Here’s a roundup of some of the most popular web marketing tips that I’ve come across, tips that I follow regularly, both for my own businesses (as a photographer, a web designer, a public speaker) and for my clients.
These are web marketing tips that any small business owner can use to help consumers find them online.
20 simple web marketing tips to improve your online business
Web marketing tips for text ads
Pay-per-click (PPC) and Sponsored Ads have fast become an easy way for website owners to promote their website to a specific target audience. Here are some simple web marketing tips to improve your click rates, as well as your sales!
Have a great call to action. Tell prospective new consumers exactly what you want from them. People do better when they know exactly what steps to take next, and a great call to action (Start selling online, Get a free quote, Contact me today) will make them more likely to take that action.
Use Title Case in your ad text. Title case, while grammatically incorrect, has a major impact on click thru rates for ads. Avoid UPPERCASE words, but adding a capital to each major word helps improve click rates.
Understand the format of a text ad. Yahoo!, Google, Twitter, and Facebook all have different text ad formats, both officially and unofficially to get noticed! You need to know which platform is right for you, as well as how to maximize your reach on that specific platform.
Grammar matters in text ads. It should go without saying, but check (and double check) your grammar! Text ads, like any advertising are a reflection on your business.
Avoid using your business name. Online advertising has extremely limited characters, and a very narrow window to catch a visitors attention. Your business name doesn’t need to occupy that space, instead use your URL as an element of your marketing.
Include a readable URL. The URL (Uniform Resource Locator), or website address, appears at the bottom of your ad, so include a great URL. If you don’t already have an optimized microsite for the campaign you’re running, consider creating one.
Use keywords! Take the time to study your keywords before making a purchase, but also focus your ad on those keywords by sharing them in the title, and ad copy to generate organic impressions as well.
Think like your target customer. Avoid using industry lingo, or phrases, jargon, and uncommon abbreviations in your text ads (unless you’re specifically marketing to those keywords). Ads that read as an alphabet soup of technical gibberish won’t result in sales.
Web marketing tips for your website
Driving traffic to your website with paid ads is all fine, but what about your website itself? Here are some web marketing tips designed specifically to build your onsite marketing influence.
Use a web specific tracking number. If you want to know where your calls are coming from, add a phone number alias that helps you separate those inbound calls from all the others.
Update your website. Websites are like any other piece of marketing, you need to stay on top of it to keep it relevant. Here are some easy to digest tips:
- if you’ve not updated your website design since the last general election, you’re out of date;
- if you’ve not updated your home page since last weekend, it’s out of date;
- if you’ve not updated your sales page since the last holiday, it’s out of date;
- if you’ve not looked at your website analytics today, you’re out of date;
Make your website mobile friendly. It’s not just about search engine optimization, it’s about your business appealing to a massive market that’s wandering around right now, looking for you. 56% of website traffic is now mobile traffic, let that sink in for a moment … over half your potential leads are sitting on their mobile phones right now, looking to become your customers.
Optimize your website for local search. Make sure your business includes a local listing, from a street address and phone number, to geo-targeted meta data designed to help search engines pin point your business market.
Add powerful website metadata. Metadata is, simply put, formatted data, designed to help other computers to find and sift through information about your website. It’s everything from your <title> tag, to the traditional <meta> tags, Facebook tags, Twitter cards, and hCards. Websites without proper meta tags are like books without an ISBN.
Add a business blog. Blogs are like newsletters that allow a business to publish content rapidly, but they’re far more than that. I recommend to my customers that they create a WordPress blog for their business that includes:
- company news, updates, and changes in process (ie weather delays);
- charity, and community updates;
- employee promotions, and retirements;
- upcoming events, specials, deals, and sales;
- employment openings;
- industry news and tutorials;
Be found on Google maps. This is, of course, especially true for businesses with consumer traffic, but every business can benefit from getting your business on the map!
Create, and stick to a content schedule. Online marketing is, at it’s core, about creating great content for your target audience and posting it regularly. The higher your visibility on a search engine result page, the more organic (free) traffic you’ll drive to your website, and the less you’ll have to spend on advertising. The way to do that, is to create amazing content, and drive traffic to your sales pages.
Make the most of local keywords. I live in St. Catharines Ontario, it’s a relatively small market (130,000 people) but still more contains more great local businesses than I could ever hope to come in contact with. Use your local keywords and phrases to bolster your local business, on your website as well as your Twitter, Facebook, and social media feeds!
Post fantastic images! People do more than love images, people trust images. I happen to run a photography business, but that’s not why I post images. From cafe’s to tourism, people (your customers) want to see visual proof that you’re a successful business.
Don’t be shy about linking. Search engines encourage websites to link, both internally to other pages within a domain name (we call this deep linking), and externally to quality websites. Encourage your visitors to become better informed by linking to the best resources on the web and your SEO will jump tremendously.
Have a secure website. Website security breaks down into a couple key components, firstly take the time to update and maintain your website hosting environment, software, and page. Secondly, ensure that your website is running a security certificate (SSL) to ensure that your audience is protected while visiting your website.
Bonus Tip: Have a great web host! This is one I can’t stress enough. The speed of your website, uptime, responsiveness, and reliability, have a tremendous impact on your marketing efforts. Stop thinking about website hosting as a technical issue, it’s part of your marketing.
How does your small business use online marketing to reach consumers? Tweet me with a comment!