Have you tried all your possible best to put your business out there trying to get more opportunities to no avail? Do you labor morning, afternoon, and night trying to find that perfect strategy to use in getting new business for your online site? Are you at a loss as to how to make people more interested in what your website has to offer despite your conscious and relentless online marketing methods and efforts? Then perhaps it is time for a change.
Creating a new website can be a very difficult task, more so if you think of all the ways, tactics, and strategies you would have to employ just to promote yourself and your business. Everyone seems to have an advice for you, and the worse part? They are all different. Don’t even get me started on ‘SEO’ and the noise that accompanies it.
There are people who strongly believe that all you need to do to have a strong online presence is to use some of the SEO methods and voila, everyone knows your website! How I wish it were that easy. Merely deciding what social media platforms to use in carrying out your online marketing poses a dilemma. However, all these are about to be things of the past.
By making use of the following four strategies as the backbone to build and promote your website, you are essentially bidding your entire online marketing problems adieu.
The four strategies talked about in this write up, if utilized correctly and effectively, can to a large extent help website owners boost their online presence and make them start drawing huge traffic to their website, making huge sales, increase interests, and ultimately get more business for your website.
Let’s dive in shall we?
- Know Your Target Audience
One thing you must have at the back of your mind as a website owner looking to build his online reputation and draw more business to his site is the fact that ‘before any strategy or tactic you decide to employ can work, they have to appeal to a group of people.’
Trying to build your online presence without having a tactic, or even worse, a tactic that appeals to someone is like trying to store water in a basket – in effective and a complete waste of time.
You have to have a plan, and this plan starts with your target audience, ask yourself: who do I need my website to appeal to? Are you targeting kids? Teenagers?Adults?Grandparents? Figure this out! Once you are able to get this figured out, the rest becomes a cake walk.
Now, what you want to do is develop or build your website and tactic or strategy around your identified target audience. You want to do something that captures their attention, something that would make them interested in visiting your site and becoming regulars there. You want to build a website which your customers would be able to resonate with on a personal level. You want to be the person they can trust. Humans tend to trust and warm up to people who think and have the same vision and beliefs as them. This is what you want to exploit. You want them to know that your website is the number one place to go when they need to cheer up.
You can only achieve all these when you have been able to identify your target audience. Failure to do this (identify your target audience) will make your online marketing tactic ineffective as you won’t be able to focus on one particular thing and this will make it fail miserably, however impressive it might be.
Solution To Your Problem:
For a change, how about you stop yammering on about all your promotions, discounts and offerings for a change? I know they are a huge part of your marketing strategy but hear me out, try something appealing to your target audience instead. Talk about things your audience values. For instance, rather than talking about that 50% discount off shoes plainly, you could put up a story about how those shoes made you run faster. If your target audience were athletes, they would be more enticed to purchase those shoes now as they all want to run faster… and for 50% off!
What Is Your Value Proposition?
Your value proposition is that thing, that statement or design that embodies your marketing strategy. It should be something appealing to your target audience of course and the first thing they see when they come to your website. It is what entices your audience to do business with you as they believe you have the same beliefs and values as them.
Let’s face it, we only complain about the service offered to us when the person from whom we received the service has beliefs and values that are different from ours. Think it through, you might give a restaurant a poor review because they cook your meal on the spot and you think it is unethical and dangerous. Another person might give that same restaurant a 5 star review because he finds their tradition fun and real.
What separates the loyal customers from the jerks are their values and beliefs. That same jerk might be a loyal customer to another website that shares the same views as he. Customers or clients who don’t have the same beliefs as you should be avoided as they have the power to significantly destroy your business in no time at all. All it would take is some really bad reviews and badmouthing.
- Let Your Image Be Known
As it is often said, first impression matters a whole lot. A person or potential customer of yours can conclude on what your website is all about on his/her first encounter. What you want to do here is present your best and true self to the customer’s eyes. Why the eyes? Because as far as first impressions court goes, the eyes are the chief judge.
How this works is once a customer visits your site, they scan through it with their eyes. The eyes, in turn, sends the information they see to the brain to make meaning of. Whatever meaning and conclusion the brain arrives at is a factor of what the eyes originally saw. Imagine seeing a man with folded arms and a frowned face, what would you think? That he is very mean. It doesn’t matter if he is the nicest person in the world, he came off as mean that one time you saw him and that is what you are going to believe.
