Many businesses share in the common misconception that simply putting up a website is enough to be able to check “digital marketing” off their to-do list. In reality, the online side of your business requires a lot of attention, both up-front and on an ongoing basis, if you want your audience to find it.
The Initial Investment
A great website is built from the ground up with certain things in mind. If you leave out these important aspects when setting up your website, you’ll struggle to optimize it later on and your rankings will directly suffer as a result.
Choose A Quality Domain Name & Hosting
Your domain name and hosting provider will form the foundation for your website.
The domain name you register should be concise, relevant, and easy for people to spell and remember. The hosting provider you choose should be affordable, reliable, and be able to scale with your needs as your website grows along with your audience and traffic.
Select The Right CMS
WordPress is well-known as one of the most popular content management systems out there, but it’s not the end all be all. For those looking to sell items online as their primary focus, a CMS like Shopify might also be worth considering. Your CMS is going to affect ongoing costs and the flexibility you’ll have with design and layout later, so don’t just pick the first one offered to you.
Think About User Experience
The next step in the process is getting your website’s design together. Not only does it need to match your brand’s colors and overall style, you also need to think about usability.
Is it laid out in an intuitive way? Is there a search bar? Easy navigation menu? These are questions you should ask from a user’s point-of-view so you can find the necessary tweaks and improvements you need to make.
Optimize for Speed
Many businesses don’t think about load times until they have already overloaded their servers with hundreds of oversized images and video files.
You need to be thinking about load times and optimizing your page speed right from the start. If you’re using WordPress, an image processing plugin that compresses image files may be worth installing. You might also want to look into a caching function so users can browse without waiting for pages to load.
The Ongoing Commitment
Getting your website set up correctly is important to its future success, but your work can’t stop there. Once you have created a solid foundation for your website, you have to continue putting in the effort so that people can find your website.
The Basics of SEO
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a confusing topic that you’ll find is brought up quite often whenever the topic of a website comes up.
Search engines like Google are always updating their algorithms with new rules. These algorithms are ultimately what determine how well your website ranks. Or, in other words, whether your content deserves to be on the first results page–or the tenth.
The thing about SEO is that, even if you have written some great informational content, if it doesn’t show the signals of good content that Google and other search engines are looking for, it’s not going to rank well.
So, in addition to taking your time to write content that real readers are going to love, you also have to stay up-to-date on SEO to make sure search engines will like it too.
The thing is, SEO won’t bring visitors to your site overnight. SEO is an on-going commitment that you have to review with each new piece of content you publish. With time, however, it will bring in organic traffic–people who fit within your target audience who are on Google looking for a site just like yours. That’s why SEO is worth all the effort you put into it.
Whether it’s a banner ad or a PPC campaign on Google AdSense, paid ads can help you generate momentum by bringing traffic to your website even before your organic SEO tactics begin to take effect. Many businesses supplement organic traffic with paid traffic, and while it is ultra-targeted based on the criteria you choose, you have to pay for every visitor who comes to your site through the ad.
Did you know no one would have room for Jell-O if it weren’t for content marketing? Content marketing has been around for far longer than the internet, but it now holds a special role in most business’s digital marketing strategy.
Content marketing involves the creation of content that’s meant to stimulate interest in your products/services. It’s not about pitching your business, it’s more about consumer education and hype building. Videos, articles, images, and all sorts of content can be used in your content marketing strategy.
Content marketing can be combined with both organic traffic strategies (SEO) and paid marketing tactics to help build authority around your website and business.
What Difference Will It Make?
With all of these things considered, you might be starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by just how much you need to commit to doing, both up-front and in the long run, in order to make your website a rousing success.
That’s why many companies enlist the help of a professional agency. After all, doing so means:
- You’ll save time because you don’t have to stress yourself out about trying to learn SEO and all the rules of ranking in addition to everything you already do for your business.
- You’ll save money, and make more money because you can skip the long “trial and error” process with an agency who already knows what works.
- You’ll get better results because you’re allowing a team of professionals to work on your website who do it day-in and day-out.
As you move forward towards running a successful website, don’t hesitate to get advice about what you should be doing, or could be doing, to help you reach your goal of achieving a steady influx of organic, high-quality traffic.