a video is probably worth a million.
The great thing today is that you don’t need to have top quality video production skills to make a video good enough to put on YouTube for your business. Your smart phone’s camera is probably good enough.
The key is to get the lighting right and make sure that the sound is good. Just set up the camera, get in front of it and plan out what you’re going to say. Have good points that are things people want to know about. Give your video a good title when you upload it and upload it to your own channel that’s under your business name (create a new account if you have to).
I’ll post something about creating business YouTube videos here soon but those are the basics. Don’t let a tutorial stop you – get out there and do it. Get something going.
Here’s another tip – in your video description, make sure to list your website’s URL (the website address from the browser bar with the “http://” part). I like to put that as the first thing in the description. A link from YouTube to your website can give it a nice boost, too.
There you have it – the top 10 marketing tips for your small website. If you want ways to improve your website and traffic to your website, then follow these tips. You might not see results right away but don’t let that discourage you – that’s just how SEO (search engine optimization) works. It takes time. What you do today might not bear fruit for a week or even a month. You can’t give up but you need to just keep being consistent and do them.
If you’re doing these things, your website will start ranking higher. You’ll then just have to work on doing it more than your competition to outrank them.