7 Ways to Increase your Chances of Getting Lucky with Your Online Presence
Back in 1978, the science fiction writer, Robert A. Heinlein penned the line, “if you don’t bet, you can’t win.” This concept applies fittingly to internet marketing. After all, if you don’t have a web presence, then surely no-one will find you online. And while there isn’t much to “lose” in this game, it takes some investment (mostly your time or someone else’s) to gain momentum and generate a decent ROI.
With more and more of your competitors coming online, its not enough to simply have a web Page. To really increase your chances that web users will find you, and then become customers, its best to deploy and maintain a strategic combination of tools and tactics that will ensure your success. Here are a few that may work to increase the chances that someone will find you online.
On-Page: Keep contents fresh, relevant and updated regularly.
These days, the worst sign that you aren’t in the game would be not having a website. That’s obvious. The next level however, is to have a website that is never updated (or updated infrequently).
Having a web presence that is regularly updated shows that your business is active. Moreover, the contents that you post regularly show that you are in-tune with the industry: changes in technologies, changes in techniques and methodologies, etc.
Each article you post increases your chances that someone who needs your product or services will find you through a search. The more expertise you divulge through the pages of your website, and the more that other sites link back to your site pages, the higher the ranking that the search engines will assign to your site.
On-Page: Simple choices for a clear path-to-purchase
You want to guide the user through the experience in a way that is helpful and un-intimidating. Keep web pages uncluttered and make sure that the choices (buttons and subnav) are not overwhelming. And don’t try to pack too much information onto a single page. Remember, you cannot be everything to everyone. Kepp the conversation and information focused and to-the-point. This is where good information design comes in handy. You want to break up information into related groups, or categories so that users have a natural funnel to go deeper into the contents.
On-Page: Conversion Tools
Getting more traffic to your site is almost always a good thing, but what matters most is what percentage of those visitors actually become customers. So, make sure to give visitors plenty of opportunities to become a customer or otherwise connect with you. This can be done through contact forms, newsletter subscription opt-ins, or simply making your product or service available for purchase with a single click.
These conversion tools should be related directly to your business goals. If an improved customer experience is your goal, then make sure to include simple ways for your visitors to get in touch with your support or sales staff. If your goal is to sell 500 Widgets a month, then make sure the “buy this widget” button is placed prominently. One thing that simple, but often overlooked completely, is placing a phone number or other way to reach you prominently
While having visitors sign up to receive your newsletter might not equate directly to a sale, you shouldn’t neglect opt-in newsletter subscription. There’s little to lose by placing a newsletter signup option on your site pages, and hey, it may just lead to a long relationship with that visitor. When you create a vehicle for potential customers to subscribe to your semi-regular posts, that’s a form of what we call “permission based marketing”.
This is a great place to transition to some of the off-page tactics.
Off-Page: Newsletter distribution
By signing up to receive more information from you, your visitors are saying they are genuinely interested in what you have to say, and in the process, they are giving you their contact information and permission to reach out to them. But, just getting visitors to subscribe isn’t enough, the newsletter contents need to be created and it needs to be sent out on a regular, or semi-regular basis. If you don’t distribute fresh contents with some regularity, then your potential customers are sure to forget that you exist.
Off-Page: Make it easy for visitors to share of your contents. RSS, Twitter, etc.
Getting your work published elsewhere is one of the best things you can do to exhibit your expertise in your field. And this doesn’t always mean that you have to write contents specifically for other sites. It can be enough to simply create contents for your own site, and then make it easy for your visitors to share or distribute themselves. And each time another site creates a link back to your site, its another opportunity to increase your own page ranking in the search engines.
Off-Page: Local Directory Listings
While its easy to imagine how outdated those thick, printed phone directories have become, its often missed just how helpful it can be to get your business listed in local directories. There are a ton of them out there, and even some services that will automatically submit your website to many listings all at once. One service that Lisa Hutt, our content strategist, typically recommends is GetListed.org. That’s a great place to start and find out whether or not your site is listed in the major directories.
No matter how your information gets into the directories, you’ll want to make sure that its correct and that its updated whenever your business incurs changes. At the very least, you want to claim listings before your competitors do. Juicy results once had a local client, a dentist, who had a competitor claim his business listing and then list it as a closed business. That can never be good!