Your business website is, by far, the most valuable tool in your marketing arsenal. Not only does it establish an online presence for your business, but it also serves as the basis around which all your other marketing takes place. Your website allows you to communicate your brand, culture, and – perhaps most importantly – your story to existing and prospective customers.
As a website is often the first point of contact with a business for many potential customers, you want to ensure that yours makes a great first impression. Based on the layout, content, and ease of navigation of your website, prospective customers will decide if they want to interact with your company further – whether by opting in to receive regular content from your brand, picking up the phone and calling you, or making a purchase.
In today’s highly competitive online market, any business that wants to succeed must have a clearly defined website marketing strategy. If your site isn’t generating enough traffic – either because it’s unappealing or it’s difficult to find in search engine results pages (SERPs) – or it isn’t succeeding at attracting new leads or keeping existing customers engaged, it’s time to take a new approach to your marketing strategy.
What Is Website Marketing?
Simply put, website marketing is the strategic process of promoting a business’s website on the internet. The primary goal of website marketing is to drive more qualified traffic (visitors who may be interested in your products or services) and increase your site’s rankings in SERPs by applying search engine optimization (SEO) tactics and other digital marketing techniques.
In this article, we’ll look at 10 essential strategies that you can use to generate leads, increase conversions, boost sales, and grow your business through website marketing.
Perform a Review of Your Website Design
Take the time to thoroughly evaluate your website design. You want to make sure that your site not only looks attractive but is user-friendly and fully functional. Several aspects come into play when it comes to effective website design:
- Visual Elements: Keep design styles and shapes simple. Font sizes and colors should be easy to read. Flashy elements not related to your message or the end user’s experience should be kept at a minimum.
- Ease of Navigation: Having a clear navigation structure will keep users moving effortlessly through your web pages. Ideally, every page on your website should be accessible from the homepage in three clicks or less. An easy-to-navigate sitemap helps Google crawl and index your site more easily, discover new pages faster, and determine which pages to prioritize.
- User Experience (UX): Evaluate your website’s user-friendliness and eliminate any design elements that add complexity or aren’t needed. Make sure your web pages are well-organized and that the site layout isn’t overly complicated. If visitors can’t quickly and easily find what they’re looking for, most will simply give up and leave.
- Mobile-Responsiveness: These days, most consumers use mobile devices to access the internet. So, you need to ensure that your site provides the best possible experience for mobile users. A mobile-responsive website will automatically adapt the content on your pages to display properly on a smartphone or tablet – meaning that visitors can spend less time squinting or sighing and more time clicking and buying. Optimizing your site for mobile devices results in higher rankings in search engine results and faster page loading times, both of which contribute positively to your SEO efforts.
- Clear Communication: The second a visitor arrives on your website, they should be able to recognize who you are and what makes your brand different. Your content should clearly communicate how buying your products or enlisting your services can make customers’ lives easier or more pleasurable. Ensure that all the pertinent information on your site – such as your business address, phone number, and product pricing – is always up to date. Regularly update your site with valuable content like customer testimonials, company news, upcoming events, and engaging videos.
- Security and Trustworthiness: Visitors want to feel as secure on your website as if they were buying something from a well-known physical store. They need to know whether there are return policies in place if a product doesn’t perform as it should and that their data will be protected. If consumers don’t feel that you’re trustworthy, it’s unlikely that they’ll sign up for your mailing list, purchase your products, or enlist your services.
- Calls to Action (CTAs): A call to action is a prompt on a web page that encourages visitors to take a desired action, such as signing up for an email newsletter, calling to request a consultation, or purchasing a product. To increase clicks and conversions, make sure your CTAs are prominently placed on each page of your website, that they’re presented as direct commands or action phrases (such as “Sign Up,” “Buy Now,” “Contact Us,” “Call Today,” or “Learn More), and that you offer something of value in return for users surrendering their personal information.
Implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Most visitors will initially arrive at your website via Google and other search engines. Having a well-defined SEO strategy is essential to ensuring that your site is easily discoverable by search engines and potential customers alike. By increasing online visibility and improving your rankings in organic search results, SEO helps drive a steady flow of relevant traffic to your website.
SEO is a long-term, often complicated process involving several key techniques:
- Technical SEO: Checking your site for errors or issues that may prevent search engines from “crawling” and indexing your site.
