I mentioned in my last post that successful online marketing starts with ensuring your website is in good shape for a better user experience, but what does this mean? Well, there’s plenty of good practice technical things to consider and also some other more practical essentials. On the technical side it’s generally best to ask your web designer to audit the site and make sure it’s prepped and ready for take off – even better ask an independent qualified third party to do it*. Having said that, here are a couple of essential points:
Make sure the site is responsive – if your not sure what that means read this
Check (or ask) if the site has Google Analytics installed on it. This free tool enables you to see detailed visitor/traffic information – you’ll want to see this!
There’s a lot more technical consideration but I’d leave that for the experts.
On the practical side there are some obvious things you can do, such as:
Having some relevant up to date news or articles on the site – you don’t want to give the impression the site is out of date.
Ensuring relevant information is very visible with clear calls to action. If your online marketing plan is geared around selling more of product ‘x’ or service ‘y’ make sure these things are prominent – make it easy for visitors to become customers.
Here’s another tip. Get some feedback from existing clients and ask them what works for them and add in any good suggestions.
Planning, Step 2 – objective setting
What does successful online marketing look like to you? This is the bit where we think big and decide what we want to achieve – as mentioned previously a successful campaign isn’t just about getting traffic to your site, it’s about the quality of it and ultimately how many visitors generate an enquiry or sale. All these things are quantifiable and some very broad examples might include:
Increase sales of product ‘x’ by 10% online
Double the amount of enquiries from the website
Fill all of our staff vacancies via the company website or using social media to reduce recruitment costs (that’s one of ours – FYI it’s going well!)
Planning, Step 3 – milestone setting
This is very important. It’s safe to say that most businesses work to budgets and don’t have an endless amount to invest on any kind of marketing without seeing a return. Set deadlines and time frames to hit key objectives and review regularly. There’s nothing wrong with adjusting the plan as you go or shifting focus to achieve certain goals. On large campaigns assign an internal project manager to liaise with your digital marketing partner, on smaller campaigns you can simply expand on your objectives, e.g.:
Increase sales of product ‘x’ by 10% online by 31st August 2015
Increase that to 15% by 31st December 2015
Putting in place measurable criteria will help you rationalise the investment in online marketing and you’ll maximize that investment by ensuring your website is in good shape.
Get your website in good order
Stick to milestones
Set aside a budget and time to cover off any work required on your website.
Be prepared to invest – consider a budget
Watch out for
Anyone who claims they can get you a number one position in Google! Of course this is achievable in instances but my question would be “for what?” and “is anyone actually searching for that?”
Long term contracts – those days are gone, don’t sign up to anything longer than 3 or 6 months. You could end up committed to something that isn’t generating results for you.
Faceless providers. Ideally you would have face-to-face meetings with your online marketer once a month and at least every quarter.
*Building a website and optimising it are very different things. Don’t worry if the site audit throws up things that need action; it doesn’t usually mean there’s anything wrong. Not all web designers are SEO experts just as not all architects are builders.