Successful web marketing starts from the ground up, from initial URL selection and all the way through promoting your website on social media. CEO and Project Manager Stoney deGeyter walks you through 10 steps to boost your web presence.
In this webinar you’ll learn:
- Why optimizing your site for keywords is important
- How to make pay-per-click advertising work for you
- How to create a cohesive experience for your site visitors
- Why social media marketing is critical for success online
Speaker: Stoney deGeyter, CEO & Project Manager
Watch Time: 00:18:16
Download 10 Web Marketing Focuses That Need Your Full Buy In slides on SlideShare.
Thanks for joining us. I’m going to talk about the 10 Web Marketing Focuses That Need Your Full Buy-in. Now, in the world of web marketing, there is just so many things that we have to look at, we have to assess, we have to kind of dig into, and really figure out where do we put our investment, where do we put our marketing dollars, where do we invest our time. I’m going to talk about 10 things that really need our full buy-in when it comes to online marketing.
Now, before we begin, I just want to introduce myself. My name is Stoney deGeyter. This is me here. I do what’s called web presence optimization. Some call it web marketing. Some call it SEO. But we look at it as optimizing the entire web presence. You can follow me here on Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn. I did write a book called “The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!” which you can find on Amazon in both paper and digital formats. And of course, this is my company, Pole Position Marketing. We’ve been together doing this since 1998, so we’ve been around quite a while, doing web marketing and web presence optimization. All right. So let’s get started.
Number one, the first buy-in that you really need to have is figuring out what your domain name and URLs are going to look like. And this comes back to the very beginning of web marketing and building a website and what we do. Your domain name is very crucial. It’s very important to determining what’s your brand going to be? How are people going to remember you? And you want to make sure you have a domain name that is memorable but not hard to spell. That’s an important part of that. There’s a lot of domain names that are memorable, but people don’t know how to spell them, and that can create confusion, cause people to go to a site that’s not yours, which you really don’t want.
You want your URLs to be readable. And we’re not talking just about the domain name here, but we’re talking about the full URL when you’ve got your page names, your categories, and all of that. You don’t want your URL to be a bunch of odd characters and numbers and things like that. But make it readable, where somebody can look at your domain name and know intuitively. “I know what that page is going to be,” or “I know what the content on that page is going to show me,” relatively speaking.
And you really want the URLs to be as short as possible. Domain name is short. And then when you’re adding in your categories and subcategories in your URL, try to keep that pretty truncated. It’s okay to have multiple words in your URLs, but when you come down to a page, don’t have a 10-word page name in your URL. Just shrink it down to about three words for each category or page level. That will make it readable, and possibly, somebody can type it in if they need to do that.
Number two is web design. And this is really important because we think if people are coming to our site, this is our storefront. This is the initial impression that people get when they interact with our business. So make sure you’re following best practices, first of all. There’s a lot of information out there about typical things you should or shouldn’t do building a website. Start there. Now, every industry is going to be a little bit different. It’s going to have a little bit different criteria or different needs, and your website, particularly your business, might deviate from that, but you usually want to start with best practices and then test deviations from there. And that way, you’re at least starting with the basics, what typically works for most people, and then you look for improvements from that point going forward.
Make sure your site is mobile-friendly. And there’s a lot of talk about being mobile first. Really, this is all the same idea, the same concept where you want the mobile experience to be a fantastic experience. You don’t want people to have trouble using your website on a mobile device. Think about that first because more and more people are looking or accessing sites on mobile devices before they even go to the desktop. And whether it’s mobile or desktop, you’ve got to make sure your site is easy to navigate. And this means really thinking through your navigation, figuring out what your categories and subcategories are going to be, and making it easy for people to follow the navigational trail to get to the information that they want to do. And this is really critical to getting people to that point where they are satisfied with the experience on your site and getting what they need from that.
Number three, website architecture. This is the bulk of SEO. If you take out the idea of keyword research and keyword optimization, the bulk of SEO falls under website architecture. And this just means that it’s the platform in which your website is built on. It’s the coding structure. And you want to make sure, one, fix all your broken links. These things happen over time, where pages move or you’re linking off site to another site and that site goes out or goes under, or whatever. Just do regular checks to make sure that you’re keeping up and fixing those links.
