If you read this blog you probably know that we believe the Internet has transformed small business, and that the way people shop for products (both B2B and B2C) has really changed.
We think that using modern marketing techniques is essential to helping any business grow today. By "modern marketing", we mean (1) doing the right things to make sure that people who are looking for the products and services you sell can actually find you and (2) then using the right tools to convert high percentages of those people into leads and paying customers.
After talking to hundreds of people about this topic, here are the five most common tips people need to turn their website into a marketing machine.
1) On Page SEO - Even if your website looks good to a human, search engines rule the internet. You need to give search engines the right clues to what your website is about and what types of people should find your website. You need to make sure you use the right keywords in the page content. Your page title needs to be short and use the right keywords. You need to use the same keywords in the H1, H2 and H3 tags on the page as well, and if you can put the keywords into the URL, even better.
2) Off Page SEO - One of the most effective ways to get more targeted traffic from search engines is to get more links into your website. Not only do you want more links, but you want more links from more trustworthy websites. Don't do link exchanges (where you and another website agree to link to each other) because you can get penalized by the search engines. Be careful of directories, especially if they accept tons of free links and don't reject at least some listings.
3) Start a Blog - Blogging is a great way to get more traffic from the right audience for three reasons. First, search engines will give your website more "love" if you have fresh content, and writing a blog is a great way to get more fresh content. Second, people typically just don't link to a boring corporate website, but they will link to an interesting blog article, so blogging can help you get more links. Finally, if your blog is set up correctly, each blog article is its own webpage and therefore is a unique SEO opportunity, so you can really capture a lot of long tail traffic using a blog.
5) Measure Everything - Marketing is all about measurement and optimizing your activities based on the previous results. The Internet has given us all a lot of great tools to measure a lot more of our marketing activities, so you need to use them. I typically like to measure the amount of traffic, leads and customers overall, and then by each marketing program I complete. You can read a couple articles about what to measure for executive level metrics and what to measure for website metrics if you want some ideas on what to measure.
If you enjoyed these tips, please keep in mind that we have also created internet marketing software to help small businesses take advantage of these techniques much more easily, and we built a free SEO tool to help you figure out if you are doing a good or a bad job.