So there it is: Your brand new website is finally planted in cyberspace and ready to grow into something wonderful.
But there’s a problem. It turns out it's a jungle out there with gazillions of websites all clambering for attention from the mighty redwoods of Google right down to the many saplings of your competitors. The question is how does yours get enough attention so it can grow? And once you've got someone's attention how can you make sure that they move from being a visitor to a customer (or at least a solid enquiry)?
So, if you’re looking for a little water for your new sapling website then take a look at our super-simple marketing plan. (If you’re wondering why you even need to worry about developing a marketing plan for your website then take a look at The Pillars of Digital Marketing.)
Below are some prioritised activities for you, listing out those things to do now, in a few months and beyond. Essentially, it describes the ‘low-hanging fruit’ of opportunity and helps you separate what’s essential to do now and later.
0-3 Months: Get Traffic To Your Site
Start a Google Ads and Facebook campaign: Gets you instant traffic to your website.
Kick off your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pages: Starts developing a core base of interested followers.
Regularly send promotional and helpful emails to customers and prospects: Allows you to create a more personal relationship between you and your prospect.
3-6 Months: Improve What's There
Add upsells, cross-sells and recommended products/services: Makes sure that you’re maximising your selling opportunities.
Build an email list by offering something for free on your website in exchange for your visitor’s email address: A freebie gives people a reason to give up their email.
Improve the copy of your website: Optimises and hones your pitch.
Add testimonials; written, audio and, ideally, video and guarantees: Proves to customers that you’re a marvellous company.
Increase the content of your website through blogging, articles, etc.: Improves your ranking on search engines.
6-12 Months: Learn, Go Offline & Expand
Optimise your site by reviewing your Google Analytics reports: Identifies what needs to be improved.
Split-test web pages and Google Ads landing pages: Gives you the opportunity to increase your conversions at no cost.
Test video: 80% of the Internet traffic is video, people love video!
Get links from trade associations, professional bodies, bloggers, the BBC; anyone who’s relevant to your industry and has a good level of traffic to their site: Gets you direct traffic and also improves your ranking on search engines.
Offline advertising; flyers, pull-up banners, vehicular livery: Get your brand into the real world.
Look out for and cultivate some joint ventures: There’s strength in numbers.
Run Google Ads on the Content Network, and YouTube and test Remarketing: Increases your advertising reach and message penetration.
Replicate the successes of your Ads campaign using Yahoo!, LinkedIn and Bing’s advertising programmes: Yes, people actually do use other search engines.
Now you’re ready to try everything else in the online marketing world! BUT consider going back to the list above and optimising as much as you can first to maximise your returns – and don’t forget to apply the 80/20 rule to everything you do! (Read more about this here: Web Design & The 80:20 Rule.)