Do you feel like you’ve got too many (meat)balls in the air when you are reaching out to your customers?
Are you overwhelmed by the number of digital recipes available to you?
OK, enough with the food analogies…
You’re not alone. Most small businesses put all their eggs (sorry, I couldn’t resist one more!) in the website basket, only to find that there’s a whole array of additional digital marketing activities required to get people to your site.
Should you be improving your website? Looking at paid search? Getting a better handle on what Social Media can do for you? Automating part of your customer journey? Studying your Google Analytics Account?
Yes, all of these activities (and more) can help you, but you really don’t need to tackle them all at once.
Where do I start?
Firstly, create your customer avatar. Not just a generic description, but something that gives you insight into what interests your target customers, what tone of voice and offers will appeal to them, and which of the array of digital channels available to them they use when looking for products & services like yours.
Secondly, understand what problems your customers have that they are coming to you to help them solve.
Finally, map out how your customers will find you and interact with you in the digital world. Will they simply google you? Will they be searching for a how to video on YouTube? Will they ask their friends on facebook? Will they seek out testimonials or reviews? If you are going to connect with your customer, you need to appear in the places they are looking for help and advice in resolving their problems.
So how do I appear where they are looking?
Firstly, focus. You do not need to appear on every Social Media platform – just the ones that your customers tend to use. Post engaging and helpful content regularly and consistently to get you noticed.
The Google algorithm is vast, complex and is updated regularly, so it’s pretty much impossible to cheat their logic to rank higher. However, understanding that Google creates search ranking scores based on a combination of relevancy and authority will get you a long way. When a user searches, Google seeks out keywords, content and activity from across the Internet and Social Media platforms that meet the search. Google then ranks by picking out indicators that a site is relevant to the user search, and signals that the site demonstrates authority in the subject. If you are seen as highly relevant to a customer’s search, and an authority on the topic, you will rank highly in search result pages.
So, can I just pay to rank higher?
Paid advertising on either Google or Social Media will boost your scores, but it won’t necessarily get you to the top page unless the content on your site is relevant to the search. If your site is an Italian Restaurant, but you pay to rank for the keywords “Take-away curry”, you still won’t be found on the 1st page of google.
What can I do quickly and easily to help my business be found?
- Spending money directing people to a site that isn’t clear about what it’s for, or that doesn’t help a customer resolve their problems is a waste of time. Work on your website’s user experience to improve customer engagement and conversions.
- Create new, engaging and search friendly content regularly – even if you have a non-transactional site. Demonstrate your authority in your blog, enhance your reputation by showing off reviews, case studies or testimonials and engage your customers by showing how you resolve their problems.
- Get more backlinks from sites relevant to yours – if google sees the connection, it will rank you higher.
- Make sure your page speed loading time is good in today’s mobile and impatient world.
- Check that the links from page to page within your site are not broken.
- Tag your images so that google knows what they are about.
- Use unique header tags for each page so that Google doesn’t get confused and think you have duplicate content.
- If you are a business with a local clientele, set up your Google my Business listing – this will rank you higher in “near me” searches and give you a Review platform that adds to your authority score.
Also, don’t forget to AB test and measure your results to learn and respond to what works for your business.
Finally, never be afraid to seek out help untangling your spaghetti when you need it!