There are a few tips I can give anyone looking to do online marketing and creating a website, both as an Online Marketer and Strategist…. and as someone who went through this process herself a few years back, learning some lessons the hard way.
1. Build your site with a CMS (Content Management System) Platform -WordPress is the best.
The Search Engines ( like Google) do not read code or Flash, only text, so your site will never rank organically or be found by anyone, as the Search Engines will have no idea what your site is about and as a result, won’t show your site to people typing into Search!
Wordpress is relatively easy to use for the average business owner, as it’s straightforward to learn how to put up basic content ie articles and pictures.
2. Do not employ a graphic designer to make your site- unless they have a demonstrated track record with successful SEM & SEO (Search Engine Marketing & Optimisation)
Employ the graphics people after you have someone that knows the elements and strategies for a results based,successful online business site build it – and the graphic designer can do ‘the pretty’!
Graphics is LAST.
Graphics do not make sales for your site and are generally only important to the site owner and their friends- as well as costly.
Your visitor is not interested in what colours are on your site – ONLY what you can do to help with their pain or need!
Google loves WordPress (WP) and WP has many free themes that you can use until you have more money to spend on costly graphics.
Save your money on graphics to promote your site with SEM & SEO(Search Engine Marketing and Optimisation) to find out what IS working and get ‘traffic’ and then sales.
Those sales will then pay for any graphics you decide you want.
3.Think about your Content first (ie articles, videos, images) then Functionality ( Newsletters, E-Commerce etc) both together..then Navigation around your site.
Make sure your Online Marketing Consultant helps you to know your keywords and drill down into your niche market,branding, assist you to identify your ideal client..and then to sell to them.
4.TEST your product (site) before your real live launch, with SEM and a Google Adwords PPC (Pay Per Click) Campaign to see if what you have is appealing to your target market.
Your online consultant should already have done Keyword Research for you to assist with all the Content you have created and determined the best navigation and functionality for you>
They should have a track record in managing Adwords PPC Campaigns. Are they Google Certified?
SEM with Adwords is the online marketing equivalent of the old market research random sampling and focus groups.
- You get visitors (traffic) from your PPC ads on Adwords to test drive your product ( your website) to see what appeals and works- and what doesn’t.
- Using the free tool Google Analytics, you then see what those visitors DO when they land on your site.Your online marketing consultant will know how to interpret all this data.
- Do the visitors stay and read what you are about, look around and then Take Action? ( eg sign up or purchase) This is called a conversion and is what the fuss is all about.
- OR do they immediately click back to Google Search, as they did NOT find what they wanted or expected? Not Good.
- SEM is a critical step prior to the websites hard launch, so ensure you have money left from building your site to test your offer!
5. Understand what you are building is just the same as a bricks and mortar business.
It takes time, money and effort to get right.
You need to invest in your business and expect it to cost money before you get ROI (Return On Investment)
It may not have all of the same overheads and inventory as a physical location- But it IS a business!
6.Listen and follow the advice of your online consultant ….and do not attempt to tell them their job because “your brother in law told you he got a great website for $250!”
You don’t tell your dentist, doctor or lawyer how to do their job.
You don’t study dentistry or Law before you visit them and engage their services do you?
No, your expectation is that they have spent years learning their business, so you don’t need to know and can merely get the results you want and need when you hire them.
Obviously there is a lot of overwhelm in the online marketing space and that makes it hard to compare apples with apples.
But I hope these basic tips for getting a business up online and how to create a business results based website is a little easier for you now.
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