- On-Page SEO: Making your content easy to read for both users and search engines.
- Off-Page SEO: Building backlinks (links from other websites that point back to your site) from well-known websites within or directly related to your niche or industry.
- Keyword Research: Accumulating a list of words and phrases that your target audience searches for most frequently.
- Content Optimization: Incorporating your target keywords into various elements of your content such as titles, subheadings, paragraphs, meta tags, meta descriptions, and URLs. Including links to other pages on your website and other reputable sites in your field.
- Image Optimization: Adding alt text and descriptions containing your target keywords to every image (or video) on your site.
- Local SEO: Optimizing your site for location-based searches to increase both website visits and foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores.
Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing involves creating engaging, highly readable, and well-structured content that directly addresses the needs of your target audience and shows how your products or services can solve their problems. Effective content marketing can help establish your business as an authority in your niche or industry, build trust and relationships with your target audience, and inform and educate potential customers about your products, services, and other industry-related topics.
With content marketing, you can generate continuous traffic to your business website – whether you’re sending an email, posting on social media, or creating a YouTube video, always include a link back to your website. If you’re publishing a blog on your website, promote it on your other marketing channels and include a link that points back to your blog.
In developing your content marketing strategy, you must first identify which keywords to target with your content by performing keyword research. Conduct a competitor analysis to find out what’s working (or isn’t) for your competitors. Evaluate Google search results to determine what type of content Google wants for your target keywords. Promote the content you create across all marketing channels (social media, email, online communities, etc.).
In addition to regularly publishing new content, you should also periodically review your existing content to see if anything has changed. Pinpoint any pages with outdated information, “thin” content, low search rankings, no backlinks, or very little traffic. Determine whether to update or republish these pages, remove them from your site and redirect the URL to other related pages, or combine them with other web pages.
Promote Your Website on Social Media Networks
Publishing high-quality, engaging content – such as blog articles, short videos, creative images, memes, or polls – to your social media pages regularly is an excellent way to interact with your target audience directly, build relationships with current and prospective customers, increase traffic to your website, generate new leads, improve conversion rates, build brand awareness and customer loyalty, and get instant feedback about your business, products, or services from actual consumers.
Before marketing your website on social media, you need to determine which social networks make the most sense for your business. Create a business page on each platform your target audience uses regularly so you can interact with them easily. Use your company logo as your profile photo and create accounts with the same username (consisting of your brand name or your website) across all your social media profiles. Keeping your brand identity consistent helps improve brand recognition for your business.
Fill out all the relevant information on your profile or bio, including your physical address (if you have one), email address, phone number, website URL, and store hours (if applicable). Your “About” section should effectively communicate your brand’s value proposition while establishing your overall tone and style. Include a call to action with a link to your homepage or a dedicated landing page. Having a distinct and memorable bio increases the chances that you’ll capture your target audience’s attention and that your message will resonate with them.
Social media users are more than willing to share your content to their news feeds if they believe their friends, family, and colleagues will enjoy it, too. Provide links to all your social media profiles in prominent locations on your website – such as your homepage or blog – and include “Share” buttons on any web page with content visitors might want to share. On each of your social media profiles or bios, include your website’s URL so users can easily navigate to your site to learn more about your business, book an appointment, or make a purchase.
Target Your Ideal Customers with Paid Advertising
Improving your search rankings using SEO tactics and gaining a decent number of social media followers organically can take time. For faster results, paid advertising is a great alternative. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and social media ads are among the most popular types of paid advertising.
PPC advertising platforms like Google Ads allow you to create and run ads centered around the words and phrases you’ve identified through keyword research to get your website to appear at or near the top of search results when users search for businesses like yours. Pay-per-click ads can be a cost-effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website quickly, increase brand awareness, and generate fresh interest in your products or services. With PPC ads, your business only pays when someone clicks on your ad. Each ad links to a landing page that’s customized to your specific offer.
Paid social media advertising platforms such as Facebook Ads let you target the users that best match your customer personas. Through highly sophisticated and advanced targeting methods, paid social media helps generate the right kind of traffic to your site – in other words, the people who are most likely to buy your products or enlist your services. When users click on the link in your ad, they’re taken to a dedicated landing page where they have the opportunity to take a variety of specific actions, such as learning more about your business, subscribing to your email newsletter, reaching out to a sales representative, or making a purchase.
