10 Key Strategies To Make Your Website an Inbound Online Marketing Machine
In over 20 years in sales and marketing I have made many cold calls. Over the last 12 months I have not made one cold phone call or bought any expensive mass media marketing, yet sales have increased and business is much more fun. Isn’t there a better use of your time and money? Think of how your life might change if you were calling only on prospects who actually want to buy from you. A lot of companies still have not realized it’s a digital world and the marketing rules are changing.
So how would you optimise your company’s digital presence to ”get found online” and drive inbound enquiry for new customers and not have to cold call again or buy expensive mass media. Here are 10 key strategies to drive traffic to your ecommerce website, enquiries to your email inbox and make your phone start ringing.
1. Be Yourself (Authentic)
We are all unique and different and your company needs to display that. Gary Vaynerchuck, 33, is proof that passion and hustle can breed success. He turned his family’s small New Jersey liquor store into a wine empire that grosses over $60 million a year; more than 100,000 viewers watch his daily video blog; he’s a sought-after speaker; and he’s signed on to write nine more business books for HarperCollins (NWS).
2. Be The Thought Leader and Teacher
- Do not sell, but engage (trying to sell just turns prospective clients away)
- Provide online tutorials and how to’s.
- Stop the corporate speak and gobbledygook and provide content in a variety of ways becuase everyone learns in different ways. Educational theory shows that some people are visual, others are verbal and others are kinesthetic and a mutiple variety of stimulus reinforces learning and recall, so provide the same content in a variety of ways such as
3. Plan and Write Content for the Markets You Are Targetting
Every business has different market segments within their client base and they all have their own issues and problems and pain points that you need to provide answers to. So when you are developing content for your website or blog you need to consider writing content that adresses each customer persona. I covered this in a recent article “Social Media: 9 Questions To Ask Your Customers When Creating Content ” and it includes asking them questions such as
- Who are you selling to?
- What are their goals and aspirations?
- What are their problems?
Some companies even develop and maintain multiple blogs a good example of this is a online retailer who currently has 13 blogs online (see the article “Why Would Your Company Need 13 Blogs?“) that provides content for thirteen different segments or styles.
4. Have a Great Headline For Your Content
Did you know that on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of the headline, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece. Here are some headline types and examples
- Get What You Want (In Health, Wealth, Relationships, Time and Lifestyle) eg.. The Secret To Getting More Money For Your Property !
- Crystal Ball and History eg.. 10 Predictions on the Future of Social Media
- Problems and Fears eg … Get Rid of Your Debt Once and For All
- Fact, Fiction, Truth and Lies example.. Little Known Ways To Make Money On The Stock Exchange
- How To, Tricks Of The Trade. such as.. How To Plan The Ultimate Holiday
- Best and Worst eg The 10 Worst Mistakes Made by Bloggers
Some more resources:
Writing Headlines That Get Results from Copyblogger
102 Proven Headline Formulas from Authority Blogger
5. Amplify Your Message through Social Media
The Top 5 Social Media channels to consider using depending on your target markets are
- Facebook (80%),
- Twitter (66%),
- YouTube (55%),
- LinkedIn (49%) and
- Blogs (43%).
Also consider using multiple social media channels as it amplifies your message and gives it the best chance to go viral. I covered this recently in a blog post “How Many Social Media Channels Should Your Brand Be Using?” which shows how social media can leverage your message.
6. Build Your Subscriber List RSS for Your Blog, Email and for your e-Newsletter
Offer a variety of ways for people to subscribe at different locations on your website and blog such as at the top, the bottom and on the side panel (make it as easy as possible)
- Subscribe via RSS
- Subscribe via email
7. Search Engine Optimization
It boils down to this: If people think you’re important, so will Google. This perplexes many webmasters and online marketers, since they wonder how people will consider them important when people use search engines to find things online in the first place. How are you important if you’re invisible in the search engines to start with?
And how does Google know people think you’re important anyway? For one, they know because people link to you, and Google follows those links to index and rank web pages. And thanks to services such as
- Google Toolbar
- Google Analytics
- Google Reader
- Gmail and other applications that keep you logged-in to your Google account
Google has an enormous amount of usage data that shows what people actually spend time doing online. So, there’s that. But how do you kick it off?
To get people to link to you and generally pay attention in the first place, you have to start thinking about authority in a different sense.
8: Have The Website and Blog developed with well written code
Use a developer that does the basics well for your Website and blog
Two aspects to consider On-site and Off-site Optimization
This where they research and investigate your existing website design, build and content and recommend changes to elements such as
- Keywords and Phrases
- Meta Descriptions
- Keywords added as Metadata,
- Search Engine friendly URL’s
- Title to contain keywords
- Restructuring website content
- Make text more readable and user friendly on website
- Offer different media formats
- Clean coding structure optimised for search engine crawlers
This is where we research and recommend activities to improve Google search that are not dependent on your existing website but strategies that can be undertaken to improve search engines ranking of the company’s website.
This can be achieved through
- Link Building
- Blog commenting
- Press Releases
- Directory Submissions
- Article submissions
- Interacting with Social Media Channels such as
- Engaging Bloggers
- Developing content for your various target market “personas” such as for example for a non profit site
- Students and Researchers at Universities
- NGO’s (such as World Bank and United Nations)
- Business and Business Leaders
You’ll hear time and again that WordPress is the best way to build a site and that it’s extremely SEO friendly. The Thesis framework for WordPress is worth considering, even Google’s own Matt Cutts, search legend Danny Sullivan, and some of the top SEOs and professional bloggers around use Thesis for their own sites.
9. Design Your Website To Enhance Your Brand and Authority
If you want to look professional then the website has to give your brand an image that can in a lot of cases make you look bigger than your competitors because they are sloppy with their website design. Do not overlook this.
10. Nourish Your Tribe
Once you have started providing information that solves your customers and subscribers needs, continue to develop and your grow your content so that they want to keep coming back again and again.
So could your business do with a bit of digital optimizing of your inbound marketing so you don’t have to cold call again? Looking forward to hearing your story.