Many marketers are stymied on how to grow a business in today’s world of the Internet. Even though the Internet has been around or a couple of decades, making the turn from conventional marketing can be hard.
Rob Kebalka, owner of Upper Valley Cleaning, LLC, Lebanon, NH, was one of those marketers. Rob is a well-educated, astute, and adventurous businessman. But he was in a race against his competion and wanted a sure win.
To begin winning, Rob did two main things: He hired New Destiny Media to help him replace his clunky website with one that would attract the kind of leads he was looking for, and then he hired us as his inbound marketing agency to take his marketing ROI to new heights.
Based on Rob’s business as a case study, along with other lead intelligence, what follows is a systemic approach to growing your business in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire.
The following 10 actionable items are listed in a marketing-logical order: beginning with web design, moving to content marketing, to inbound marketing and metrics.
1) UX and Mobile-Friendly Website
“UX” is a marketing buzz-word for “user experience.” User experience is important because both people and search engines are looking for your content. Do the “blink test:” Go to a web page, look at it for 5 seconds, then close your eyes and tell what you remember that page is about. The more you can remember, the better the page's UX.
Here are some things to look for:
- Is your site attractive, with good choice of colors, properly aligned images, pages that are laid out logically?
- Is your site easy to navigate or do people have to hunt for pages?
- Are images of good quality, not de-rezzed or blurry, and aligned properly?
- Is there adequate white space or is everything crammed in together?
- Lastly, is your site mobile-friendly with a responsive design? Today, non-mobile sites will get penalized by Google. Cick here to get a quick and free review of your website’s mobile display capacity.
2) On-Page SEO
Having good content is important, but so often the content isn’t optimized.
In order for people to find your website, search engines must first find it.
Each page should have at least one focal, long tail keyword. And on a typical page, if you go crazy and use that keyword more than about 5 times on the page, Google could penalize you for keyword stuffing.
3) Buyer Personas
A buyer persona is a semi-fictitious representation of an actual customer. A good personal will contain information about buyers’ habits, their needs, and ways to solve for them.
So many marketers focus exclusively on the product or service they’re trying to sell without regard to who’s going to buy it. That’s okay, to a point. The issue is, it’s more costly to do so. This is why the ROI of direct mail can be a problem: You’re paying for a promotion to go to everyone, not just to those who are interested, let alone searching for your solution.
By using personas, you can:
- Segment prospects and then target a specific message via email, a blog article, or social post to each segment, thus improving market reach while lessening overall effort. This (of course) results is more positive ROI.
- Map content strategy according to customers' position in the funnel. A high percentage of prospects are not ready to buy at first visit, so it would make more sense to push out information of value to these new leads rather than try to close a sale prematurely, and drive off a potential customer.
It’s always amazing to us how many businesses aren’t even on Google Local. Just go here and do it.
61% of people who have an Internet connection will begin their product or services research on-line.
Geo-targeting in the Upper Valley is even more important because of the twin-state issue. A company in Lebanon, NH, easily could miss an Internet user searching for a product or service in eastern Vermont. Geo-targeting using landing pages and keywords can help get your found when normal organic searches won't.
5) Business Blogging and Social Media
We write a lot about business blogging. Most of the blog articles that we see posted on websites, even by experiences writers, are not business-qualified articles. A few years ago, just any old blog would do. Not today, not if you want to build traffic.
If you've been blogging on your website, how much has that increased your traffic or leads?
Publishing media on your website is a total waste of money unless you can see results.
Any business blog or social media post must have all of the following points:
- Content must be relevant to a given persona – thus the content is targeted to connect with a given audience segment, insuring greater reach and positive ROI.
- Content must meet the needs of visitors conducting the search; thus content must be educational in nature and not service-centric or product-centric.
- Content must be keyword optimized.
- Content must not be “thin” or conveying the same information found a hundred other places on the Internet; it must be unique.
- Your content must position you as a thought-leader in your industry.
6) Content Offers
A content offer is something you give away. We do this all the time. If fact, we spend a lot of time thinking of what we can give away! If you love working with people, you’ll love helping them out too. And they’ll love you for it.
A good content offer will enhance the product or service you’re offering by engaging visitors at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Having an offer positions your company as a helpful entity, instead of just being sales-hungry
7) Calls-To-Actions (CTAs)
A call-to-action is simply a button or link on your site that allows your prospect to get your free offer. While there have been books written on the subject, it’s really that simple.
A CTA should:
- Be cool looking and attention-grabbing.
- Should engage your visitor at some place on the buyer’s journey.
- Should not be complicated or confusing.
- Can be redundant; you can place the same CTA in many places on your website and not invoke Google’s duplicate content penalty.
8) Landing Pages
Landing pages can come in one of two flavors: 1) pages to promote an offer and, 2) geo-targeted pages.
Most often, the type of landing page you’ve seen already is a page a CTA links to. It works this way: A visitor comes to your site, clicks on a CTA link, and is redirected to a landing page.
Keeping it simple, a landing page will accomplish two things:
- It will talk up your content offer.
- It will contain a lead-gen form.
A lead-generation form is just that: In order for your lead to get your offer, he or she must fill out a form. Once they fill out the form, you have a lead. Cool, eh? We think so. Then, you’ll need to decide what to do with that lead.
9) Thank You Pages
Think of a thank you page and the second half of a landing page. It works this way: Once your visitor clicks “submit” on your landing page, he or she is redirected to a thank you page to obtain your offer.
You must deliver your offer on the thank you page. If your offer is a download, put the link on the thank you page. Again, make the delivery as simple as you can.
Once you have an offer, a CTA, a landing page, and a thank you page, you have a conversion path.
Now, you’ve arrived at the next level of digital marketing – having a way to acquire leads from your digital media.
None of the above is of any great value without a way to measure what’s working and what’s not.
Without employing metrics, any of your marketing efforts are a shot in the dark.
Shockingly, a great many marketers (and agencies) are not using true lead-tracking software at all. Instead, they’ll track click-throughs, page views, and sales performance. Many smaller companies don’t even watch website performance using Google Analytics. GA is free, and is a great place to start.
To really know the value of your marketing efforts, you must use closed-loop reporting.
Closed-loop reporting involves 4 steps:
- A visitor lands on your site.
- The visitor browses your site, his or her actions are tracked via a “cookie.”
- The visitor converts to a lead when he or she fills out a form.
- The lead becomes a customer and the point of first contact (the marketing campaign) is given the credit.
Applying these 10 steps does require some work unless you hire an agency. If, however, you employ even a few of these steps, your business will grow. If you employ all 10, chances are you’ll be the only one in your industry to even attempt to grow your business in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire through the Internet. Digital marketing done correctly (by planning and measuring ROI) will knock the socks off of your competition. Isn’t that a good thing?
So... has this article helped you understand the advanced concepts of Internet marketing? Have questions? If so, ASK ME ANYTHING in the discussion form below. Now go grow your business!
Key take-a-ways from this blog post:
- Digital marketing is the new and ROI-producing way to do marketing.
- Digital marketing is a planned approach; nothing should be done on a whim.
- All of your digital marketing efforts should produce measurable growth. If one thing doesn’t, ditch it.
- Positioning yourself as being helpful will yield better results than just focusing on your products or services.
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