Your organisation’s website is the keystone of your digital marketing strategy; it’s the virtual storefront where you want all your clients, customers and interested parties ending up when they look for the kinds of products and services you are. It takes just 0.05 seconds for a user to form an opinion of your website that determines whether they say or go, so making a good impression online is critical. As a foundational piece of infrastructure, your website marketing strategy must be powerful, effective, and goal-orientated if you want to turn those visitors into loyal fans and advocates for your brand.
With so many articles out there on the subject of website marketing strategy (plenty of which have out-of-date or contradictory advice), our team of website marketing specialists decided to write this step-by-step guide to help you out. In it, we take a clear and concise look at how to take your business digital in the best possible way. Ready? Here we go.
Step 1 – Know Your Brand
Your brand is what everyday people say about your business. It exists whether you know it or not – but taking control of this conversation will help you define what your organisation does in the most powerful and positive way. To identify your brand, business owners need to start by asking and answering the following questions.
What is the purpose of my business? Think about why your organisation was started, the vision of the founders, and the niche it wants to fill in the market. For example, your business is not a food supplier – it’s a ready-meal business that caters to the powerful and popular emerging vegan market. In just a few short sentences about why you’re doing what you do, you can already see messages, values and opportunities emerging.
What do we want to achieve? People don’t buy a product or a service, they buy a story and a vision. It’s important to understand how your customers want to feel when wearing or using your product, how you change their lives for the better, and why they should pick you – not your competitor. Using the same example as above, your vegan ready-meal company is about helping people live healthy, wellness-focused lives easily and conveniently. It’s about helping people reach their wellness goals, support an eco-friendlier life, and support local producers.
Step 2 – Identify Your High-Value Customer Segments
Now it’s time to ask, “Who is my market?”
To make your website work, it needs to connect with a buyer appealingly. This means tapping into the preferences, values and lifestyle of the market segment you most want to sell to. Keeping with the above example, your audience could be established vegans who are looking for easy, nutritious meals that are on the go, people who are new to veganism that want to explore their dietary options, and people who want to try out veganism for the first time. Try to build buyer profiles for the different people you’d most want using your business, so you understand what they’d want from your website.
As you can see, this process adds depth and detail to your brand and business, fleshing it out to give it character, direction and personality. This process determines and defines who your brand is, making your message resonate clearly with all the right customers.
Step 3 – Evaluate Your Current Website
If you already have a website, it’s time to have a good look at it through user experience testing and Google Analytics to see how it’s currently performing. Your website probably needs a fresh approach if:
The content is inaccurate – Read over your content as if you are a customer. Is it inaccurate? Is it missing core products/services or are listed items no longer available? Are the links and navigation bar not working? If so, your website isn’t doing you any favours. Customers become frustrated, returns and cart abandonment increase, and trust in your brand drops, while sales teams end up wasting valuable time on inaccurate leads and calls.
The load times are slow – A fast website is critical. A good example to illustrate just how important seconds can be is Amazon, where a one-second delay in load time could cost $1.6 billion in sales. Almost 70% of consumers say that load speed affects their willingness to buy from an online retailer, and in just 10 seconds, the likelihood of mobile bounce rate increases by 123%.
It’s not mobile compatible – In 2021, mobile e-commerce sales are expected to account for 54% of all online sales globally. In the UK during 2019, one-third of all shopping done has been transacted over a mobile device – and this is expected to keep growing. If your website isn’t mobile-compatible, you’re missing out on customers who are already looking for your products and services on their mobiles.
Step 4 – Update Your SEO Strategy
Google is always updating their algorithm to make it more accurate and offer a better experience to the user. This is where your search engine optimisation or SEO strategy comes in. If your content and website build isn’t reflecting the best practices that Google promotes, it’s going to rank lower than those that do.
This doesn’t mean you need to redo your website every year, but it does mean that older websites, especially those developed with black hat SEO tactics that can penalise your website rather than bringing in results, are evaluated properly. If you’ve been using techniques such as keyword stuffing, content cloaking, content spamming, or even purchasing links, then it’s time to redo your website to stay on Google’s good side and effectively drive relevant traffic.
SEO strategy is very complex, but the idea behind it is simple – it’s about making sure your website is quickly found by your customer. Good SEO is about aligning your content with the user’s search intent, embedding SEO elements into images and the backend of your website, developing a solid list of researched target keywords and a powerful link building strategy, and putting your consumer first.
Step 5 – Create Great Content
In this high-tech world, high-quality content marketing is king. Your content is what your users read – it draws them in, entices them to look at what you offer, and convinces them that your business is the one for them. Truly great content marketing is not about a hard-sell approach. Instead, it’s about focussing your marketing efforts on empowering and inspiring your consumer; moving them through the sales funnel and driving organic traffic by showing them that you can solve the challenge they’re facing and make their life or work easier, more enjoyable, or more rewarding.
