The best part about the advent of the Internet and the transition from the traditional way of doing business to tech-based efforts is it has given us all a level playing field. Big corporations are not the only businesses who has the potential to attract customers, but small time businesses, even those owned by stay-at-home mothers and students, gets an equal chance at getting attention.
For this reason, many marketers started studying the online landscape. This includes the people’s online behaviour, the kind of content that they like to look at, the reviews they leave, and even how many times in a day they engage with your brand’s online page. Hence, the birth of Digital Marketing – an industry that is still relatively new, but has the most impact in terms of opportunities available and top-of-mind potential of your brand.
If you have just started an online business, do not worry about catching up to people who have been pushing their online efforts for years. There are digital marketing best practices that you can begin implementing on your website. Here are some of them:
Take the time to create a layout and design for your website – When designing a website, there are two things you need to consider: aesthetic and usability. Aesthetic elements includes your branding and the overall look of your website. Think about where you want your logo to be, how you are going to make use of your brand colours on the website, the colour of your call-to-action button, even the font that you will use for the text. You can also look up website layouts that are in trend these days like the semi-parallax or the online catalogue type of layout. Note, though, that you may need to perform A/B testing for your CTA button. This just means that you have to test which shape, size, and colour pushes people to take action.
As for usability, you will have to consider how intuitive your website is. Navigating your website has to be easy to grasp or else your visitors will turn away. Make sure that the path you want them to take is clear and that going from one page to another is easy to do.
Invest in Search Engine Optimisation – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process responsible for keeping you on the first fold of the first page of search engines. In other words, when prospective clients search something related to your industry, SEO makes sure that you are one of the top choices. As a business owner, you have to take the time to learn more about how you can take advantage of SEO and boost your online visibility. This includes learning how to do keyword research, using those keywords in your content, reading analytics, making a WHOIS domain lookup every now and then to check if other website have copied your domain branding, and so on.
While you can always ask a specialist to do these efforts for you, learning about it gives you an edge because you are basically learning how you can drive traffic and influence those you have driven on your website to make a purchase or to sign up for a newsletter. And SEO helps with making sure your branding is strong and maintaining the number of visitors and increasing it gradually.
Create accounts on popular social media platforms – There is no question that you should have accounts, at least, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Integrate those social media accounts on your website and make sure that these pages are constantly updated. You do not need to have promotional campaigns to be able to post. Something as simple as posting a question like “How is everyone doing?” is all right. Moreover, think of this as an extension of your website branding. How you write and interact on your web page must be the same on your social media pages.
Engage with customers – Another advantage of having social media pages and a website is being able to do community management. This means that you can personally interact with your customers by talking to them casually or addressing some of their concerns. You can even take that engagement as an opportunity to ask for feedback like things you need to improve on your product or service.
Push for email marketing efforts- A lot of people think that email is just too old school and formal, but email marketing efforts are actually effective at conversion. Again, you do not need to have promotional campaigns to send out an email. You may choose to send monthly newsletters, important product or service announcements, or even just a greeting during special celebrations. Sending emails contribute to brand retention, so do not underestimate its potential.
Learn the difference between content writing and copywriting – If you are still confused about the difference between the two, it is totally fine, there are some marketers out there who are, too. Knowing what each is will help you determine the kind of content you want to write for a specific topic. Content writing is creating relevant content with the purpose of sharing information that may help customers understand your business. Copywriting is creating content that wants readers to take a specific action, like purchasing or subscribing.mContent writing is blog articles, newsletters, and podcasts. Copywriting is promo banners, advertisements, and product releases.
Write blog articles to post on other websites – This online effort is called guest posting, in which you will write content to be posted on other websites with considerable traffic. The reason behind this is for you to tap into their pool of visitors and invite them over to your website.
Research the best e-Commerce plugins – One of the best things about having a website is all the plugins you can use to help increase visitor number. And an online business should have an easy-to-use e-Commerce plugin that allows customers to add items in their cart and process the purchase easily.
Create a dialogue with industry experts – The Internet has made possible for even competitors within an industry to engage with each other and share valuable information within their circle and with the people that follow them. You can add your voice in the mix by commenting on their articles, contacting them personally, and sharing their content while adding your own two-cents on the topic.
Encourage customers to leave reviews – A review is one of your lifelines. Not only is it free advertising for your customer service and product reliability, but it also allows you to get first-hand feedback from your customers which will be valuable once you decide to roll out improvements on your product and service.
Study analytics – This part can be a doozy, yes. All those numbers and graphs may not make sense at first, but those are imperative when you start creating new campaigns. The graphs will also tell you when most of your audience is online, what time they are usually engaging, and which content they respond to the most.
Constantly audit your website – Always make sure that your website is fully optimised. Your audit checklist should include pagespeed, keyword use and density, metadata, understandable funnel, and so on. Never stop checking because there will be times when you overlook certain elements that may affect traffic. This will also help you see if you need to change things up like CTA button colour, and so on.
Create short videos – Videos are a huge deal these days so you might want to consider making one just to tap into an audience that prefer visuals than words. It does not have to be a long video, a simple company trailer is enough, but make sure it is done beautifully. And before releasing the video, you can always test it out and see the people’s reactions.
Make promotional campaigns – Especially once you have established your brand and notice that you have returning customers, you can start offering discounts and exclusive deals. There are tons of opportunities to offer discounts for returning buyers, first time subscribers, the 10th transaction, and so on.
Encourage other industry players to share their experiences on your blog – Just like with seeking out websites to guest post in, you can also encourage other industry players to post on your website. This will give a variety in terms of topic on your website and create a strong relationship with influencers in the industry.
Do not be afraid to use trending topics or fun memes – This is not pandering, do not worry. You do not have to use every new meme, too. Only those which you can confidently use for a marketing gimmick and one that is not too cheesy that turns customers away. This requires wit and cleverness, so make sure you test this out before publishing.
Do not hesitate to consult with digital marketing specialists – And lastly, when in doubt, do not hesitate to ask digital marketing specialists to help you create your first online strategies. They will know what you need to do first to put you on the first page of search engines and how you can maintain that ranking and boost it.
- The important lesson to take away from this is the importance of learning online marketing so that you can come up with initial ideas before discussing things further with a specialist. You will be able to understand online algorithm in no time, and soon you will be able to create those campaigns on your own.