magnetic online marketing
6 ways online marketing can attract customers
Constant advancements in the world of online marketing mean that many companies struggle to know where to start, let alone keep up.
To help, we've looked at where we think businesses should focus their online marketing efforts in 2015 in order to win new customers and generate new leads.
PUT YOUR WEBSITE AT THE TOP OF YOUR LIST
Despite overwhelming evidence that stresses the importance of a well-designed, easy to navigate, content rich and mobile friendly website, there are still many companies that don’t see their website as a vital component in their marketing, lead generation and sales strategy.
Buying behaviour has changed forever with the customer now researching online before they decide to interact with a business. The first impression many potential customers have of your company or brand is now through your website, meaning that it only takes a few seconds for someone to decide whether they want to do business with you. According to a study in Behaviour and Information Technology, researchers found that the brain makes a decision in just a 20th of a second of viewing a webpage. Another study carried out by Keynote, found that 94% of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website. So it’s a fact that the quality of your website is a direct reflection on your business and can win or lose you new customers in a matter of seconds.
But it doesn’t stop there. A website is just like a car, it won’t go anywhere unless you fill it with fuel and maintain it. In this case, the fuel to move it up the search engine rankings is content. If finding time to write is a struggle, a recent blog shows how I solved my own content conundrum. The bottom line is, you can’t simply put a website live and expect visitors and leads to come flocking in.
Luckily, there are tactics you can use to turn your website into a customer magnet, and here are a few…
In 2015 content won’t just be king (a phrase I’m fed up of seeing to be honest) it will be the common denominator in every aspect of online marketing. You only need to look at the history of Google’s algorithms and their latest updates to know that content is the main influencer when it comes to ranking on a results page. If you want your website to get higher, you need to be creating and sharing regular, good quality content. For me, there are two trends that will continue to be important in 2015.
Brands as publishers
Businesses will need to be seen as the originators of unique content that, rather than containing selling messages, shares thoughts and opinions on the topics that are most important to their potential customers. As a result, the line between journalistic, entertainment and commercial content will blur even further. So long as it’s interesting and relevant, people will read it and Google will deem it worthy of a higher ranking. Which is probably why a recent report found that, year-on-year, 69% of brands are now creating more content.
Recognising a customer’s problems and providing a solution that doesn’t crowbar a crude selling message into the content will be appreciated and deemed worthy of sharing to others. When you combine this with a tone of voice that connects with your target market and remains consistent across all platforms, from your marketing material and twitter posts to website content and blog articles, your website will become a repeat destination for useful information.
It’s now a fact that customers expect their experience of a website to be just as good on a mobile or tablet device as it is on your desktop. If your website isn’t ‘device friendly’, you could be losing vital smartphone and tablet traffic, as well as sales, to your competitors.
Device usability can also influence your website’s Google rankings and conversion rates. You can find out more about the benefits of two popular types of mobile and tablet (cross-platform) development in an article I wrote back in August 2014. ‘To be responsive or not’ looked at the effectiveness of each option in terms of usability, SEO, conversion rates and adaptability. And it’s going to be just as important in 2015.
When potential customers are researching online, there’s no point having a great looking website if they can’t find it in Google. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is now a vital part of any business strategy if you want people to find you. By optimising the content on your site and constantly updating it with engaging content, you can increase your ranking. There are a number of ways you can start to do this;
- Keyword research is the foundation of any SEO campaign and explores the terms that people are using to search for the services your business offers.
- On page optimisation ensures that the relevant search terms appear on your site in a natural way, increasing your rankings on the results page for those terms.
- A website audit will measure the technical aspects of your site to see if it is search engine friendly.
- Analytics tracking gives you extra insight into who is visiting your site and for how long.
These are just a few of the aspects of an effective SEO strategy and, to misquote Buzz Lightyear, it will continue to be a focus for businesses in 2015 and beyond
A beautifully designed website will help you to capture the attention of a visitor and hopefully convert them into a customer. However, designing a website is more than just making it look good. It has to be easy to navigate and make it easy for people to find what they want.
UI and UX are going to be as important as ever when it comes to website design.
User Experience (UX) explores the way that a visitor will interact with your site, analysing the navigation from page to page, ensuring that visitors new and old will find what they need swiftly and simply.
User Interface (UI) relates to the tools a visitor will use as part of their experience. It’s all very well having pretty looking UI, with beautiful design and elaborate animation, but if it takes too long to load, your visitor will leave remembering that and nothing else!
My advice for 2015 is, know your audience and design with them in mind.
Social media offers businesses a chance to connect with prospective customers, generating leads and sales. It’s a sobering fact that Linkedin alone has 15 million users in the UK! So maintaining a constant social presence and keeping up to date on the latest developments is vital to stay ahead of the game.
For me, there are going to be a number of important things happening in social media, including the rise of niche social media platforms, such as Ello and Tsu, and companies putting more money into social advertising, especially after Facebook recently limited the reach of posts to fans.
One thing that will remain the same in 2015 is the essential relationship between SEO and social media. With likes, shares and +1s contributing to Google ranking, and social platforms providing an effective way to distribute and share content, social media will continue to play an important part in any online marketing strategy.
Written by Team Uprise
Content & Creative, Digital Marketing, Technology