We have been working with clients on their websites and online strategy for over thirteen years, starting with when the web was in its infancy. Drawing on that experience, we have identified a checklist for almost any business which when used only works every single time. Sounds like an infomercial, so without further ado here is the checklist:
- Have A Good Website – This sounds vague but can be summarized as a publicly available website that features a compelling visual design, good tools for searching/viewing any inventory and has focused pages written for your specific target audiences. To keep it tight, you should have between one and four target audiences that represent your best customer categories. In addition, the site needs to be well written (code-wise) so that it is compliant with W3C standards and is optimized to display correctly on as many different types of devices as possible.
- Get on the First Page of Google – Your potential customers are out there. Why drive yourself nuts looking for them when they are probably looking for you? A campaign to get you in the top five search results, for the searches your target market is likely using, will result in more of your target market coming to your website than ever before.
- Do Social Networking Correctly – That last word is critical. Everyone’s abuzz about social networking in business. We say so what. The point is to do social networking using the right approach, which basically boils down to knowing what your target folks are likely to look for and like, and give it to them. If you don’t have a clear sense of that, there’s no real benefit and doing it wrong may even harm your image
- Drip Marketing – Email blasting and newsletters are a terrific way to keep yourself in front of your clients. That being said (and everyone says it), the true key in drip marketing is to position as little content as possible as actively selling them. Instead, give the readers free and useful (short) advice on things, maybe mention big projects or items you’ve recently done, and be sure to highlight anything new or different you’ve started doing. Joined a trade association or been a speaker? Talk about it. Closed a big deal? Maybe want to talk about that.
Look, to do these things right, it’s probably going to cost money. However, with the costs of such things in general being very reasonable, the likelihood is gaining a fairly low amount of new business from the initiative will more than offset the costs, and potentially increase your perceived value to your existing clients. Many businesses would have positive ROI on the project if they get one new customer/deal a month; aren’t those 12 new customers/clients/deals annually worth it?