You’re thinking about building a website, but you’re not sure if doing this is guaranteed to get you more sales. Maybe you already have a website built but haven’t done anything more to it, and it doesn’t seem to be paying off. The famous quote from Field of Dreams states: “If you build it, they will come.” This isn’t in reference to building a website, it’s about building a baseball stadium to get people to come to a tiny Iowa town. Even though this isn’t directly in reference to building a website, the quote establishes the idea that if you just build something and leave it there, people will come flocking to it simply because it’s there. But we’re here to tell you that this is false. In the film, this works out great and everyone is happy with the result. Why? Because Hollywood creates the ending it needs, whether or not it creates false hopes and dreams for viewers in real life. Now that may seem harsh, and in some cases (very rarely) it can work out like that, but if we’re going to root ourselves in reality for a second, you can bet that it won’t.
You’re probably wondering: “What WILL make them come, then?” This is where you need to get acquainted with online advertising (marketing), content creation, and search engine optimization (SEO).
When most people think about marketing, their first thought is billboards, newspapers, television features, etc. In the digital world, that’s what we call traditional marketing. Now, the realm of advertising has spread to the internet and the world wide web.
Digital marketing has a ton of platforms available to use for your business.
Here are a few noteworthy ones that are worth checking out:
Facebook Business - If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your business, then you need to get that going! Pretty much everyone around the world has at least heard of Facebook and most people use it on a daily basis. So why not utilize that market? Get your business in front of the right people with extremely detailed targeting (it’s kind of scary how detailed it is), impeccable audience insights, and really diverse lead generation!
Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords) - Just like the above mentioned, Google is also an extremely well-known search engine. Most people who use the internet nowadays conduct their searches through Google. They have two main types of ad categories: Search and Display. Google Search is the most popular search engine, so getting your ads up in the top pages can prove to be very fruitful. Google Display is much of the same, with focus on your images on Google-sponsored websites.
Social Media - Having a social media presence may sound a bit too “young” and “hip” for your business depending on who your audience is, but social media isn’t just being used by kids anymore. Most adults have now taken to social media, with Facebook being the most popular within the older age group. Although Facebook may be the main social media platform most people use to advertise their business, it doesn’t mean you should entirely shy away from other platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
The second tool you should definitely be utilizing to promote your online business is content creation. And by content creation we don’t mean two sentences of copy in your homepage header and you’re done. We mean well thought out content that isn’t too much or too little, that grabs your audience’s attention while simultaneously adhering to your business’s mission statement. How you write about your business and services makes a lasting impression on potential customers. A large number of users will be viewing content from their phone, which means they’re making a quick scroll to see if you offer what they need. Be mindful of the obvious things like good spelling and grammar, but don’t forget to include why you started your business to build trust before they’ve even contacted you. Make sure important information is easy to find and not buried in pages of content that your users don’t need- if they can’t find what they need in a few clicks they will leave.
If you’re not sure about what type of content to put on your website or how to even start, here’s a great resource we recommend for improving content creation skills!
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Diving into our last component and probably the most important: search engine optimization. Now this ties in very closely with how well you lay out content throughout your website, as we iterated in the previous paragraph.
Why SEO Matters: Search engine optimization plays an extremely important role in how many times a website is seen when searching for something through Google, Bing, or Yahoo. The most popular search engine to date is Google, and that’s the one we primarily cater to when talking about optimizing SEO. There are a couple of key elements that you can work on when optimizing your SEO, such as keyword utilization and placement, linking to other pages within your site often, and getting other affiliate sites to link back to yours.
Keywords: These are the words that your customers use when looking you up on Google. If these keywords are not present in the content, you won’t have as many customers flocking to your business since Google won’t be showing your site to them when searching. Having those words on your site tells Google that your site is relevant to the people looking up similar or those exact keywords.
For example, if you’re a business that sells bicycles, you’d probably have relevant keywords like “bicycle”, “bike”, “wheels”, “repair”, etc. throughout your site. What not to do would be to put completely irrelevant keywords on your site such as, “car”, “car parts”, “car sales”, “car repair”, etc. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you do a deep-dive into your content, you may find some non-relevant keywords that stand out. Basically, only include elements on your site that you actually sell or provide as a service. Sometimes businesses like to run promotions or forge partnerships with other companies not related to what they’re selling, and if this is prevalent throughout the entire site, it could very well be hurting that business’ SEO.
Backlinks (Safe & Spammy): Backlinks are links from external websites that link back to your website. These backlinks are important because it shows Google that your website is being used as a resource for other companies to refer back to, thus making it a more reliable source. This will improve your ranking in Google searches, putting you above your competitors and thus getting your company in front of as many people as possible. Now those types of backlinks are what we would deem as “safe”. Some unsafe links would be coming from websites that have nothing to do with your company and/or aren’t family-friendly content.
You want to be careful with the types of backlinks that your website gets. For example buying 10,000 backlinks from a website like fiver.com can damage your SEO. Although backlinks are definitely a ranking factor they're not the only ranking factor that Google considers. Thus, when thinking about backlinks they should be considered in the grand scheme of marketing and SEO, not the main focus.
If you’ve already created a website and were wondering why it wasn’t getting any traffic, then hopefully this helps to understand why and the steps you can take to fix it! SEO is a big factor to getting your website organically noticed, marketing serves to get the right people in front of your website, and content creation helps people understand who you are, what you do, and why you should be trusted. If you’d like to see any further information on how to get your website to be the best it can be, check out some of our following blog post categories: