Table of contents
- Know your business
- Understand your market
- Get a good website
- Optimize website
- Publish great content
- Distribute content
- Use good analytics
- Make site usable
- Optimize for conversions
1) Know your business
Business strategy is not an option.
Knowing your business, understanding your market, and having a strategy to succeed are critical elements of any successful company. You must understand these to both survive and take your business to the next level. It all starts with evaluating your root business.
Define your core offering.
Establish your unique selling proposition (USP).
Pinpoint why your customers should buy from you - rather than your competitors.
Describe how you provide value to your customers.
Create a well-defined marketing funnel.
2) Understand your market
After you know your business, drill down on your market.
Market analysis is a crucial part of business success. Why? Because you won't know how to reach a customer unless you understand something about your customer. Dissecting your market is therefore an essential part of business success.
Describe your ideal customers, aka personas.
Determine where your customers shop for your offering.
Spell out why your customers buy from you.
Estimate the size of your market.
Identify your core keywords in search.
Determine the search visibility for your core keywords.
3) Get a good website
Websites are your business' only full-time representative.
If a decision maker stumbles across your website and is not impressed, you just lost a sale. It's your website's fault. However, answer all of your prospects' questions on your website, then you have a shot at a new customer. It's that critical.
Make your site painfully obvious (in the first 5 seconds) what you do, who you are, and your USP.
Design your website to meet the needs of your customers - NOT your own.
Create a website that accurately represents your business.
Build website on a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Shopify.
Incorporate an updated and polished logo.
Merge your core, measurable conversions into site design.
Include contact information including a phone number and physical location.
Infuse your website with 3rd party validation including testimonials, industry certifications, etc.
Highlight compelling testimonials whenever possible.
4) Optimize website
Good website structure and site health are critical to effective online marketing.
If structural items aren't handled properly, your site will be ignored (or possibly even penalized) by Google and other search engines. Websites with no search traffic die. It may not be the most stimulating part of digital marketing, but it's essential.
Identify core natural search engine optimization principles, incorporate into site design.
Conform your website to Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Avoid black hat site structure and practices.
Do not stuff keywords on your pages.
Optimize your site load time to under 3 seconds.
Secure site with an SSL certificate.
5) Publish great content
"Content is the reason search began in the first place" ~ Lee Odden, Author, Social Media Sage
After you put in the plumbing, you have to finish the house.
That finished house is your content. Create great blog posts, outstanding videos, excellent infographics, and more is step 1. Making sure it's properly marked-up to get indexed in the search engines is step 2.
Create content for your business' core keywords.
Include descriptive title tags and optimized headers on content that includes core keywords.
Add a compelling description tag that will encourage prospects to click on your link.
Write your content for human readers, not search engines.
Write a great 'about' page.
Include contact information including a physical address and business hours, if applicable.
Insert your phone number in the header of your site - or have a good reason NOT to.
Incorporate relevant, professional images and photography to complement your content.
Only use readable fonts for most web users.
Do NOT use more than 3 fonts on your website.
Remove distracting content like music, splash pages, or other obsolete web design elements.
Answer your visitors most common questions and make those answers accessible.
6) Distribute content
"If a tree falls in a forest and it isn't posted on Facebook, did it really happen?" ~Unknown
Once you have awesome content, make sure people see it.
As good as it may be, it's worthless if nobody sees it. Sad, but true. After building great content, content distribution is the 2nd leg of content marketing.
Connect your blog to an RSS feed.
Build all relevant profiles in social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc.
Ensure consistent branding across all social media profiles.
Publish relevant, platform-targeted content to each social media business profile.
Learn how to market effectively on each social media channel.
Conform your content marketing to the terms and conditions of each social media platform.
Grow a natural set of authority backlinks
Create an email marketing program complete with email capture, quality content, and consistent publishing.
Ensure your content is optimized for local search engines.
7) Use good analytics
"You can't manage what you can't measure" ~ Peter Drucker, PhD, Management Consultant
Web analytics is the science of seeing what happened on your website.
It covers everything from traffic sources, mobile usage, geographic data, conversion tracking, and more info than you'll ever use. Despite the complex nature of analytics, there are some vital elements every business owner should understand.
Install web analytics tracking snippet on every page you want tracked. We use Google Analytics (GA).
Fix any data collection issues as they arise. Because they do.
Setup at least two primary analytics filters (GA = Views): raw + filtered for prospective customers.
Isolate key, trackable goals that contribute to your business goals and marketing funnel.
Implement goal tracking and event tracking for those important goals.
Install e-commerce tracking if your website processes online orders.
Enact phone tracking to monitor calls when phone leads are important.
Know your top converting traffic sources to grow traffic in those channels.
Optimize your most visited pages on your site.
"Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they don't need" ~Will Rogers, Cowboy, Actor
Digital advertising is a modern marvel.
Contrasted with its print and television predecessors, online advertising boasts the benefit of near-simultaneous reporting. It can be used to test a new offer or grow sales for a proven product all at a measurable cost per action. Not to mention the benefits of digital brand building.
Advertise on search engines, aka PPC or SEM advertising. ex. Google AdWords.
Utilize proven PPC techniques like geographic targeting where customers can buy from you.
Test out remarketing/retargeting on visitors who have previously visited your site.
Identify your target cost per sale, cost per lead, or cost per action (CPA).
Expand advertising on relevant websites to test new channels.
Create a Facebook ad campaign (for B2C) using relevant demographic targeting.
9) Make website usable
"Don't make me think" ~Steve Krug, author, usability guru
The web continues to evolve as users become more sophisticated.
Whoever passed as a great developer in 1999 would be fired for the same work today. Things are different and continue to get more complex and simple at the same time. The complexity relates to the underlying code. The simplicity relates to site usability. Think Apple.
Create intuitive navigation.
Condense primary navigation to essential links.
Incorporate appropriate whitespace to control user flow.
Implement critical content above the fold for all devices.
Employ consistent colors and design across the site.
Conduct user testing and design changes to optimize user experience for key tasks.
Remove any unnecessary elements on your website.
Design your website for mobile first, then for other devices.
Ensure your website is readable on all devices.
Design website navigation to show prospects the information they want.
Test your website usability. Then test again.
10) Optimize for conversions
"Where there is friction there is opportunity. Either you solve it for your customers today or a competitor will do it tomorrow" ~Bryan Eisenberg, author, web analytics pioneer
It doesn't stop after you identify conversions and start measuring them. Next comes conversion rate optimization (CRO). That's how the Obama Presidential campaign raised an additional $60 million in 2008. It's also how you can double or quadruple your current digital marketing results.
Verify your conversion goals flow into your marketing funnel.
Review site design so it incorporates marketing funnel-driven calls to action for goals.
Ensure primary call to action is on every page of your website.
Instill a sense of urgency.
Revise lead forms and sales process to be as short as possible.
Is your checkout process as streamlined as possible? Compare your ecommerce checkout to Amazon's.
Hypothesize how to improve conversions on your website and landing page.
Test your hypothesis with tools like heat maps or Optimizely.