I’ve recognized a trend among small businesses when it comes to their web-based marketing efforts. It’s what I like to call the “Build it and they will come” syndrome. Often businesses feel that if they invest in a well-designed new website or put up a Facebook Fan page their customers will naturally flock to it.
While a professionally looking site is very important (remember first impressions are everything), that’s really only half of the battle.
A site or online tool is worthless to your business if it isn’t able to make a positive contribution to your bottom line (by increasing sales, decreasing costs, reducing manpower, etc). In other words if your target audience is not visiting the site and being converted into customers then you are wasting time and money.
The second part of making your web-based marketing efforts successful is your ability to drive qualified traffic to your website or tools.
There are several methods to accomplish this:
On average approx 80% of all traffic to a site comes from Google. Therefor, it’s really important to optimize your website and social tools to achieve maximum visibility and maximum traffic.
Recent changes in the major search engines, Google and Bing, now mean that search rankings will depend more heavily on a company’s presence in the social sphere. By optimizing social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn your business will become more highly visible in the search engines which will naturally boost traffic. You also need to seriously consider having a blog for your business. Websites with blogs have 55% more traffic the sites that do not.
Pay-per-click advertising and targeted online ads are a great way to instantly boost traffic to your site.
While connecting with your audience through social media is obviously very important, don’t forget about the power of traditional networking events. By participating in local networking events you are able to build up both trust and visibility. After meeting you your fellow networkers will most likely visit your site or look you up in their favorite social network because they want to learn more about you. They may even pass your name or company along to their friends’ who could benefit from your products or services.
Business cards, brochures, and other print materials need to include the URL of your website and/or blog along with your other social media tools.