Keep Your Audience Engaged with Email Marketing
With an average return rate of $44 for every $1 spent, email marketing remains a powerful, cost-effective way to communicate directly with existing and potential customers and keep them up to date about your business, products, services, special promotions, company news, and more. Since email list subscribers have already demonstrated an interest in your business, regularly dropping engaging content into their email inboxes will keep you on their radar. Provide links to your website or blog at multiple points throughout your email communications (including in your call to action) to keep subscribers returning to your site.
Of course, before you can start sending out emails, you have to build a solid contact list. While the list-building process can be difficult and time-consuming, coming up with new and innovative ways to encourage visitors to give you their email addresses can help fast-track the process. Depending on your specific business and its audience, there are several different tactics you can use to incentivize people to surrender their contact information, such as:
- Extending a special discount on their first order
- Providing a free digital download (e.g., an e-book, whitepaper, or case study)
- Offering the chance to win a prize at an in-store event or trade show
- Conducting a contest or giveaway on social media
- Sending referral emails to your existing clients
Make it easy for users to subscribe to your email list by adding signup forms in highly conspicuous places throughout your website. Once you’ve gained new subscribers, continually send them great content to keep them engaged and dissuade them from unsubscribing. Encourage subscribers to return to your website frequently by showing them what they might have missed since their last visit – new product launches, recent blog posts, videos, or other interactive content.
Encourage Visitors to Return to Your Website Using Remarketing and Retargeting
There’s an old marketing rule, known as the “Rule of 7,” which states that a potential customer must see or hear an advertisement or marketing message at least seven times before deciding to buy a product or service. Internet marketing is no different. Most people will need to revisit your website several times before taking the next step in the path to purchase.
That’s where remarketing and retargeting come in. While the two techniques are similar, there are also a few distinct differences. Both involve reaching out to consumers who have already expressed an interest in your business, products, or services – whether by visiting your website, clicking on one of your ads, searching for your business on Google, or following you on social media – and encouraging them to reconnect with you and take a specific action (such as signing up for email updates, booking a consultation, or making a purchase).
Remarketing is focused on engaging current or previous customers via email in order to recapture their attention and encourage them to return to your website when they’re ready to buy. Retargeting involves serving targeted ads to prospective customers who have
previously visited your website or a specific web page and have (or have not) taken a specific action. With retargeting, cookies (text files containing small pieces of data) are used in conjunction with certain advertising platforms like Google Ads or Facebook to track your website visitors’ actions after they leave your site and continue browsing the internet. The ads are displayed on subsequent websites the user visits, reminding them to return to your site.
Implementing one or both of these techniques will help drive more targeted traffic to your website, boost brand awareness, improve engagement, reduce shopping cart abandonment, increase conversions and sales, and lower advertising costs.
Measure and Analyze User Activity and Website Traffic
With traditional marketing methods, results can be difficult to accurately monitor and analyze. Do you really know how many people took the time to read your flyer, and how many simply threw it away? But with digital marketing – and your website, in particular – everything is measurable and can be analyzed.
Along with providing a better understanding of who your ideal customers are, so you can effectively market to them, web analytics platforms can also help:
- Measure how your website traffic changes over time
- Track where your visitors are coming from and how they arrive at your site (whether by typing in your URL, getting redirected from another website, or finding you through a Google search)
- Identify which pages users are visiting most often, what actions they are (or are not) taking as a result of these visits, and which pages might need improvement
- Determine which search engines (Google, Bing, etc.), devices (mobile or desktop), and operating systems (Windows or Mac) visitors use most often to access your site
Since most of the data you need can be obtained from Google Analytics, installing this valuable tool on your website and ensuring that it’s properly configured is critical. Tags – small pieces of code inserted into a page’s source code – are used to facilitate the collection and sharing of data between your website and Google Analytics. Using tags the right way – and in the right places – helps you identify what’s working and what isn’t so that you can improve your website content and drive even more potential customers to your site.
Collecting and interpreting the metrics you wish to track and adjusting your marketing strategy accordingly can help elevate your business to the next level of success. Your website will only generate the desired results you want if you’re analyzing it routinely.
