So you’ve got a brand new shiny website that you can’t wait to show off to the world? The next step is to get lots and lots of visitors. Sadly you can’t rely on people just showing up, you need to market the website to attract visitors and that all important new business. How can you do that?
Just like you wouldn’t expect anyone to show up to your birthday party if you didn’t tell anyone you were having one, you can’t expect visitors to your site if no one knows it exists. Your party invite in this case is digital marketing. Done right you’ll soon be enjoying the most rocking birthday party ever.
The four pillars
You need to factor in four main activities, often called the “four pillars” of digital marketing. These are Organic Search (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), Digital PR (content marketing) and Social. Taken separately they all achieve slightly different things, but together they form a well-lit and attractive trail of party balloons right back to your website.
It’s much more efficient if your site has SEO baked in from day one. You need to have isolated your keywords and built your site around the phrases that will now help the major search engines sit up and notice your site. Everything from the basic framework of the site to all of the copy and images need to have been crafted to one common, well thought out, SEO strategy. Did you get your website done without planning SEO? Don’t despair, it can be done after the fact but it will take longer and be a little more expensive. SEO is an ongoing task, you can’t just fire and forget.
Pay Per Click
PPC is, in effect, the modern version of newspaper adverts (remember those?). While it’s tempting to think that you can get your organic SEO to a level where you don’t need to spend money on PPC, that’s not the case. PPC still has a better conversion rate (about 1.5x better) and will attract a different type of visitor to your site. Bear in mind that PPC allows you to direct clicks at a specific landing page.
Also known as “outreach” or content marketing. I prefer the umbrella term Digital PR because, for me, it encapsulates more of what you’re trying to do. The basic idea here is that the more people that come across your brand, at what are known as touchpoints, the more likely they are to trust you and think of your product when they have a need.
Be passionate about your company's culture and your mission. Remain positive because it inspires others.
Kurt Uhlir, Entrepreneur
This is done by getting high quality content onto other sites, who have visitors that may need your product or service. This is not the same as “guest blogging”, which is on the wane. Be honest, helpful, transparent, and show potential customers how you can help. The key takeaway here is not to be “salesy” but rather focus on offering advice or giving useful information.
The new kid on the block. Social is now a key element in the digital marketing landscape. Every type of content, from words, video and graphics to podcasts and audiobooks can be quickly and easily disseminated onto social networks. This allows people to locate content that matters to them. This makes social media an ideal platform for building brand engagement. It’s this engagement that leads to them sharing, liking and commenting on your posts. In this way news of your products and services spread. But, before you rush headlong into digital marketing…
As you can see each of the four pillars will bring a different set of benefits. They need to be applied correctly and consistently as part of a clear plan. The results however are that your amazing website will become a tool for generating business leads and getting you new business.
A word of warning, however. Do make sure you’re totally happy with your website before you engage in digital marketing. The old adage of “you only get one chance to make a good impression” holds totally true in this case. A dodgy user experience or slow speed will turn visitors away and you may well loose them forever. If your website needs a tune up or you’re not convinced it’s as good as it could be, let’s get our heads together and see what we can do about that.