May 8, 2012
Recently I gave an online seminar on Five Keys to Generating New Business with Online Marketing. Here’s an outline of what we covered. A video of the seminar will be available soon.
1. Your Value Proposition and Your Business Goals
What is Your Value Proposition?
You need to be able to say what your business does, why people need it, and how it is different from competitors. Use % and $ to make this clear.
This is your elevator pitch. You need to be refining and improving it all the time based on feedback. If you don’t have a solid value proposition, no amount of online marketing expense is going to help generate new business. This has to be front and center on you website. Use it to help formulate your business goals and help visitors on your website to see that they have found what they need. Help visitors make decisions on your website that result in new business for you: contact form submissions, downloads, subscription to your newsletter, sharing your content with others, etc.
What are Your Business Goals?
How much money do you need to make each month? How many leads do you need to achieve this? How many leads do you need to make a profit?
Online Marketing Goals
How many leads do you want to generate from your website? What are you willing to spend per lead? How much have you spent for other forms of lead generation?
2. Tracking Your Business Online
Tracking traffic on your website is essential and easy to do. How much money did you make last year? Will you make more this year or less? Unless you keep track, you don’t know if you are doing better or worse. The same goes for your website and all your other marketing efforts. Install Google Analytics. This will allow you to track visits to your site, where they came from, how long they stayed, and what the most effective keywords are for your business. Install Gravity Forms and the Yoast Add-on for Gravity Forms, and set up Goal tracking in Google Analytics. If you have a WordPress website, you can use the Google Analytics plugin by Yoast. With Google Analytics installed, you can benchmark your website performance to see if the improvements you make really work.
3. Optimize Your Website with Your Value Proposition and Goals Front-and-Center
Optimize your website for exactly what you do. Make your value proposition abundantly apparent on every page of your site – so that when people arrive on your site, they know immediately that they have found what they are looking for.
Home Page Design / Overall Website Design
People have become accustomed to seeing professionally designed website themes. These are easy to find and set up. So the fact that you have a professional-looking website and you spent $1,000 or more to have it built is not going to get you new business. What’s hard is creating an effective message and building that into your site. This is why a strong value proposition is so important. What do you want people to do on your site?
What do you want them to see immediately? Answers to these questions should guide the design of your site. You need an effective hierarchy of information. What are people looking for when they come to your site? Give it to them, front and center. In marketing language, this is called designing for a “persona”.
Calls to Action
Without a clear value proposition on your website, a call to action like a button that says “Free Consultation” will not work, because visitors won’t know what the consultation is about! And don’t just offer a phone number under your “Free Consultation”. You need to ease visitors into the idea of calling. Why not take them to a page where you tell them exactly what they will get with their consultation?
Blogs are often poorly optimized. The sidebar has things like links to Archives and Categories: practically useless! If you use a blog, people will find your site through Google search, but they need to be able to find your value proposition and calls to action on every page or post.
Look at Your Competition
Search Google for keywords that fit your business and see what kind of websites are on page one. If they are not the kind of businesses you expect, maybe you are searching for the wrong keywords! (This is another important part of understanding your business: knowing the kinds of keywords people use to search for your products or services.)
Try the paid search results as well as the organic search results. What kinds of differences do you see? Paid search (such as Google AdWords) is another way to increase traffic to your website.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is All About Detail – in the right places. Best example: default title tags, vs. optimized title tags using keywords. We will go over the basics of SEO, which is often enough to put you ahead of the competition.
4. Create New Content for Your Website Based on What You Learn from Google Analytics and Gravity Forms (GA Goals)
By tracking traffic on your website, you can see which pages and keywords bring the most valuable visitors to your site. You can add new content tailored to these visitors.
With Google Analytics and Gravity Forms, you can see which keyword searches bring the best traffic to your website. When someone comes to your site and looks at 5 pages and stays for 2 minutes or longer, they are interested in what you have to offer. When they submit the contact form, you have a winner. What keyword did they use to find you? Or did they come from a different website? LinkedIn? Another referring site? A guest blog post?
Armed with information you collect using Google Analytics, you can write new blog posts about specific topics that are bringing good traffic to your site. You can answer questions on LinkedIn. You can write guest blog posts on sites that bring you traffic. You can use Twitter and Facebook to bring in traffic.
5. Networking and Helping Others
Social media is new, but networking and helping others to grow their business is not. Face-to-face networking and working with friends and acquaintances to help grow their business is one of the best ways to reach your business goals and improve your chances for success. Good old fashioned networking is also one of the best ways to build your social media connections and optimize your website.