What does it take to improve your business using online resources? We’ve put together a list of our top 10 tactics, tactics that we’ve seen work and that other online marketers attest to as well. In addition to the tactics listed, there are two other considerations to keep in mind—carrying out these tactics requires time and effort. Knowing what to do is only half the battle. You’ve actually got to apply your knowledge, or have someone who knows what they’re doing do it for you.
1. Blog regularly
Publishing posts on a regularly scheduled basis is better than publishing whenever you happen to have time to write a post. There are several benefits: search engine spiders (not the icky kind) will visit your site more frequently, readers will return on a regular basis, you’ll be less likely to forget to post, and you’ll be more likely to post more frequently than your lazy competitors. Of course, your content has to be engaging
2. Make a social media plan
Decide what platforms to concentrate on and what types of content you’ll share on each one: funny pictures on Instagram, interesting links on Twitter, industry topics on LinkedIn and so forth. It’s also a good idea to set a schedule for posting on each platform and stick to it; just like your blogging schedule, regular social media posts will keep your community coming back for more.
3. Optimize content for search
Optimization for search engines is really a buzz word for adding keywords and meta data correctly to your content. It begins by researching the keywords that are relevant to the content and have shown to draw in traffic. We’ve written extensively about optimization, so take our tips and get optimized.
4. Have a clear call to action
Your call to action is one of the most important elements of your website or any online communication so give it some thought. What do you want people to do? Do you want them to call you? Then make sure they get your phone number. Do you want an email? Leave an easy-to-use contact form? Do you want their email address? Sign them up for a newsletter or white paper. You’d be astonished how many business communications have no discernible call to action. True story: A marketing company designed their own website to force people to hover their cursors over hidden hot spots on an image to find navigation links. They probably thought that the interactivity was like a game, but the reality in business is that if you play games people won’t take you seriously.
5. Use a responsive design
The numbers are growing yearly: more and more people are using mobile devices for web surfing, shopping online, entertainment and social media and doing so more often than on traditional desktops or laptops. For any B to C business, it is imperative that you have a responsive design that displays your content organized for the size of the screen.
6. Share instead of sell
Content marketing is about sharing rather than selling. Sharing accomplishes two important things: it establishes your credibility as an expert in your field and it provides valuable information to your readers. Sharing helps build trust and establish relationships.
7. Hire pros
Business owners all too often try to do everything themselves. It’s not surprising in a world where DIY solutions bombard you online. Have you ever heard any of these pitches: “Create an LLC in five-minutes for $50”, “Build your own website for free!”, “Learn QuickBooks in 24-hours”, “Do your own taxes.” The problem isn’t necessarily with the services, it’s that you don’t have the time to do it right, and since you don’t have expert knowledge in the area you don’t know what you might be doing wrong. Instead of getting caught in the DIY trap, think of it this way; how much is an hour of your time worth if you’re engaged in your main business activity. Is it $100 per hour? Maybe $500 per hour? Or a $1000 per hour? So why waste your valuable time when a professional can handle it for less and do a better job than you could ever do?
8. Keep performance fast
9. Offer related content links
Keeping visitors on your website once they get there is a great way to help your site’s visibility in Google search results. You can accomplish this by offering links to related content and popular content. The more related links the visitor clicks, the better you will rank for the relevant keywords that are shared in the content.
10. Track your success
It can be difficult to know how well your online work is paying off. Tracking users and customers will help you realize your ROI. Using Google Analytics is one way to follow online usage. You can see what content is popular and where visitors are coming from—information that can help you refine your efforts based on what works best. Social media metrics can be useful, as well, for the same reason. Tracking conversions from website visits to paying customers isn’t easy, but you can do that, too, by using special offers, coupons and dedicated phone numbers on the website. But the best way to know what’s happening is to ask your customers. You should always ask new customers how they found you, did they use your website and what was their experience there.
If you keep these 10 tactics in mind and work at them regularly, you’ll see an improvement in your website’s rankings for relevant keywords and more traffic. In the long run, that should help your business, too. One word of caution, however: don’t expect miracles over night. These tactics take time and your success is also dependent on what your competitors are doing. If you found this post helpful, be sure to share it among your colleagues.