There is a common misconception that having a website means that people will visit it without any further work being done. Creating a website is doing only half the job, it's like having a shop and not having a sign out the front to bring in people. You need people on the street to know what you do and why they should come into your shop in the first place.
Just like with a bricks and mortar shop, you need to put your website in front of people to make sure visitors find you, entice them to click and keep them on the website with relevant information to ultimately get the all important sale or enquiry.
To do this, having a sound digital marketing strategy in place is essential.
First things first - people have to be able to find you. So it's important to invest in channels that drive people to your website as well as improving how your website interacts with search engines, improving the likelihood of them appearing in front of customers when they are looking for you.
SEO, SEM, Social Media and EDMs can all draw people into your website, here's how
Having good Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) means that search engine robots can easily index your website, deciphering what your website is about using keywords, and accurate meta descriptions in conjunction with a clear hierarchy of pages, all information geared towards helping users find what they need on your website.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that your website is for people to read, but in order to make sure they find your amazing, helpful, rich content carefully choosing and using keywords that people you want to visit your website would search for will help you bring up your website SEO and make it relevant to the user.
Clearly labelling all your pages in the backend ensures that Google knows what you are talking about and can recognise information for users. This is where meta descriptions, image tags and having focus keywords comes in handy. There are plugins you can use to add to your CMS to help guide you through the SEO process and ensure that everything is labelled accordingly. Utilising programs alongside this, you can use to monitor your own SEO progress as well as your competitors.
To compliment keywords and tagging, there are a range of different actions you can take to improve overall SEO, an example is listing your organisation under Google My Business. Not only does this allow you to show your contact details and opening hours, it also allows people to review your business for searchers to see in their results, and lure people into your website with positive third party feedback.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the practice of creating ads incorporating keywords and bidding on keywords that users type into search engines (Google) to find the information they are looking for and triggering ads.
Google offers a service to businesses in which they place a bid in an auction on keywords that people would type into the search engine when looking for their products or services. An example is if someone types in 'womens shoes' to Google, ads would appear in the top positions because you typed in the keywords the ad creator included in the ad and associated keyword list.
SEM is often called PPC as you only pay for the ads in terms of clicks - for example, you run an ad for women's shoes if no one clicks on your ad you won't pay anything. If 10 people click on your ad you pay for those ten clicks. Of course, you want people to click through to have ads show and gain sales and enquiries from our campaign, the idea is that you only pay for people who are interested in your ads, not hope for the best.
SEM is an art, It’s a mixture of finding the right budget, ad copy, placement types, position and keywords to make sure that your ads appear in front of the right people at the right time. In order to do this successfully, think of what someone would Google if they were looking for your product, solve a problem, or if they are ready to buy right now - this can be a starting point for your keyword list.
The types of buyers you would encounter online combined with your goals determines where you should place ads to get the most traction. With Google your basic options are Search Only ads, Display ads and a mixture of the both. By utilising these ads you have the ability to spend a relatively small amount of money and get a big return driving people to what they are looking for as they are thinking of it - making it more effective than simply showing a traditional ad and hoping that it catches a user's interest at the right time.
3. Social Media
Social Media has revolutionised the way that people communicate and share content online, it’s a way to keep in touch with friends, family and increasingly businesses. In 2015 58% of Australia's population were active users of social media, which is a huge opportunity for businesses to reach existing and potential customers.
Social media can bring people to your website in two ways - organically or through advertising. Organic posting on a regular basis keeps you in people’s news feeds allowing them to stay informed about your organisation and culture, encouraging people to engage with your brand. Advertising, on the other hand, allows you to reach a wider range of people who are most likely interested in your brand utilising targeting settings to ensure that the most relevant people to your message are reached.
Social media will bring people to your website, but it's unlikely you will see as much direct ROI as from SEM. Social Media is primarily a branding tool that you can use to get exposure for your brand and increase brand recall for when users are ready to buy – invaluable if you’re looking at reaching a younger demographic or looking to grow brand exposure.
Email can have a bad rap at times, but when you use email strategically the amount of things you can do with it is amazing. It all comes down to choosing the right messaging, call to actions, and timing to suit your audience without bombarding them.
When you say EDM to most people they think of eNews or sales promotions, but EDMs can be so much more than that. By incorporating EDM automation when certain actions are carried out on your website you can re-engage people, bringing them back to your website or reminding them that they were interested in a product or service - especially when it comes to e Commerce. EDM provides a huge opportunity to reduce cart abandonment and keep repeat customers coming back - best of all its cheap, easy and once you've perfected the timing and message it works a treat.
Thoughtful, integrated digital marketing strategy aimed at bringing people into your website can pay dividends. Don't get us wrong, digital marketing strategies are not easy, it takes time, testing and continual optimisation to get it right, but when you find the sweet spot with your audience it's smooth sailing to sales!
Looking for more information on how to implement a digital marketing strategy and increase traffic to your website? We know a few people who can help you out! Flick an email through to firstname.lastname@example.org and watch the magic happen!
For more on how to keep people on your website once you have captured them see Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy - And Your Sales (Part 1)