Website marketing is a crucial part of running an online business, but often it can feel like a confusing, daunting topic for beginners.
In this guide, we’ll look at some basic website marketing tips that you’ll actually be able to use without having to get a degree in marketing first. If you’re an absolute beginner, you may want to take a look at this article which answers the question “what is digital marketing?“.
Website marketing tip 1: No amount of marketing will make up for a bad website
Website marketing is about getting people to visit your website with the aim of getting them to buy your products/services.
But if your website isn’t up to scratch, then even if your website marketing is driving hundreds of potential customers to your site, you’re unlikely to make many sales.
If people can’t find what they want, your site isn’t easy to navigate, or if it just doesn’t work properly, then they’ll head somewhere else to make your purchase.
How can you check if your website is up to scratch? Well, a simple way to do it is to ask ten friends to complete a certain task and have them report back to you on how easy they found it and what (if any) problems they encountered. Just make sure you don’t coach them.
It’s also a very good idea to install Google Analytics on your website as it can help you get to understand how people behave on your website and if there are any webpages that cause people a problem.
You can learn about getting started with Google Analytics in this guide.
If you have a budget, you should also consider user testing. (This is similar the first option we looked at, but involves getting strangers to navigate your site instead of friends.) User testing is very useful, but it can get very expensive. You can learn more about user testing in this guide.
If your website does need a makeover, you should consider using GoDaddy’s Website Builder to create your new site. It’s easy to use, and you can have your site up and running in less than an hour.
Alternatively, you could get a website that’s designed and built by GoDaddy.
Website marketing tip 2: Make sure you can stay in touch with potential customers
Sometimes people will visit your website but not be ready to make a purchase right that second. But when they are ready to buy, they might not be able to find your site again.
For this reason, you should start creating an email marketing list before you invest in any other website marketing techniques.
If you’re offering the chance for people to sign up for a newsletter and/or special offers direct to their inbox, then they won’t have to find you again as you’ll be able to contact them directly.
To start building you email list, you’ll need a tool like Email Marketing from GoDaddy.
It’s easy to set up and will complement your other website marketing efforts.
You can learn about how to start building your marketing list in this guide.
Website marketing tip 3: Take the time to understand your potential customers
After you’ve got email marketing ready to go, you still need to do a little more groundwork before you’re ready to start investing time and money into attracting people to your website.
Now, if you’ve set up a business the chances are you already have a good idea of who your potential customers are.
But with website marketing, the more you know the better.
You need to understand things like – What your customers do for a living, what their interests are, what social networks they use, what websites they visit, what search terms they’ll use on Google to find a business like yours.
Clearly you can’t survey every single potential customer out there to get this information, it would be impractical.
This is where customer personas come in. Personas allow you to take different kinds of potential customer and group them together.
For example, if you were running an online sports shop one persona might be beginner runners and another might be very experienced runners.
It’s a very simple example, but it should be clear that you’d need to take a different approach to marketing towards these two groups.
Website marketing tip 4: Paid website marketing offers the fastest results
You don’t want to spend months working on website marketing before you start to see results, that’s why it’s a good idea to invest in paid website marketing early on.
What paid options are available? Well, the biggest and most well-known is Google AdWords (that’s what businesses use to get their ads to appear at the top of search results).
Before you start with AdWords, it’s important you understand which keywords you should be targeting (based on your customer research and which search terms people actually use), and how much it will cost you to attract potential customers using those search terms.
AdWords is great if you get the balance right between the amount your spending on it and the value of the sales it generates, but mistakes can be very expensive.
Other options for paid ads include the search engine Bing and the major social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Remember: you don’t have to do paid website marketing yourself, you can always hire an agency to do it for you.
Website marketing tip 5: Search engine optimization is a long-term investment, but it’s worth it
Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t a quick fix and nor is it free (you have to invest time and/or money in it). But done well it will provide a steady stream of potential customers in the medium to long term.
As with AdWords, the building block of SEO is keywords. But instead of buying ads focused on those keywords, you create webpages that talk about those keywords.
What kind of webpage? Well, it could be a blog post like the one you’re reading (see if you can guess which keyword this post is targeting), or a product page, or a lead generation page.
It all depends on what people searching for that keyword will be looking for.
Another important aspect of SEO is links. You can get links by creating useful, interesting bits of content that people are interested in and will want to mention on their own website.
SEO is a huge field and we’ve only really scratched the surface here. You can learn more about improving your Google rankings in this guide.
Website marketing tip 6: Local businesses need local SEO
If you’re running a business that has physical premises, or operates in a set local area, then you need to get to grips with local SEO.
Why? Because local SEO is the way to get your business to appear in Google’s map result for searches (see below) and that can literally direct customers to your front door.
The starting point of SEO is setting up a Google My Business page. You can learn more about why a Google My Business page is important in this guide.
The good news is that if you’re using GoDaddy’s Website Builder on a Business Plus plan, then you’ll find it comes with Google My Business. (And anyone who switches or upgrades to a Business Plus plan can benefit from this feature too.)
As you might imagine, this isn’t the be all and end all of local SEO. You can learn more about what you have to do to rank well in local search in this guide.
Hopefully this guide has set you on the path to website marketing success. Don’t forget there are tonnes more website marketing tips to be found on the GoDaddy blog, and of course we’re here to help you make your business a success in whatever way we can.