In the same veil, you don’t want your customers getting the wrong impression of you so it is important to design your website in a way that shows every Tom, Dick, and Harry what you are all about, what your values and beliefs are immediately they visit. This way, you attract your target audience and lose the potential ‘jerks’
One way to make sure you don’t pass off the wrong impressions to your customers is to take a look at your competitors’ websites, see what they are doing and try to take ideas from them.
One thing to get right is the elements of your website. They need to be perfectly selected to illustrate what your values are and what you intend to offer to your customers. Another thing to get right is your brand and logo. This encompasses your brand name, logo, motto, etc. they also need to be selected and designed carefully to clearly show and state what your business is all about. It would be wrong to name your website “Rapidfire” when you are offering writing services.
Remember, you only get a chance to make your first impression, you have to do it right!
- Plan: What comes Before and After?
To achieve business optimization and significant business growth, you need to have loyal customers, tons of them. Now, these customers don’t come out of blue, they are the customers who were enticed by your values, loved your first impression, patronized you, ad continued to do so over and over again.
Here, you are going to plan. Rather than merely marketing to get them to your site (before), you want to devise a means to make sure they become loyal customers and even your brand marketers via referrals, word of mouth, testimonies, etc. (after). It takes a whole lot of planning and patience to get your customers to this stage. You want your customers to go through the following 7 stages:
Know – Like – Trust – Try – Buy – Love – Refer
The mistake most websites make is try to take their customers right from the ‘Know’ stage and jump them to the ‘Buy’ stage. This will 90% of the time scare away the customer. For the 10% who will buy from you, they most likely wont get to the stage where they ‘love’ your brand talk less of ‘referring’ you to other people. This is because they didn’t go through the ‘Like’ and ’Trust’ stage and while they may have bought from you, they don’t like your brand enough to come back again and they definitely don’t trust you to keep providing them with what appeals to them.
They say patience is a virtue. To get the most loyal and die hard customers, you have to be very patient and have a plan to carefully lead your customers through the 7 stages stated above.
- Bring it Home
The last strategy to optimize your business is to ask yourself the following 5 questions about your website:
- Are you stating what you are offering in simple language that appeals to your target audience?
Except if your target audience is well seasoned professors, there is no need to use ambiguous and big words. State what your website is all about using simple words that can be easily read by anyone who visits your website.
Also, as said in (1.), you should talk about the desires of your customers and other things that appeal to them rather than going on and on about your achievements and promotions and yourself.
- Is how your product can make your customers’ lives better clearly stated?
If we are being totally honest with each other, we only tend to purchase products or hire services that add value to our lives. Your customers are like that also and would only be spurred on to patronize you when they are able to see what they stand to gain from it.
This is where your value proposition comes to play as it tells your customers the value they stand to gain by patronizing you in an unambiguous manner.
- How attractive is your homepage?
Remember what was said about first impressions? A shabbily designed website and homepage will create the wrong impression in the minds of your customers and would deter them from spending further time on your website talk less of patronizing you.
A website that is not enticing to your visitors is bad for a business. How are you going to get a customer who you don’t even ‘know’ to ‘buy’? Hence, it is important to carefully design your website and make it mouthwatering to your potential customers.
- How are your products and services displayed?
The manner in which your products are displayed can also significantly contribute to the rate at which you attract traffic to your website. This is because customers love an easy to navigate website, it is time saving and fun.
You can categorize your products brilliantly and put little notes of descriptions under each one of them so customers know exactly what they are purchasing. This will also help you build your customers’ trust and confidence in you.
- Do you have a simple plan to carry out business with your customers?
One thing you must avoid if you wish to draw in more businesses to your website is empty promises. No customer likes to be disappointed or even surprised (except if it is a good one). For this reason, you need to devise a way to carry out business with your customer in a simple and ethical manner. Here, we are trying to come with a plan that will get our customers from:
• The Knowing to the Liking stage
• The Liking to the Trusting stage
• The Trusting to the Trying stage
• The Trying to the Buying stage
Well, there you have it! Carry out these 4 strategies and watch your website or brand grow into the powerhouse you always imagined it to be!