Launch Contests and Giveaways to Drive Traffic to Your Website
People love getting free stuff, especially if it’s relevant or useful to them. So, why not use this to your advantage? When you offer something of value to existing or potential customers, it makes them more likely to purchase from your company in the future. It also makes people more willing to share your content with their friends, especially on social media. Getting something for nothing from a brand they love and respect inspires loyalty in your customers.
While contests and giveaways are sometimes regarded as tacky marketing techniques, they’re actually quite effective at driving high-volume traffic to your website, generating interest in your products and services, building rapport with your customers, and even making connections within your industry.
Create a compelling contest or giveaway on the social media platforms where your target audience is most active, and your followers will flock to your website. Develop a dedicated landing page and post a direct link to it on your social media pages. The lure of “free stuff” will be irresistible to participants. From the landing page, you can easily direct visitors to your full website.
Generating useful content centered around your brand, products, or services, and then offering visitors free access to that content is another great way to keep your company top of mind with consumers when they’re ready to purchase something that you offer. If you sell products on your website, offer a free e-book detailing key features that potential customers should look out for. If your business is primarily service-based, create a checklist of action items that prospects can take prior to reaching out to you. When you focus on adding value for your audience, it’s a win-win.
List Your Business in Online Directories
Online business directories are the modern-day version of phone books. In previous decades, printed directories like the Yellow Pages featured comprehensive listings of local businesses, organized by categories like business type or location. Now that searching for products and services has primarily shifted to the internet, today’s businesses must make their presence known in online directories in much the same way as they would have done in printed books in the past.
Online directories help point users to the specific organizations they’re looking for and enable them to click through to a business’s website directly from the listing. Most listings provide basic information about the business such as the website’s URL, a brief description, hours of operation, contact details, products/services provided, customer reviews, etc. Listing your business in online directories gives customers the chance to post reviews of your business, products, and services, and allows you to respond to these reviews personally and publicly.
Given that 88% of users will call or visit a business within 24 hours of their initial search, it’s essential that your business be listed in the most popular and relevant online directories – otherwise, you could be missing out on a lot of potential customers. Adding your business listing to online directories helps drive targeted traffic to your website and through your business’s doors, makes your site more easily discoverable in search engine results, and creates high-quality backlinks (which, in turn, helps improve your SEO rankings).
Creating or claiming your Google Business Profile is a great place to start. Setting up your profile is fairly straightforward (and free). Ensuring that your profile is fully optimized makes it eligible to show up in Google’s Local 3-Pack (a set of three business listings appearing prominently on SERPs when users conduct searches for local businesses), as well as on Google Maps.
For over a century, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been helping customers connect with local businesses. Today, the BBB is not only an expansive online directory – it’s also a trusted resource for consumers seeking to discover more about an organization’s credibility, ethics, and business practices. Getting accredited by the BBB and being able to reference that accreditation on your own website remains a major trust signal to modern consumers.
Once serving as the premier offline business directory, the Yellow Pages has been able to successfully and smoothly transition into the digital age. Over 70 million people annually use the Yellow Pages website and app to find local businesses.
Listing your business on Yelp, a trusted online directory for everything local, is an easy way to get your name in the public eye, especially for food and retail establishments.
Angi (formerly Angie’s List) is a popular local business directory that consumers can use to find residential services like plumbers, lawn care companies, and roofers.
In addition to these popular sites, there are hundreds of industry-specific online directories in which to list your business. Adding your listing is free, in most cases, but many platforms also offer paid advertising options to make it even easier to reach your target audience.
More than just digital signage for your brand or a virtual storefront for your company, your website is your online home base – and as such, it should be at the center of your digital marketing strategy. Whether you’re sending a tweet, publishing a blog post, running a newspaper ad, or adding a link at the bottom of your business card, the ultimate goal of all your marketing efforts – online and offline – should be to drive traffic back to your website.
The success or failure of your overall marketing strategy hinges on the design, effectiveness, and intuitiveness of the website you’re drawing people towards. If you aren’t utilizing your website as the valuable marketing tool it is, you may be missing out on a lot of potential business. If you don’t make a concentrated effort to meet your customers where they are, you can bet that your competitors will reach them before you do.
By heeding the recommendations outlined above and incorporating them into your marketing strategy, you’ll be well on your way to achieving positive results for your business!
If you need help developing your website marketing strategy, or if you’re looking to update your existing website or build a new one from scratch, HighClick Media can help! Call us today at 252.814.2150 or drop us a line here!