If you’ve been following the trends in websites and online marketing, and you’ve been a regular reader of my newsletter, you already know that for the past few years, the era of “If you build it, they will come” no longer applies to websites.
Gone are the days of attracting new customers when you plan a great website based on keyword research and good web page setup and architecture. (And long, long gone are the days of getting business just by having a website.)
So what do you need to do to find new customers online?
Start with a great website.
Okay, so I just finished telling you that a website won’t bring in the business anymore. So what gives? Well, while it is true that a website won’t automatically attract new customers on its own (unless, possibly, you have an incredibly unique product or service that people are lining up to have), you do have to start somewhere. And that somewhere is with a solid website that has good placement of keywords and phrases, pages and sections that are well organized for your products and services, and coding that is optimized for search engines. Search engines, such as Google and Bing, need a website to add to their search listings, after all!
Entice with a call to action.
You can have the greatest, most attractive website in the world, but if people don’t know what to do when they get there, you won’t get their business. Make sure that your website makes crystal clear, through great design, attractive buttons, and/or eye-catching wording, where people can sign up, get more information, or buy.
Provide compelling content.
Once your website is ready to go, you need to keep it fresh. Search engines want to see regular content updates because real people want to see regular content updates. What does this mean? It could be any of the following:
The key is that they happen regularly (at least monthly if not weekly) and that they are compelling. When I say compelling, I mean that they are somehow unique, entertaining, useful, or even shocking. They beg for attention because they are special. That’s what search engines like to see because it’s what people like to see. If you’re stuck as to what you can do to create this content (or not sure that you have the time), talk to a professional marketer who can help.
Engage in social media.
Google and Bing are smart. They know that people hang out on social media. They know that what’s hot on social media is what people are interested in. And, after all, search engines want to serve up what people are interested in by putting it in top positions in their search listings.
You don’t need to be involved in every social media network, but you should be where your customers (and potential customers) are, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, or others. In your business’s social media account, ask questions, offer deals, provide tips, or otherwise captivate your audience. And share what’s on your website. That compelling content you made above? Share it on social media.
Encourage your customers to find you on social media and share things, too. Put “share” buttons on your website so that people can easily share your blog posts, photos, and videos to their favorite social media network. Ask that the content you share on social media gets reposted, retweeted, or repinned. If your website is properly coded, search engines will track these “shares” back to your website, helping them see that your website appeals to people.
Put it together.
While all this information is talking about the way the web has worked in the past few years, I hope that you might have been inspired to try something new. See what might work best for you, and good luck in attracting new business online and achieving greater success in your organization!