Everything starts and ends with having a company website but having a website alone doesn't mean you'll be seen online.
Nowadays, just having a site isn’t enough. If you want your website to be seen locally and organically, it’s imperative to back it with Strategy & Research, Search Engine Ranking techniques, Marketing and Conversion Optimization.
Think of your website as a business at the top of a snowy mountain with no lights on, no sign, and no road leading up to it.
“A business with no sign, is a sign of no business”, said an unknown yet wise person.
Your website could have the best and most valuable information on it. It could be the most beautiful in design, it could have the latest features, you could have spent thousands of dollars and years building the best content possible… But, if your lights are off, if you have no sign and the road leading up to your site is hard to travel, potential customers won’t ever see it.
Sure, you can give customers directions and yes, those who really want your business will take the time to visit; they'll jump through hoops to get there. But think of the hundreds who get lost? Think of those who start the process of going, but get annoyed once they are there...Your efforts are not fostering a return on your investment if your site's marketing and optimization aren't being maintained. That’s detrimental to your company’s growth!
So, what do you do?
Well before we dive into what it takes to run a successful website, let’s first talk about upkeep.
What is upkeep? Upkeep for a website is like that of anything else; you must maintain and repair what you have in order for it to provide you with the best possible outcome.
The first thing you want to do is create a plan of action on how you will update your site, maintain it and repair it should the need ever arise (and it definitely will). We need to make sure your lights stay on, that your sign remains visible and that the road you offer for travel is safe and reliable.
What it takes to run a successful website:
The steps it takes and the continuation in maintenance required in having a successful website can be overwhelming. Therefore, I’ve decided to break this down as simply as I can and to provide corresponding links that you can read separately that will assist in explaining what it is that HMG provides its customers.
Take a look at this Internet Marketing Flowchart Ecosystem above.
The first one we’ll talk about is your Company Website.
In the flowchart you will see that it has quality content throughout it: Events, eBooks, Press Releases, Products, White Papers, and so on.
That’s a LOT, right? You certainly do not have to have all of that. In fact, less can be more when it comes to quality! Quality over quantity holds merit here. Start with a few and make them really good. And once you have mastered them, you can consider doing more.
After your website, we suggest getting started right away with email marketing. Follow the link at the end of this post to learn about how to get started with that.
Strategy & Research (Analytics and Reports) and Conversion Optimization
Assuming your content is in fact well thought out with keywords and phrases and relevant content, and that your website has the appropriate on-page SEO techniques implemented, you should be able to start analyzing and reporting on how it’s functioning–even without doing anything further.
What you find determines what you need to do next. This is where strategy and research and conversion optimization comes into play. Of course strategy and research should have been already done prior to building your website, but it and conversion optimization are methods that will be continuously implemented throughout the life of your site.
Most of the time we determine that you do in fact need to work on other methods: maybe your tone and voice needs some work, which is ultimately your “content”, or maybe the technical SEO on your site isn’t allowing you to be seen online above your competitors. Maybe your reviews are low or worse, bad (Yikes)! Maybe your “rich” content isn’t rich enough… whatever the case may be, if you find that your website isn't providing you with what you need then it's time to keep moving forward!
Description: Conversion Rate Optimization is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage. It is commonly referred to as CRO.
Then look to Social and Referral Marketing
Work on being a 'Socialite'! (a link about that is below)
Understand referral marketing (link below) and then, the big daddy, the head honcho, the father of ‘being seen online’...
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long-term strategy that is ever changing and needs constant maintenance. You’ve probably noticed that SEO is showcased in the diagram in a larger circle than the other 11 shown and that’s simply because SEO has a lot of sections and requires a variety of tasks and techniques to be completed.
SEO is so vast that it needs its own diagram and therefore its own post and corresponding posts (link below)!
Information on Display, PPC, Direct and Affiliate marketing are left off of this post. These items focus on spending money for different forms of advertising. Advertising is a large part of marketing and while they do deserve articles of their own, we prefer to focus our marketing efforts on generating organic leads vs. paid leads.
Note: sometimes you can't avoid paid advertisement. If you are interested in learning more about paid advertisement, I'd be more than happy to provide you with that!
Well, that’s that in a nutshell.
We discussed briefly about Internet Marketing and how to be seen online organically. You learned that having a website doesn’t mean you’ll be seen online. We talked about the various things that need to be done in order to be seen organically and if you take one thing away from this, let it be this little confusing statement:
Having a website isn't enough, though everything starts and ends with it.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me! The links you need to continue to learn about what it is we do here at HMG are listed below in order of operation.
HMG / HWD
Chief Everything Officer Design Obsessed
"I want you to look as good as you are!"