In the quest to be a part of the steady migration of business from the offline world to the online world excited small business owners are susceptible to making a big mistake.
What is it? Getting myopic about what online marketing is.
ONLINE MARKETING COMPRISES SEVEN PILLARS
Social media is getting a LOT of attention these days as the way for small businesses to market online. But is it enough? Hardly.
It’s actually just one of the seven pillars of online marketing. Social media alone will not transform any business.
However, if you slowly but surely learn about and apply best practices to place your business on all seven pillars, your business will stand head and shoulders above most of your competition online.
PILLAR ONE: YOUR WEBSITE
The first pillar should serve as the hub of all your online activity and that’s your website. Before you rush off to engage in all sorts of marketing online have you taken a close look at your website first?
Here are some questions you should answer as you inspect your website to see if it’s ready to stand tall as your first pillar:
- Is it modern?
- Does it have a clear call to action on every page?
- Does it incorporate a blog?
- Are there videos on it?
- Is the copy compelling?
- Does it have a lead capture mechanism?
- Is it easy to find out how to contact you?
- Do you have social media hooks to enable sharing of your site?
One of the other Experts on 2BH wrote a helpful post entitled 3 Ways Your Website Can Help or Hinder Your Customers. I recommend you check it out as you consider ways to improve your first pillar.
Once you feel your website is firmly in the 21st century, then you should have a few people you trust go through it page by page and get their thoughts.
No matter how much we work on our own website we can always miss something obvious such as an About Us page that reads more like a ho-hum bio than a compelling story that draws people in, or the lack of a few ways to contact you.
After this round of feedback you’re now ready to start on Pillar Two, which actually keeps you fairly in place.
PILLAR TWO: SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is an essential part of online marketing. Without it you could have the best website in town and still not be found by anybody who doesn’t have the URL. I worked with a dermatologist once who wondered why he couldn’t find his website in a Google search.
Once we took a close look at his site it was obvious that no one could find it because his name was hardly even on it! Therefore, when you did a Google search for his name many other websites came up instead.
SEO is mysterious to some extent. I’ll give you that. But it’s not something you can’t learn about or turn to an expert for help with.
There are proven techniques that will give your website a fighting chance to be found online for the products and services you offer. I bit the bullet and shelled out for 3 days of expert training last year and have certainly benefited from the knowledge.
I get steady leads from my website each month because it is being found in Google searches for the services I provide. If you are not getting calls or emails from people searching with Google, then you probably need SEO for your website. One of 2BH’s experts, Thomas Petty, provides the same training I attended in 2011.
Once you have optimized your site you should see your rankings on the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) improve. And that will be good for your business!
There’s more though. We’ve only talked about two pillars so far. In my next post we’ll talk about pillars three and four.
Share Your Thoughts & Tips
In the meantime share your comments about the first two pillars. Are you up to speed on them? What other tips do you have to share about having a killer website? What’s your favorite onsite SEO tactic? Let us know!
Photo by Watson Media
- The Way A 3-Month Old Site Received 958,373 Visits From Google (baybusinesshelp.com)