Long gone are the days where I have to convince people to market their business online first. Before TV, before radio, before print… of course digital is the first place you market your business in 2017.
We all know that.
Knowing this though does not make the process of doing so any less daunting and potentially confusing.
Like anything though, if you stop for a second and prioritise the steps that need to be taken to achieve a successful digital marketing campaign, the job at hand will be much easier to get your head around.
Let’s get the basics right first.
Remember, if you’re building a house you don’t start with the up stair’s bedroom and ensuite, you start with the foundation… something to build upon.
Here are my top three things I’d recommend you do before anything else to help build a solid digital foundation for 2017 and beyond…
1. Fix Up your Website
What good is there in driving hundreds, potentially thousands of new visitors to your website only to have the website present poorly and give your potential new customers a negative initial impression?
Your homepage (or the landing page that you are directing your visitors to) needs to look up to scratch. Especially the content “above the fold”. Above the fold is the term used to describe the information you see without having to scroll.
If you’re looking at your website now and not liking what you see, you need to get this addressed.
In addition, there are some fundamental features all 2017 websites need to have that if missing, plain and simply impact your ability to generate business from your site.
To name just one, if you’re a service relate business, do you have a “click to call” above the fold? For example, can a visitor click on your phone number and have it automatically call you? If not, put yourself in their shoes and think about how frustrating it would be to find a service provider you want to do business, only to have to literally “note down” the phone number and then manually type it in on your phone’s number pad. That alone is enough reason for the average visitor to back straight out of your website and go and find another that is easier to communicate with.
Everything above assumes the customer is on a mobile phone. Well it’s 2017 and close to 60% of the searches are now performed on mobile.
How important is mobile? Well, late last year Google came out and announced that they are now looking at mobile first, before desktop. So in other words, Google thinks your mobile website is more important than your desktop website.
An attractive, easy to navigate, fully mobile responsive website is an absolute must by 2017 standards and is the very first thing you need to sort out should you wish to market your business online.
If you’re confident this step is all under control keep on reading, if not, find someone to fix it for you (hint: we can).
2. A balance of Adwords and SEO to Improve your Google Ranking
A long time ago (about 5 years ago, that’s an eternity in this industry) you could legitimately claim you had a strong Google presence if your website ranked highly in the organic listings (the listings below the ads).
Now though, with 3-4 ads above the fold (in most cases these ads take up the entire screen on a mobile… and remember that is 60% of everybody who uses Google) there is next to no chance you’re consistently reaching your target market with just a solid organic ranking.
This doesn’t mean organic isn’t important.
Let’s take our business, MyWork, as an example. We’re proud to say we’re one of the leading “affordable web design” companies in Australia. Search for “affordable web design” and we’ll be high up in the organic rankings (number one in our part of Australia).
However, to ensure a consistent flow of new business enquiries, we are consistently spending money on Adwords. The reality is, if we didn’t, the vast majority of people who were looking for a well-priced web designer in Australia would fail to find us.
Adwords and old-fashioned SEO have never been more closely related than they are today. One example of this is the Quality Score, a term Google uses to assist in deciding which sites get the highest positions in the ads area.
To determine your Quality Score, Google looks at the content of your website (the same content contributing to your organic ranking) and the wording in your Ads and determines how closely they are related. If they relate, you’ll get a good Quality Score. A good Quality Score can see you appear higher than your competitor in the ads area. Your competitor with the lower Quality Score may even be paying more per click than you are, but still be appearing lower down. This is how important a Quality Score is.
As mentioned, your Quality Score directly relates to SEO and your organic ranking as the more time you’re spending improving your content, and in turn your Quality Score, the more Google will be impressed by your website and ultimately improve your organic ranking.
So, when it comes to Google in 2017, start looking at both your Adwords and your organic ranking as equals.
3. Facebook Lead Ads
Once you’ve fixed your website and have complete confidence in your ability to rank with both Adwords and organic on Google, it is time to start considering Facebook Lead Ads.
Late last year I did a quick video on this. Check it out below for an explanation of what these are and how they can be effective for your business.
So there you have it. Another year and another list of simple, yet extremely important things you need to be focusing on should you want your business to have a successful year online. If you need a hand with any of the above, give me a call on 1300 809 424 or send an email to matt <at> mywork.com.au. I’m always happy to assist where I can.