What do you want to achieve with your website?
To start off you’ll have to decide what the goals are for your website, but also what you want to achieve with your marketing. If you’re offering products on your website, it might be a goal to sell more products. If you have a physical store, your goal could be for people to find your physical address online.
Who do you want to reach online?
Once you’ve decided on your goal, it’s time to ask yourself the next question: Who do I want to reach with my website. It’s important to decide who your target audience is, because this will allow you to figure out on which platforms they are active.
Some questions you can ask yourself to decide your target audience are:
- Will my customers be consumers or other businesses?
- Am I expecting mainly men or women? Or maybe both?
- Which age-group will I focus on?
- Is the website targeting a single country or multiple countries?
- Is there a common interest among my audience (e.g. Travel, movies, photography, …)
When you have a clear target audience it’s time to move onto the next step: choosing the right platform.
How will you reach your target audience?
There are numerous ways to reach your audience. Which one fits you the best depends on your goals, target audience and budget. Today, the most popular channels used by companies to reach their audience are paid advertising, social media and search engines.
Are you having a hard time deciding what the best platform would be for your marketing strategy? Make sure to read our seven tips on choosing the right platform for your target audience.
How can you use search engines to reach your goals?
A search engine, like Google or Bing, is one of the channels you could use without having to spend any money. You can make it easier for your website to be found by search engines by using SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Search engines decide which websites are the most relevant for a certain keyword and then rank all websites based on this relevance.
This is a very broad topic and get fairly complex. Of course, there are a couple of basics you could implement to make sure you rank higher.
- Know your keywords and use them in a natural way
- Give additional information about images in the alt attribute
- Make sure there are no duplicate pages.
- Make sure that your website is responsive
- The length of the content on your website is also important. The optimal amount is between 1500 and 2000 words.
If you need help to decide which keywords are best suited for you, read our article about keyword research in 8 steps.
What are Google Ads?
Google Ads is a pay-to-play kind of marketing. If you want to reach your target audience through Google Ads, you’ll have to pay for it. Google Ads also uses the concept of keywords to decide where your ads will show up. Through Google Ads you’ll be able to advertise in search engines but also on video’s, websites and even in apps.
As an example, we’ll assume you own a blog about adventurous travel destinations. Then you could be advertising on the keyword “Adventurous travel” to appear at the top of the search results.
It would also be possible to get an ad displayed on a YouTube video about travelling. This makes sure that people who are interested in this subject see the ads for your website.
How will social media fit into my marketing strategy?
Social media can be used in different ways to reach your target audience. It’s possible to utilize social media in a free and/or paid manner. If you’re willing to spend money you can pay for ads and target them to people that have certain interests or are in a specific age group. Because of the amount of information people put on social media, it is very easy to use social media to target the right people.
You could also use social media in a different way, which is free. Through social media you could engage with your customers or fans and even start conversations with them. This is a way to generate trust between the customers and you or your brand.
Social media can also help with receiving feedback about your products or services. Your followers also have the possibility to share your content or products, which is some free mouth-to-mouth advertising for you.
If you’re still in doubt about using social media, make sure to read our 11 reasons to use social media for your company.
What’s the next step in your online marketing strategie?
After you’ve started working with one or more of the different channels, it’s time to analyse whether they are delivering the desired results. There are multiple tools available to analyse the performance of marketing channels. Some of the most popular tools are
Which of these statistics are important for your website?
When you’ve chosen your tool, you’ll start looking at the statistics. These analytical tools can be very overwhelming in the amount of data they show and it’s not always easy to understand what everything means.
Below you can see some statistics that give a clear image of your websites performance.
- Average time on page indicates how much time a person spends on average on a certain page. This could be helpful to decide which pages are doing bad. If average time is very low, it could indicate that users aren’t finding what they were looking for.
- Average bounce rate indicates what percentage of users are leaving the website before going to any other page. If the bounce rate is high (>70%), it usually means that the user didn’t get what he was expecting. (Bounce rate for blogs are usually higher than 70%)
- Source of incoming traffic is an indication of where your traffic is coming from. If you are spending a lot on Facebook but only 5% of your traffic come from it, you probably need to change your Facebook strategy.
- Click-through rate shows what percentage of people clicked on an ad. This statistic can be seen for each channel to give a clearer view of which channel with ads works best for you.
- Conversion rate gives you the percentage of people that completed a certain goal after they clicked on an ad. This goal can be to complete a purchase. If the conversion rate is 1%, it means that 1 out of a 100 people completed a purchase.
Bad statistics, what now?
You’re looking at your statistics and notice that you’re not getting the desired results. Don’t worry, this is completely normal. You have the advantage of being able to pinpoint where the issue is because of the statistics.
Once you’ve found the problem, it’s time to start adjusting. Optimising your website, content or ads is a process of trial-and-error, which means that you’ll have to keep testing and see what delivers the best results.
Even when your statistics are good, it doesn’t mean you can just quit. Marketing isn’t just a project with an end date, but a process where you’ll have to keep analysing and optimising to stay ahead of your competition.
As a short summary, you’ll start by deciding your goals and target audience. Afterwards you should decide which channels are the best fit for your goals and audience. If you’ve started your marketing, it’s time to start analysing your statistics and adjusting your channels where needed.
There is much more to find about marketing because it’s such a big domain, but if you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a successful website.
At PHPro we have the strategic know-how but also the technical skills to develop a tailor-made marketing strategy together with you. This way we can help you write your own digital success story. If you have any interest, feel free to contact us!
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