Regular blog posts
Google evaluates your website on the frequency of your posts as well as the value of your article content. Blog posts are a great way to expand your website and stay current with the needs of your consumers as well as move them into the sales funnel. It can answer how-to, questions, elaborate on products and services, share information on who your business is, and educate your consumers on how you can help them. With relevant content, you connect with your potential customer, building trust and brand awareness.
Google owns YouTube, which is now the second-largest search engine in the world. It’s also why video content now pops up in search results, making video one of the most powerful marketing tools. How-to videos, roundtables, seminars and more can be hosted on your website, social media pages and more to drive conversion rates up by 80% – and it’s all because consumers love it, with 88% more time being spent on websites with video content.
Website content – These are the landing pages of your website, and they present your brand and business to the online customer. From images to written content, a potential customer needs to know that they have arrived in the right place in an instant. Your content should answer the question they were searching for in Google, tell them exactly what they need to do and why they should do business with you. Content should align with who your customers are and what they value, it should speak in the right tone, and it should be specific and with a clear call to action.
Step 6 – Get Social
Getting onto social media is all about bringing your brand to the right platforms in the right way. Again, this isn’t about how many platforms you join or how often you post as it is about speaking regularly to your customers on the platforms where they already are. This means using your target market research to find your customers first and then build a page they’d enjoy interacting with.
Like your blog, social media is not about hard selling – it’s about using your marketing efforts to connect, engage, and educate through relevant content. Here, you can share tips, show off testimonials, ask your customers what they want to see, and create events they can participate in. With consistent, quality content that aligns with your brand identity, organisational values, and consumer interests, potential customers don’t just become aware of your brand – they’ll trust you and advocate for you too.
Step 7 – Develop a Paid Advertising Strategy
Website marketing has two different sides to it – your organic search engine optimisation strategy, and your paid advertising (PPC) strategy. So far, we’ve mostly focussed on driving organic traffic through blogs, video, and social media, so let’s take a look at paid advertising.
This is much more like the everyday advertising we’re used to, as they take the form of a very short text or image advertisement promoting a product or service. Popular types of paid online advertising include:
Google Ads – These ads appear at the top of search engine results when the keywords they are linked to are used in a Google search. You can choose what keywords to target, the audience you want to see the ad (geographic location, demographics, etc.), and whether you want a search, display, video, shopping or app ad. Each option has its pros and cons, and the goals for your ad campaign will help determine which type of ad is best. You can also apply retargeting effectively with Google Ads, driving a 70% increase in conversions.
In 2020, Google was the biggest provider of search advertising in the world, driving 96% of the organisation’s revenue. These ads have a significant click-through rate of 7.11%, giving a 200% ROI on campaigns.
Social media ads – Most social media channels now offer some type of paid advertising, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter. The ads are a little different for each platform, and it’s important to choose a platform or two based on where your target market is. You can segment the ads by demographic, customer segment and other detailed data, and you can use retargeting to send your ads to other websites that target customers are using outside that platform too.
In 2020, Facebook advertising reported a reach of 2.14 billion people and generating almost $84.2 billion in revenue, while Instagram, accounted for $20 billion in revenue with a reach of up to 928.5 million people, and 50% of users visiting a website to make a purchase after seeing the business on the platform.
Step 8 – Register on Online Business Directories
Now it’s time to register your business on online directories. This increases the visibility of your brand by making your website and key information as easy to find as possible. For local businesses, these directories are invaluable, making you visible to “near me” searches and cutting down your competition from the millions of similar providers nationally or across the globe.
The most important online businesses directories in the UK include:
- Google My Business UK
- The UK Small Business Directory (UK SBD)
- Britain Business Directory
- Yelp UK
- Thompson Local
- Hotfrog UK
- Trade Pages
When registering, it’s essential that your name, address, phone number, website address, and other key details are accurate and consistent across all platforms, or you risk not being found.
Step 9 – Create Personalised Email Campaigns
Email is one of the oldest online marketing tools, and it’s one of the most effective! According to research, for every pound spent on email marketing in the UK in 2020, there was an impressive return of £35.41. This makes it a priority to sign up new subscribers to get new email addresses and develop campaigns that are rewarding for your users. A good way to do this is to offer something for free – an interesting white paper, early access to sales, or a small discount on their first purchase.
Current trends for email marketing emphasise personalisation, so it’s a good idea to segment your email lists to send more relevant information to certain subscribers based on their geographic location, past purchases, position in the sales funnel, and interests. Also, tailor your content to what other content is driving the conversion rate. If a specific blog or social media post is getting a lot of interest, create more detailed content around that to send out in emails.
Step 10 – Get Help from the Right People
Digital marketing, and website marketing in particular, is not easy. It’s a constantly changing environment that’s influenced by consumer trends, technology, and current events. To stay on top of your website marketing is not a hobby or a part-time job – it’s about expertise and having your finger on the pulse of today’s consumers. The real secret to a successful website marketing strategy is to have the right people working with you to understand your business, out-perform your competition, and bring your brand into the digital spotlight.
At Yellowball, we’ve got a proven record for helping business owners across the UK develop powerful marketing strategies that drive measurable results. Let us show you how to make digital marketing drive your organisation’s success. Contact us today.