Use canonical URLs. This is especially important for ecommerce websites that there might be products that can be found multiple ways and there will be multiple URLs for the same product. Fix those issues. And if you can’t fix them, make sure you’re using a canonical tag in order to tell the search engines which URL is the most important.
You also want to reduce code bloat as much as possible. There’s no reason, at this point in time, to have bloated code. That’s just dragging your site down. The more bloated your code is, the longer it’s going to take to load. Get a developer in there that really knows what they’re doing and can streamline everything and do everything so it’s really, really light. And this is very important for mobile that you have fast connecting pages. Very fast pages. And the only way to do that is to get rid of the code bloat and use mobile-friendly technologies.
On-page optimization. This is another very critical thing that we need to look at when it comes to optimizing our sites and getting performance on the web. It starts with keyword research. And that means using your keyword research tools, figuring out what it is people are typing into the search engines relevant for what it is that you sell. And then use those keywords. Don’t use them as “Hey, we’ve got to put these exact phrases in multiple times in the content,” but look at the keywords as guides for how people reference what it is that you do and what it is you sell, and then use that as a guide to write your title tags, your heading tags, your content. All of that should be influenced by the keyword research. And again, it’s just to give you that idea of how people are using terminology for what you do and then just incorporating that terminology in a way that makes sense into your content.
And then also do local optimization. If you are a local business and if you sell within a specific geographical radius, make sure that you target or you use your city names or your area names in your content and on your website, so people know and the search engines know that you are a site that serves this area. And you’ll have a better chance of coming up in the rankings, especially when people are doing local searches, if the search engines can easily tell what area it is that you serve.
Number five, content marketing. Very, very important. More and more, we hear about the benefits or the importance of content marketing. And it’s very true that not just search engines like content, but people like content. That’s why we’re out on the web. That’s why we’re there. We’re looking for some information. So when you’re writing content, especially when it comes to products and services, focus on the benefits. Don’t just say, “Hey, here’s what we do, and here’s what you’re going to get.” Talk about what people want. Talk about what they need and how they’re going to get that need met. Use a consistent voice throughout your site from page to page, and make sure you’re writing in the same style. You just don’t want there to be this inconsistency from page to page. You want a cohesive experience.
And then make sure your content is visually appealing. Now, we think, “Well, content is just words.” Words can be presented in a visual appealing way, and that’s just as simple as making sure it’s formatted right, use proper line spacing and font sizes, using headings, using bullet points. All of these things can help make content look more appealing and make it look easier to digest from the user. Plus the usage of images and things like that. It’s all very important to providing that experience that the visitor comes and they just don’t feel overwhelmed with just text, text, text, but they just come and say, “This site meets my needs. I can skim. I can scan. I can consume information in many, many different ways.”
Number six, social media marketing. And this has been a growing aspect of web marketing for the past half a dozen years, if not more than that. Really, really important here, using it as not just a promotion way, a promotion aspect of giving your content out there in front of your audience, but as an engagement platform. And that’s why social media marketing is so important. It’s really about engagement and reaching your audience, not just bombarding them with “Hey, read this content,” “Hey, here’s my products,” “Hey, here’s this other information,” but just being there and meeting their needs through social media, answering their questions, providing value. It is a way to share, and not just your own content but other people’s content. You’re sharing value with your social media channel.
And make sure you choose your platform wisely. Not every platform is for you. Not everybody needs to be on Facebook. Not everybody is going to find value in Twitter. So really look at where your audience is and where you’re going to get the most value, and then really dive in and engage in that area, in that platform, and build that platform up.
And privacy and security. This is a big issue because people really want to feel secure about who they’re doing business with. So if you have information on your site and it’s really not tipping the scales, they’re not sure about you, there’s things that you can do to really move them towards that “Hey, you know what? We’re the company you want to do business with. Here’s our security certificates, which means that you’re not going to have your information stolen when you put in your credit card information or other personal information on our website.” If you use Authorize.Net, display those types of things. Anything that builds trust, these trust type symbols, use them on your website. Explain your protection protocols.
When people are submitting their email address, let them know what you are or are not going to do with that. If you’re going to sell it, you need to tell them. If you’re not going to sell their information, make sure they know that because that’s going to give them that security. And then make sure you have your contact information there available, so people can look and see, “Hey, I can get ahold of you. I can pick up the phone and I can email, and there will be somebody there,” rather than burying that information and not letting people know the best way to reach you. People are just comforted knowing that there is a way to contact you fairly easily. So that can go a very long way.
