Many companies are attempting to be more proactive with their online presence and it’s easy to see why:
- 97 percent of consumers search online for services and products
- 70 percent have compared costs or read reviews
- 91% have visited a shop Due to an Internet experience
With such trends playing out, it’s no wonder that most companies have made an investment in the most basic of electronic initiatives: namely, their website. It took a while to reach the tipping point, however, as revealed by these surveys by Clutch, Jupiter Research along with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
- In 2009, 45 percent of businesses had a website
- In 2014, 51 percent of companies had a website
- In 2015, 74 percent of businesses had a website
When we learn anything from these statistics I purport it’s that businesses are far too slow to adopt the trend toward digital marketing. Together with nearly all companies now finally using a website, the question becomes how successful are companies in using this instrument to bring in more customers and generate revenue? The Post-Gazette survey demonstrated that the following basic problems with small business sites:
- 70% have no call to action
- 27% do not provide a phone number
- 68% do not have an email address on the home page
- 56% do not have meta information to improve search rankings
- 82% do not have social media accounts
How does your company compare? To keep it simple, ask yourself these questions:
- When did you last update your website?
- Have you have attempted to view your website on a tablet and smartphone?
These questions are vitally important to the effectiveness of your online presence, precisely because the digital arms race continues to evolve. It is no longer enough just to get a site; it has to be updated frequently and be mobile-friendly. Based on comScore, the number of cellular users surpassed total desktop users early in 2014, and by May of 2015, Google declared that more hunts took place on mobile devices compared to desktop devices in America and Japan.
How To Increase Your Effectiveness Online
If you have read this much, it is safe to assume you’re a believer from the tendencies in play: that the vast majority of your customers are using online search to research products and solutions until they set foot on your institution; and that increasingly, cellular hunting represents a massive chance to capture leads and ultimately revenue that you may otherwise miss.
So what can you do to boost the effectiveness of your online presence? I believe there are nine excellent strategies you can employ to remain relevant in our electronic world. This report will have a look at the first four strategies that serve as a foundation for being more effective online. Watch for the next installment next week once we discuss five advanced techniques you can use to push your effectiveness even further.
Digital Tactic # 1: Implement Responsive Design
44 percent of businesses that have a website do not own a mobile-friendly format. In addition to this impact upon consumer experience when mobile visitors visit a non-mobile-friendly website, Google began penalizing websites that weren’t mobile-friendly beginning April 21st, 2015. So you definitely have a bonus to upgrade your website now more than ever before.
Responsive design is a format which enables your website to find the visitor’s screen orientation and size and modify the design to best be seen on that size screen. Additional mobile-friendly formats may also be implemented without fueling Google’s penalty, but one of the advantages of responsive design is that the consistency of the design across screen dimensions. Your website will retain the branded look and feel no matter the screen size once you implement a responsive layout.
Digital Tactic # 2: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Isn’t A Luxury — It’s A Necessity
With almost one billion sites on the internet (see the stat update live here), the competition for people — and furthermore, qualified visitors that are interested in your products and services — is extreme, and growing more intense daily.
And it is important to remember that SEO is not something you do and be done together: it is a continuous struggle to maximize your position, defend what you’ve achieved, and better optimize for the kind of visitor you want to draw. In 2015 alone, Google updated its search algorithm over 500 occasions, including five”important” updates that probably changed your ranking. In addition to Google’s modifications, your competitor is devoting time, energy and money to improving their ranking — so you can not dismiss the changing character of search.
So what could be done in order to boost your SEO? At its core, SEO is all about articles (see another tactic for details), but a great search engine optimization consultant can help ensure your site’s structure, meta tags and other components are configured correctly and that you are not violating any one of Google’s parameters in a manner that gets your site banned.
Digital Tactic #3: Content Is King — What’s Your Strategy?
At the core, rank from the search engines is all about producing great, original content. After all, not one of us since customers wish our searches clogged up with irrelevant connections to non-related content: it is simply not helpful. Google and other search engines understand this and change their algorithms to serve the best listing of websites that feature the content your customers are searching for.
In the early days of the web, webmasters could”match” search engines by stuffing their pages with keywords that didn’t have a lot to do with their real content, as well as other gimmicks. That is not a plan for success, particularly today.
Instead, think about how to describe your services and products, and offer a vast assortment of media to help accomplish that: from blog posts to video how-to guides, to more detail about what’s most important to your business. If you don’t have the time to create all that content yourself, then hire us to do it.
Digital Tactic # 4: Stick The Landing
While you’re working to improve your natural search traffic, a fantastic way to enhance your online effectiveness is to participate in paid electronic advertising. A good deal of businesses already do, however, is it effective?
Paid digital marketing (Google AdWords for instance ) can be powerful, but where many companies drop down is by not generating a sales funnel for the traffic coming out of your electronic advertisements to enter into. Dumping a visitor that clicks your ad onto your house page is nearly always going to result in a massive reduction of efficacy as the visitor should hunt for anything it was that attracted them to begin with.
This is the role of the landing page that is targeted. A good landing page strips away all the unnecessary distractions that are likely on your house page or possibly a product page, also focuses on the visitor’s focus on a single, prominent Call To Action (CTA). The harder you make a guest work to find exactly what you want them to do next, the less effective you will be.
Great First Steps To Increasing Effectiveness
Digital marketing isn’t a fad and the challenge of staying relevant online continues to evolve. The tools and resources available to companies of all sizes to establish and increase effectiveness continue to expand.
The very best news with electronic advertising is it is so measurable. By implementing the four tactics mentioned above, you’ll have data to analyze that provides nearly instant feedback on how effective you are. The practice of finding the mix that works for you and your business is what makes it fun.
Watch for our next update on this subject out of Sine Cera Marketing, at which we’ll cover a few of the advanced techniques for enhancing the effectiveness of your internet presence.
Cover photo by: Tumitu Design
About the author: David Eldred is the President and Chief Brand Technologist of Sine Cera Marketing, a boutique advertising consulting practice based in Eugene, Oregon. Sine Cera specializes in helping businesses create and optimize their electronic presence — as well as supplying a complete range of marketing consulting solutions, including social media marketing, social selling, search engine advertising, website design, and mobile marketing services.