Imagine this; you’ve had a dream all of your life to own a fine furnishings store.
One day you decide you are going to do it. Now is the time! So you take every dime you’ve ever saved, or give your right arm and get a business loan but you do what you have to do to get the money and boy is it A LOT of money.
You find an awesome location in a trendy, upscale part of town. You purchase beautiful furnishings from all over the world, get your banking and POS system in place, hire staff and ultimately create a stunning store that literally WOW’s.
You’re SURE that people will come flocking from all over town and beyond to purchase these amazing one-of-a-kind items.
Opening Day arrives and you rush to the store early. You think “how exciting it will be to see people waiting at the doors to come in when we open at 10am.”
10am comes, you open the door..
and NOTHING HAPPENS!
The hours go by….
and NOTHING HAPPENS!
At this point you must know where I am going with this story. You can have the most beautiful, wonderful, delicious, amazing, unbelievable products or services but if you don’t tell people you have these wonderful, delicious, amazing, unbelievable products or services then how the heck can you expect ANYONE to know they they should visit your shop OR in this case – your online store – YOUR WEBSITE?
When it comes to business, if you’ve got something to sell. You better have a plan and budget for marketing so you can let people know that you exist.
Too many people think that traffic to your website should just happen – like magic!
To boost your web profile you need to use a combination of different tactics. If used correctly, they can have both short and long term benefits.
First of all, you need to have a goal. Your website should be easy to navigate and contain strong content. Also, you must have a designated marketing budget.
There’s just no two ways about it.
So, start with a little Marketing 101 approach like this…
- Determine your target market
- Find out where your target market spends their time, learn what is important to them and construct a relevant message.
- Contact your target market on a consistent basis and use your DESIGNATED BUDGET to do so.
- Fourth, and most important….be CONSISTENT IN YOUR EFFORTS and patient in your expectation for results.
Next, It’s very important to optimize your website so that it can be found easily when using search engines. The following are tips to help:
- Know and use keywords – keywords are what people might type into a search engine such as Google to find your site. Make sure to use these keywords in your content on the site, and also in subheadings, URLs, posts and titles. It’s also important to add keywords as “ALT” tags on your images.
- Buy your own domain – by buying a domain you are adding credibility to your business. Having a domain also helps you look professional and builds your brand. A domain also helps generate traffic to your site while building your reputation.
- Blogging – is an important way to generate traffic to your website and gives your customer important information about your business. The content you blog about can increase search engine optimization (SEO). The right keywords are crucial to getting more traffic. In addition, make sure to insert in-bound links to your site, this will also help generate more traffic. The more pages published equals the more opportunities to get your site noticed.
- Provide reviews on your website – It always helps to have customer’s glowing reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask a satisfied customer to provide a 5 star review for you. Potential customers use reviews daily when making important decisions.
- Make sure you integrate social media into your website – such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. The means either having direct feeds from those platforms or having icons that people can click on that lead them to your pages on those platforms. The more exposure, the better!
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) does require a a monetary investment but it can provide big payoffs. By using SEM you are able to quickly get in front of a very targeted audience who is looking for your product or service at the exact time they are looking for you.
- Promote your website anywhere you can – reach out to local media outlets such as radio stations, papers, and magazines to name a few. Perhaps you can share an interesting story about your company.
So while I encourage that you take advantage of all FREE marketing options out there. It is just not enough to get you the results and traffic you need to your website and ultimately lead to conversions and sales.
That famous saying is true. “You have to spend money to make money”. It just is what it is.
Need help crafting a great marketing plan? Give me a call at (301) 676-5633 or contact me here.