Number eight, conversion optimization. This is important for the long play. Once you get your site built, you get your site optimized, you have all your best practices in place, now you test. You test things and see how they’re working, making sure your forms and error messages are producing the right messaging. You’re not making things more difficult, but you’re making them easier. You’re making it easier on people to fix their mistakes when they fill out forms. You’re making it easier on them when they see that they’ve made a mistake. You’re not big red blaring, pointing your finger, “Hey, you’re an idiot. You did something wrong.” You want to ease people through the process and walk them through that.
Make sure that people can get through your shopping cart experience very simply. Make it as simple as possible. There’s many, many things that you can do, and you can test different things to see what works better. And again, we talked about trust and credibility. Make sure that you’re displaying those trust symbols throughout your website and throughout your conversion processes because these are very, very important. Bottom line, every site, the goal is to get that conversion, whatever that means to you. So the conversion optimization is just about how do we make it easier for the visitor to go from where they came in to that conversion? And there’s just a number of things you can do and test. And the point is you’ve got to be testing. You’ve got to be doing something to continue to improve that process.
Number nine, pay-per-click advertising. This is one of the most trackable forms of marketing online. And PPC is great because you can really look down to the detail and know, “This is how much I’m paying per click. This is how much I’m paying for conversion.” And if you know where your profit margins are, you know exactly where you need to be on the per click level and go, “If I pay more than x per click, then I’m not profiting. If I’m paying more than x per conversion, then I’m losing money.” So pay-per-click really can be an avenue for, more than anything else, maximizing your value. Just make sure you know your values, where your points are. So many people go on to PPC, just start throwing money at it, and they don’t know if they’re profiting or losing money because they don’t know where their profit margins are. And you really got to have that, and that way, you can optimize those PPC accounts to make sure. Maybe you need to spend less money on one side of the campaign because your costs are higher or your profit margins are lower versus another product or service. Maybe your profit margins are higher, so you can spend a little bit more. But you’ve got to know those values.
Make sure you’re installing conversion tracking because that’s the only way you could really keep track is to have that analytics code installed. And making sure you know what your conversions are. And you can do a lot with ads. Just keep testing different ads, putting things out there, and competing against yourself to see which ad is better. Just like with conversion optimization, you want to keep testing your ads and looking for improvement, looking for better ways to get the message across and get the visitor over to your site, and which ones actually bring them to that conversion process. And it’s just a constant battle. It’s a constant way of improving yourself, improving your website, improving your ads, and looking for that way to make sure you’re being most effective as possible.
And number 10, analytics. And this goes back to everything that you do on online marketing. You’ve got to be able to track it. You’ve got to know what’s working and what’s not, and analytics is the way to do that. It starts with establishing your goals. You’ve got to know what it is that you’re trying to achieve. Are you trying to achieve x number of conversions, or are you trying to achieve a certain number of ROI? Are you just looking for traffic? Are you looking for increased sales, or are you looking to increase your profits even if that means lowering your sales? All of these things produce different results, so you’ve got to establish your goals in analytics and then put in the things that are going to help you track that.
Setting up custom alerts. So if things change, you get informed right away. If all of a sudden there’s a big anomaly, these custom alerts will tell you and say, “Hey, you need to go look at your account. Maybe something is wrong. Maybe something is right.” But ultimately, these alerts really help you manage it without having to dive in every day and look at all of these details.
I mean one thing you do want to track is internal search. If you have a search bar on your site, people are typing things in, this can give you some great information as to how people are thinking about your product beyond the keyword research that you do with the external tools. This is your own internal tool. And you want to make sure that you test those out. What you see people typing in to your internal search, test it out and look at the results. Make sure that those are the best results possible for each of those searches, because if people are typing something in and your internal search is directing them somewhere else or, worse, saying “We don’t have anything for that,” and you actually do, you’re going to be driving away customers. So just take a look at that and make sure you’re tracking internal search and all of the data. There’s value in everything. You just really got to know what data is important to you based on those goals.
That’s it for me. I want to thank you. I hope you learned something from this. And of course, you can go to webmarketingchecklist.com to check out my book. I hope you have a great day.