Things you need to do before spending money on marketing and SEO
I meet significant number of business owners almost on a daily basis and they cover different industries and sectors. Normally I meet them through my networking efforts or they get in touch with me as a result of my marketing efforts.
The reason I am writing this blog post is the fact that many business owners concentrate on wrong aspects of their online business and I will try to explain how you can avoid making the same mistake within your business. If you run your business as a hobby then no need to read further, but if you want to run a successful business in the future then please pay attention to the rest of this blog post.
Majority of business owners I talk to is interested in growing their business online and after few words exchanged they tell me that they “do not rank on Google” or “they want to make sure that their website is found on Google”. They seem to be very frustrated by not ranking on the first page of Google without even knowing what keywords they should rank for.
We all get calls from SEO companies offering their SEO services. I get at least two calls per week (I offer SEO services too so why on earth they call me – should they do their homework first?) and these companies would like you to believe that SEO is the most important aspect of getting traffic to your website and not being on the first page of Google is a some kind of tragedy for your business. In the same time they are not interested whatsoever whether you have anything in place to capture visitors they will send to your site once they rank you on the first page of Google.
I witnessed so many times people spending hundreds of pounds on SEO (some of them even thousands) without even knowing what keywords they should be ranking for.
SEO is just ONE of the ways to bring visitors to your website. There are dozens of other ways to generate traffic but more importantly there are several things you should have in place within your online business before you even consider paying somebody to do SEO on your site. Even if your website is on the top of the Google for the certain keyword, you need to think of what kind of page these visitors will find when they click on your website link. In other words, when they find you on the first page of Google, what kind of experience they will have when they land on your website?
Remember that 99% of people will not be ready to buy once they land on your website. They are browsing, checking different providers and they will make their mind up sometimes months down the line or even years. Majority of people landing on your website are not ready to buy but they will be ready at some point in the future. Somehow you need to collect these people’s data in the form of name and email address and then systematically come back to them by using email marketing or even phone calls. Data collection should be a primary focus of your website. If you have 100 visitors per day on your website and you don’t have any means of collecting their data then what is the point of having these visitors? Can you imagine you had a shop somewhere in your town, people coming through the door and you don’t even ask them what they need or would like to buy? You let them exit the shop without noticing them. Certainly your shop would fail within weeks. Collection of data can be done by using your CRM and sign up forms.
Below I will list the points you should have in place before you spend any money on SEO or any other form of marketing.
1. The heart of your business should be your CRM (Customer Relationship Management Software) and not your website.
Website is just one of the online properties that will help you generate leads, but that could be as well LinkedIn page or Facebook business page or Twitter or YouTube channel and so on. Remember that your database is the biggest assett of your business and building your database is the most important action you should be performing daily. So get yourself CRM to start with as every marketing activity you will do will be supported by your CRM.
2. Every property you have online (website, linkediN, Facebook etc) should actively build your database. Why would somebody give you name and email address? Most of the business owners will think of offering newsletter. Let me ask you: When did you last time subscribed to someone’s newletter? For me I think it was about 10 years ago. “Subscribe to my newletter” does not work anymore. I am not saying that newletters do not work anymore, I am saying that this phrase should be reworded, you need to give people some value for them to show some interest. Free report on a subject within your industry, something that will benefit that person that has landed on your site. All this should be automated using your CRM. So create your FREE valuable report that you will give your visitor for the exchange of their name and email address…
3. Once a visitor has landed on your site, you need to tell them what to do next. If you dont tell them what to do next they will not do anything and will leave your site. So having a headline “welcome to my site” on the primary position of your home page is not a very good start…
4. Describe what are the benefits for visitor if he/she becomes your client and not the features of your product. Address the problems your perfect client is facing, they are interested in how you can help them solve their problems, they are not interested what exams you passed…
5. Use landing pages for each of your services you offer, be specific and create powerful headlines. Integrate landing pages with your CRM.
6. Focus on making the blog the most important section of your website, create content that visitors will find useful.
7. And now go and spend some money on SEO, Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn and other strategies. Without having the first 6 points in place you are wasting your money, energy and time.
If you need to talk to me about any of the above just give me a call. I hope this will help you in building the foundations of your online business. I would love to know what you think about it by leaving the comment below.
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