Everyone wants a website that generates a lot of buzz, that has lots of visitors that want to buy your products and services – after all that’s why you set it up, right? There are so many sites on the internet, you don’t just need a great website to get noticed, you’ve also got to put hard work into the marketing of that site to ensure that you have a constant flow of visitors. For first time website owners, getting these next steps right can be a steep learning curve.
Once you’ve launched your website, the challenge for all new website owners is how to generate traffic to your site. Search engine optimisers will tell you that you need to develop a content marketing strategy, and that’s true, but as you’ll see as you read on, it’s only one piece of the puzzle.
Start with great content
Every great website needs strong content. Every page should be crisply written in a way that feels like you are directly speaking to those people you are trying to attract. If you’ve never thought about your audience before, now is the time to start. Understanding the types of people you want to visit your site is the first pillar of your marketing foundation. Once you know who is visiting your site, you can start writing web pages, blog posts and social media comments that relate to them and their needs. Anything else is just random and noisy.
If you don’t have it already, start with building up some personas for different types of audiences. For example, are you trying to attract women who are coming back into the workplace after raising a family? You would write very differently to a working mother compared to a business man in his forties. Again, if you were writing to students the language and the needs would be different again. Never assume a one-size-fits-all approach to your writing.
Write content that meets a need
Building out a content strategy that meets the need of these audiences is critical to keep them coming back. Your website visitors will largely be searching for sites like yours to solve a problem. Understanding those users, and their problems will help you shape content that positions you and your business as a solution to their problem. Notice the contrast, it’s not about what you can sell them, it’s about how you can help them solve a problem. Understanding this nuance is so important to getting your content right.
Build a content strategy
Once you know your audience and their needs, you are in a position to start writing in a more personalised way. Creating a content marketing strategy involves lists of topics – think of them as blog post titles – that attract readers to find answers to their problems.
Your regular blog posts should answer problems for your readers and be written in a way that people would search for those answers. By having keywords in your post that people would look-up in Google, you’ll attract more searchers to your website.
Once you have your content marketing strategy, then you need to get your blog posts written. You may choose to do this yourself, or you could have a professional writer do it for you. Many new website owners try to cut corners with this and employ virtual assistants in the Philippines or India to write content for them at $5 an hour, or less, but this could be a false economy.
In my opinion you should buy the best writer you can afford. Why? This is an investment in gaining people’s trust and helping more people find your website. If they find you, and build trust with you they are more likely to buy what you are selling.
Think of your own experience. How quickly do you form a negative opinion of a company when they have a bad website riddled with spelling mistakes? You quickly move on right? Would you really buy from them?
Your own experience confirms what I’m telling you – it’s all about building trust with your audience. Don’t cut corners and sell yourself short with badly written content. If you can’t do it yourself, or you don’t have the time, find a writer who has written successfully on your topics and engage them to write a series of posts. It costs money to buy quality. Invest!
Make social connections
Once you’ve made the investment in good writing, use social media to get your message out there. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn may be good places to start posting your content. Don’t forget to use #hashtags that complement your topic. This is a good way for your social content to be found, even if they don’t know you.
Build yourself a Facebook page (which is different from a personal page) for your website or business, and a twitter account to start sending your messages. Brand these pages to look consistent with your website and use them to interact with your website visitors.
The idea with your social media is to draw people towards your website, not from your website to Facebook or Twitter.
Build a marketing list
Finally, make sure you’re using a marketing list and regularly communicating with your customers. We recommend our PDQ solution as an inexpensive alternative to some of the big players like Mailchimp or ConstantContact because it gives you a full service solution with list management, campaigns, drag and drop editors and autoresponders for less than half the price of these bigger players. With PDQ you can start your list of the first 2500 users and send emails for free.
If you need help establishing your digital or content marketing strategy speak to us. We’re happy to help.