Each year brings with it new changes for businesses using websites to promote themselves. Follow these 6 website marketing tips and see your visits and enquiries increase.
1. Mobile Optimise your Website
This is something that I promoted heavily in 2012. Perhaps it fell on deaf ears, as only a handful of websites are really functional on a smartphone. Not sure what I mean? Try using your website on a smartphone and see how easy it is to use. Can you read the text? Are the buttons easy to press? Does it fit on the screen? If yours isn’t, perhaps your competitors will be! There are two ways of handling this. The first is responsive web design. This means that as the size of the browser window changes, the web page will reformat to make the website “skinnier”. This works quite well for static websites that don’t have access to “plug-ins” like content managed sites. If you’re running a WordPress website, I have a plug-in that allows us to mobile optimise your web pages with specific templates for smartphones and tablets. You can see an example of this in action on www.privatebuyer.co.nz – view it on a normal computer and then on a smartphone. The web pages are optimised to suit the device you use.
2. Start Blogging and Keep Blogging
I say “start” because very few businesses produce blogs of any significance and most that start, fall by the wayside very quickly. Google are committed to producing quality results. That increasingly means fresh content rather than the same 4 pages of text you had back in 1998! Blogging is not just blowing your own horn, it’s an important means for your prospective clients to find you. Each page on your website is a possible gateway to an enquiry for your product or service. Add fresh, useful content to your website regularly to get the best results. It can be fun and rewarding!
3. Get a Google+ Account
Yes, I know you’re on Facebook but how many website searches are made through Facebook compared to Google? Very few. I’m not going to say that Google+ is going to sweep the social media world. In fact, I’d say that it’s struggling to find it’s place in mainstream social media. However, now that it is linked in with “Google Author” (see #4 below), I don’t think that it’s going away and will become more and more important for website rankings, especially for businesses. Contact me about setting up a Google+ account.
4. Become a Google Author
If you see one of my web pages listed in a Google search, you’ll probably see a picture of me beside the link. It’s not because I’m suddenly famous on the internet, it’s because I’m a “Google Author”. You need a Google+ account to become a Google Author. Once your account is set up, you can let Google know what websites you contribute to and in a short time, you’ll see your photo appearing beside your blogs. Don’t be shy, it will increase your business exposure. Contact me about becoming a Google Author.
5. Run a Google AdWords Campaign
You may have noticed that advertising on Google is becoming more and more prominent, to the point that natural rankings are being pushed down so low that they’re losing their value. Running a Google AdWords campaign in conjunction with your normal website updates and SEO can help increase your website traffic and enquiries. It doesn’t have to be expensive, as you set your own daily budgets and can be extremely effective if set up properly. I don’t recommend you run these campaigns yourself as there are many ways you can go wrong and waste your advertising dollars. Be wary of overseas promotions for Google AdWords. I’ve seen a lot of clients lose money to “internet advertising experts”.
6. Review your Advertising Budget
I’m constantly amazed by how many businesses are still throwing a ton of money at print advertising such as the Yellow Pages. For most businesses, it’s a waste of money. A full-page advert can cost tens of thousands of dollars! We can get you a far higher return on your advertising dollar through online marketing and cut your costs at the same time. I also suggest you are wary of online directories such as Gopher, who have very aggressive telesales teams. It’s almost never worth spending a lot of money to be in an online directory. Ask yourself when was the last time you used the website yourself? Had you even heard of it? Do your friends use it?