If a picture tells a thousand words, how many do a website design and successful advertising campaign make? A couple thousand? A million? We all know that digital marketing represents the backbone of any successful business. With that said, a successful strategy requires thoughtful and meticulous planning.
Hone in On Your Audience
If you can't pinpoint and identify your target audience, you're already missing out on tens of thousands of potential consumers. You risk creating ineffective content and wasting valuable time and resources on information that people won't or can't use.
Your target audience needs to be as specific as possible. While this may reduce the number of consumers you attract, you're increasing your ability to define your expertise and attract the kinds of people who need the solutions your business offers.
In today's highly competitive market, it's not enough to just have a target audience of middle-aged women. Are these women with kids? Women who have careers? Women with mental health issues? Women who enjoy doing yoga in their free time and cooking vegan dinners for their spouses?
When you can define your audience, you can create the right content that appeals to those consumers and utilize the most effective marketing channels (hello Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest!) to market your services and products.
And remember this: your audience may change over time. That's okay. You just need to be able, at any given moment, to identify who you're aiming to sell your products and services to.
Lightning Speed Navigation
Even if you have the trendiest website design on the market, it's only going to be off-putting if people can't find the pivotal resources like your contact information. If your search and navigation features aren't intuitive- as intuitive as humanly possible- users will be clicking that back button as quickly as they can.
Nobody wants to search around or engage in a scavenger hunt on your website. To avoid this, make sure you integrate an accessible sitemap on your navigation header and footer.
Furthermore, if you're enabling customers to purchase products or services directly on your site, it's imperative that you offer them numerous ways to contact you. Have this link obvious on every single page of your website.
We know that merely having a great business plan is no longer enough in today's digital and innovative society. You need to also have a great, authentic branding behind your business. It doesn't matter what product or service you sell- you need a way to convey who you are behind the brand!
More and more people want to know the name and face behind the business model. They want to know who you are and what you stand for.
Creating a consistent brand takes time and work, and it's a two-fold process. On the one hand, you want easily accessible and identifiable elements such as a unique logo, graphic design, mission statement or slogan. On the other hand, your voice represents a major component of your branding. This refers to the stylistic tone you take with your blogging, the way you engage with consumers, and the feelings and energy you evoke in your readers.
Your brand is closely connected to your target audience, which is closely connected to your company's personality. This can be achieved through guest posting, commenting on other blogs and social media forums, and creating tailored content geared to your audience in mind.
Live and Breathe SEO
By now, most business owners understand that operating a website requires SEO integration. However, too many people remain stuck in old ways, thinking they can just slap a few keywords onto a post, hit Publish, and share on their social media channels. Or, they overdo it, stuffing keywords or using ineffective Black Hat SEO strategies.
Needless to say, that's just not enough. And Google is onto you.
SEO is not one-and-done; it's an active process that requires meticulous research. Some key points to keep in mind as we arch through 2018:
- Local SEO continues to dominate search engine trends.
- Long-tailed keywords are more important than ever before (4-5 words).
- Don't forget your ALT image text
- Social sharing and signals still matter (a lot).
- External and internal linking must be done both strategically and frequently
While there is no specified anatomy for the absolute perfect website, it is imperative for all businesses to make sure that their online presence reflects their company in the most positive and authentic light.
Nicole A is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and professional freelance writer. She is passionate about helping people uncover and unleash their authentic selves (both in her therapy and written work). Nicole enjoys blogging about mental health, addiction, and self-esteem.