SEO and digital marketing is no ‘quick fix’; but any business will find success with the right foundations in place.
The incredible growth of the digital marketing sector (which I’m lucky enough to be part of) can’t be denied. But SEO and digital marketing shouldn’t be seen as a last-ditch attempt to get more enquiries for your business.
While digital marketing and SEO are important, you also need to have some of the fundamentals in place to ensure your efforts are making the biggest impact.
So, if you’re thinking of undertaking SEO or digital marketing services, read on. I will explain exactly what your business needs to do to make sure your digital marketing efforts go the distance.
Meet client expectations
You need to make sure that ‘who you are’ and ‘what you do’ is clear to customers. And it would help if you met their expectations at every turn.
It will be difficult to get what you want out of digital marketing if you can’t do this.
Look at what client expectations are within your industry and make sure your business meets or exceeds them. For example, if customers expect a certain level of service from your company (response time, delivery time etc.), you better deliver on that, or they’ll approach the competition instead.
Simply having a great product or service won’t necessarily be enough. People tend to gravitate towards the most accessible and most convenient option, so the enquiry and purchase process must be as quick and easy as possible. If your customers need to jump through too many hoops to get what they want, they’ll swiftly back out of the purchase process.
Example: A client’s enquiries increased thanks to digital marketing efforts significantly, but the business could not provide same-day quoting, which most people requested. This resulted in the business being unable to convert a big chunk of these enquiries.
A functioning and attractive website
When putting yourself out online, the ultimate goal is to get more people to land on your website. That’s the plan, anyway. But what if your website isn’t quite ready for the influx, or isn’t optimised so that you rank well? To get ready for your SEO push, your website must have the following:
- A mobile responsive design that works on mobile and desktop sites
- Keyword-rich content that targets the audience you’re looking to appeal to
- High-quality content that is written to convert or engage people
- Updated and current photos and links
- A clear and easy to follow design and layout
- Clear website domain ownership and contact details
- Social links and information about relevant affiliations
- Proper site security and secure payment gateways where applicable
This is, of course, a shortened list which is far longer depending on the quality of content and information on your site currently. But it’s a start – and when you’re putting your SEO efforts in, you want to ensure you have fixed up your website.
Example: Despite ranking well on Google, a business’s website had a very high bounce rate, and few online enquires. The website was very difficult to navigate, and it was hard to find key information. This resulted in prospects clicking out of the website and making purchases through competitor websites instead.
A defined sales process
Once your digital marketing efforts are underway, your enquiries are bound to increase, so make sure your business is prepared for the influx.
When a prospect makes an enquiry through your website either by email or phone, do you have a process in place to make sure those enquiries are responded to right away? Or perhaps you’re primarily set up to handle phone enquiries, yet your website is directing people to fill in an enquiry form? You need to make sure your sales process is defined and well aligned with your digital marketing efforts.
Example: A business was claiming that enquiries were not coming through from their digital marketing efforts. We soon realised that the email enquiries were directing to an email address that was not adequately monitored by the business.
Know who your customers are
Once you have a clear idea of who your target market is, it becomes a lot easier to reach your audience and entice them to visit your website and purchase your products and services. The more specific you are, the more targeted your PPC and social media campaigns can be.
Refer to data you hold on your current clients and look at your social media followers to get an idea of who your target audience is. You can then put buyer personas together to give you a better understanding of who these people are. If you don’t have the time or the know how to put buyer personas together, simply putting some basic demographic information of who your ideal customer is such as age, gender, location and occupation can help your digital marketing team immensely.
Example: A business had a preconceived idea that their client base was local and resided within a pretty narrow radius. However, upon further investigation, it turns out their customers were willing to travel from further afield than they had expected. This allowed for a wider reach and a better ROI for online promotions.
Establish and communicate business goals in digital marketing
Your SEO and digital marketing efforts can (and should) be part of a wider effort to achieve your business goals. Are you looking to grow your business as part of a five-year plan? Starting out and just want to increase your customer base by a certain per cent? Whatever your goals are, it’s going to be pretty hard to know if you’re reaching them if you don’t know what they are. We recommend that you take the time to set out your vision and goals for your business so that you know you’ll be meeting them.
You need to make sure your business goals and expectations are clearly explained to your digital agency too. Without transparency on this, your digital marketing could be heading in the completely wrong direction and not be aligned with your overall goals.
Example: A business owner started selling a new line of curtains for his shop and wondered why curtain enquiries were not coming through his digital marketing efforts. The digital marketing team was not aware of the new curtain line and continued to focus on pushing keywords and online promotions for blinds.
Customer feedback and testimonials
Having compelling feedback from customers who have had a positive experience with your business is a fantastic way to convert visitors who come to your site. People really value the opinion of others when it comes to choosing products and services, so it’s always worth encouraging your customers to leave a review on Google or your social media pages.
You should be displaying customer testimonials on your website too. It’s an easy way for your readers to gather information about what they can expect from their interaction with you.
The positive sentiment you share from genuine clients gives you more credibility and builds trust – so it makes sense that this will help in converting more of your enquiries.
So, while SEO and digital marketing shouldn’t be seen as a ‘quick fix’ by any means, with the right foundations in place, any business can find success in this space.