Getting a new website for your business is only the start. As soon as your website is ready to share with the world, it’s time to start promoting it. But how?
This post will cover three basic things that every new website owner should know before they dive into marketing their website. It could save you money, time and the disappointment that comes from unrealistic expectations (like when you thought the big mac you got would look the same as the ad).
#1 – Don’t believe the hype
There are a huge amount of agencies and contractors out there eager to sell you digital marketing services like SEO, Google Ads etc. Some of them will even trawl through domain registration listings (a good reason to get domain privacy or at least obfuscate your contact details) and cold call or email website owners. Word to the wise, ignore any business that does this – more than likely they will make extravagant promises, take your money and disappear into the ether. Feel free to get in touch if you want to run it past us first.
With so much competition in the industry, many resort to making inflated claims about what they can achieve for you – phrases like ‘first page of google’ or ‘rank #1 for top keywords’ are common. Many include a long list of SEO services that really don’t move the needle in terms of getting your website in front of the right people, but they sound impressive to the uninitiated.
Don’t fall for it, and don’t be dazzled by buzzwords. If they’re making claims that sound too good to be true, they probably are. Some of them will say anything to get you signed up, then proceed to make bogus excuses about why you didn’t get the results you expected (like those weight loss gimmicks that never work, but they always blame your lack of commitment).
#2 – Keep the big picture in mind
Stuff like SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising are only stepping stones to the overarching goal of getting more customers. So, don’t get bogged down in the how, so much as the why. And keep the primary target in mind – you want to get the right visitor to your website and then convince them so they’ll buy your stuff.
Any time you do website marketing make sure you always circle back and check that it’s contributing in some significant way to this main goal.
- The right visitor – This means making sure you understand who the right visitor is, how to target them and how to get them to your website.
- Convince them – This is about making sure your above-the-line marketing aligns with what’s on your website. You’ve reeled them in but if your advertising doesn’t match what they see on your site, you’ll lose them.
- Convert them – They cross the line by completing a purchase – this means making sure the basics are working – you have the stock and the process works.
As you can see with this rough draft of what a big picture might look like, there are lots of things that you could work on that don’t necessarily have anything to do with SEO or Google Ads. Do you need copywriting services to make the text on your website more persuasive? Is your product or service presented in the best light, with good photography, and all the information needed for a buyer to make an informed choice? Have you tested the shopping cart and checkout? Does your website work well on mobile devices? Is your product or service competitively priced? Is there a market for it?
You could spend a lot of money on SEO services, only to get people to your website, and then lose them because you didn’t put any effort into making sure you had everything else in place first.
#3 – Be patient
Some new website owners have the mistaken idea that as soon as you launch a new website, you’ll get an instant stream of visitor traffic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. It takes time and patience. Google is actually wary of new websites to hamper the efforts of spammers (some have experienced the Google sandbox effect where their new site took several weeks before beginning to rank).
Instead of panicking that your website isn’t in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) use that time wisely. Build up your website content. Test the site as if you were a customer – is there anything that seems a bit off? anything that would discourage you from purchasing? Maybe start a blog – this is a good way to start ranking for a range of keywords (the blogging feature is built into all our new website packages). Share your website with friends and family, and get some honest feedback. This way, when your site does start ranking it will be in great shape and ready to sell!
It’s understandable you want immediate results but if you try to rush things, it often leads to making poor decisions, or choosing a bad service provider. We recently had a client come to us to take over their Google Ads, and the company that had been managing it (a large operation throughout Australia and NZ) refused to transfer their Google account, so it all had to be built from scratch, including starting over with things like the Google quality score, which proved costly and time-consuming.
Play the long game, and you’ll get there if you stick at it!
Web marketing doesn’t have to be confusing
Don’t feel overwhelmed by all the ‘noise’ around digital marketing. Yes, there are some technical bits and pieces (which we can help with) but the main thing is to focus on building up a great business – good service, good prices and good reviews – if you have these things, you’re most of the way there.
Remember, all the SEO and digital ads in the world won’t turn a bad business into a winner, but if you have a good business and you just need to get the word out, then you’re ready for some digital website marketing. Take a calm, steady and cautious approach, and be patient.
Work with a provider you trust, one that helps you to keep your expectations realistic and know that, just like exercise, a little digital marketing done regularly, and over a long period of time will always beat doing a lot in one go.
All the best, and don’t give up!