There’s no doubt the speed with which technology is advancing has many business owners feeling confused about exactly how they should market their business from year to year.
Of course, in this fast-paced marketing landscape, what worked six months ago isn’t necessarily working today.
Google’s algorithms are frequently changing, and with Facebook recently rolling out predictive AI, this has made the landscape even more complex.
So, what can businesses do to maximise their growth in a constantly changing environment, given competition is increasing online too?
There are three key problems I repeatedly see hold businesses back from growing constant website traffic, leads and sales.
Below are three of the most common marketing mistakes, with insight into how you can fix them.
Low website traffic
As far as an online presence goes, your website is your most valuable asset.
Have you heard of SEO? SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’, and it is the process of generating traffic from search engines, such as Google and Bing.
But the number of search results on Google and Bing is increasing, which means more competition. As a result, many businesses are finding their pages outranked, with the end result being less website traffic.
If you’re a business seeking to grow your search engine presence in 2019/20, then like it or not, you’re set to play the Google game. Of course, you likely already know this. What comes next, however, is understanding Google’s own objectives: “Our mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
I want to highlight the words “accessible” and “useful” here. Too often, websites are difficult to use and not helpful, which results in them decreasing their Google rankings.
Google’s main objective is that users get helpful results. For this reason, Google will give higher rankings to web pages that have content that is extremely useful and helps the user find what they want.
Over the past few years, user experience has become an important factor in the Google algorithm. This means the old-school technique of cramming a webpage with keywords is useless. Google will measure the level of interaction between the searcher and your website and will benchmark you with your competitors.
So, does your website provide a better user experience than your competitors’ does?
SEO in 2019 means approaching your entire website with less ‘formula’ and a great deal more ‘genuine intent’.
Below is a simple, yet effective, SEO checklist that will help your website rank higher.
- Can Googlebot crawl your website? And are there any errors? Use this tool.
- Do you have a secure HTTPS website? Note the ‘S’ in ‘HTTPS’. It stands for secure, and Google claims it gives a small ranking benefit to secure sites.
- Is your website mobile-ready and responsive? Google uses your mobile site for indexing and ranking.
- If the user experience matters, have you got fast website load speed? Test your website here.
- Have you added the right keyword to your title, meta description and content? Google is still a robot.
- Check for grammatical and spelling errors, and never copy and paste from other sites. Otherwise, you can be penalised by Google.
- Post quality blog content to your website as often as possible. Some studies suggest posting twice a month at a minimum.
At the end of the day, SEO in 2019 is summed up in this simple approach: make your potential customer king. So go the extra mile in providing upfront value by entertaining, educating or a combination of the two. Doing this will see your relevant, informative content getting better results from Google.
Low website-conversion rate
The next issue many business websites suffer from is once a visitor arrives on their website, they are not converting into a lead (leaving their details) at a reasonable rate. The average website converts at 2.35%. That means 97 out of 100 visitors are leaving your website without leaving their details.
Below I will tell you how you can increase your conversion rate up to 25%.
Roughly 95% of website visitors want to gather information (meaning they are at the awareness or consideration stage) and are not ready to buy your product or service. However, most websites are screaming ‘buy now’ or ‘enquire now’ while talking about how good they are on their website.
The way to increase your conversion rate is using what we call ‘lead magnets’, which is an educational resource that you provide to the visitor in exchange for their contact details. A lead magnet example for an accountant could be giving away a ‘business budget spreadsheet’ for free.
Once the visitor provides their details — name, email and phone number — to download your ‘freebie’, they are making a micro-commitment that’s essentially them making a trust-transaction with you. This starts the process of them likely doing business with you down the track.
Driving traffic from search engines or social media without a lead magnet does not make sense. Having a lead magnet is a must, or you will be missing out on opportunities.
However, no matter how hard you try to improve your conversion rate, you won’t get close to a 100% conversion rate, so you must utilise remarketing to make sure you follow your visitors around the web with display ads.
To set up remarketing, you need to install a pixel on your site, by placing tracking code from Google Ads and Facebook Ads on your website. You can do this with the assistance of Google Tag Manager.
Missed marketing strategy
This is the biggest mistake of them all. I see a lot of business owners throwing money at Google Ads or Facebook Ads, but not getting any results.
The solution is to start with a marketing plan that consists of the following three components.
- Understand how you will get an advantage over your competitors.
- Identify your target audience to create a high converting website.
- Map out highly targeted campaigns to drive quality traffic to your website.
With the right marketing plan, you will be able to generate a constant flow of website traffic, leads and sales for your business.
Before you start marketing, you need to have a centralised plan that outlines how you are going to attract, convert and close prospects, so you don’t have to worry about wasting money on marketing, and instead grow your business.
As you can tell, the three issues highlighted here are relatively easy to address. The new challenge you’ll have will be that of managing your increased business growth!