Everyone has heard it, “You need a website for your business.” Do you, really? A full-blown website is a big project. Believe it or not, there are some businesses out there without internet still let alone a website. Events of 2020 have changed the game, with the general consensus of businesses trying to reduce face-to-face contact. At the very least, an online presence of some kinds helps to keep customers informed. At the very most, it can help a business target their ideal customer by creating authority in the industry.
Table of Contents:
- A Website is Expected
- Even a Simple Website Says a Lot
- How a Website helps you leverage your products and services to create authority within your industry
- Conclusion: A Website will help to ensure your success in the long run
A Website is Expected
A business needs to attract new clients to grow, but what if the business doesn’t need to grow or the business owners don’t desire growth. There are many mom and pop businesses out there who don’t desire growth. The business is sustainable, and the owners are able to make a comfortable living with it. I have personally made phone calls to local businesses who have excellent reviews on google with absolutely no online presence. Their customers are already loyal, and they have no need or desire to go online. Times are changing though, even these mom and pop shops will eventually need to change if they want to continue to do business.
Why is a website expected? Just like a business card, if it’s not there, the business may not look as legitimate and maybe not as trustworthy. Another great reason is that it shows you are willing to take the time to keep your customers informed. Why would someone spend the time and money to patronize a business that doesn’t invest the time in making information readily available? Sure, a phone call is quick and easy, but more and more people expect to be able to find information with little human interaction. Potential customers will more easily turn into customers if they can find information where they would expect to find it.
We can go further with this, leveraging your products and services as keywords. People are already searching online for whatever it is that you sell. Google has plenty of information already available if you know where to look. Google Trends is a great tool (trends.google.com) to find how keywords related to your business are performing. I will talk more about using keywords to help people find your business later in this article.
Even a Simple Website Says a Lot
A website can take on a lot of forms to suit the needs of the business operating it. As I talked about above, we can use it to make information easily available to potential customers. We can also gather a lot of information from your potential customers. A myriad of tools is available to help you gather information directly from your users and indirectly about their activity on your site. Here, we will talk about 2 in particular: Google Analytics and ActiveCampaign.
Google Analytics can integrate with any website to give you a huge amount of information about your users. Some of the core pieces you can gather are: session time, pages viewed per session, acquisition method (ie. Search engine, directly typing the web address, or referred from another site), and geographic location (as long they’re not connected via VPN). Google Analytics can get a bit more in depth when you connect other platforms such as Google Business Profiles and Google Search Console. The business profile from Google will give you a Facebook-like profile for your business where you can post current photos and info which will show when someone searches for your business directly. Google Search Console will enable you to see more information about how your website is listed in search results and for which keywords it was returned. This powerful tool will give you insight into which keywords are working best for your site. You can then use those keywords within your page text or blog posts to drive more organic traffic through search engines.
ActiveCampaign is our preferred CRM and email marketing software at 5611 Marketing Studios. We are a reseller of their platform and have worked with their team to learn how to best use it for our clients. The core of ActiveCampaign is the list which you can upload a current list or connect to a website and build a list. We then design automated email marketing processes. There are 3 main types of processes which are proven to work well. The first is a survey funnel which starts with an email opt-in. When we talk about an opt-in, it’s where a user enters their email address in order to receive some sort of discount or information packet. Over the next month or so, the automated email marketing system will send a series of emails (typically 8-12 emails total) to the user informing and educating them about your products and services. The second proven automation campaign is the purchase thank you and loyalty incentive. This campaign is targeted at your past customers and ideally would start as soon as you complete your first transaction with the client. The first email would thank them followed a few days later asking the customer for a review on Google or other platforms. After waiting about a week, from the initial purchase, the final set of emails would provoke the customer to refer your business to their friends. Incentivizing this last step will also provide cause for the customer to return and patronize your business again with a discount for their referral. The last, common automation campaign we use is the abandoned cart campaign. For ecommerce websites, that final click on the “Buy Now” button can sometimes be elusive. What if you could encourage those who may have added the product to the shopping cart but for some reason, they did not hit the button? This campaign does just that, by requiring the user to create an account on your site before taking them to the shopping cart. This shows intent and qualifies the lead. It also gives us the necessary information we need to send them reminders about the products they left in the shopping cart.
That is just the tip of the iceberg with ActiveCampaign. Some of the more advanced functionality are: Sale Automations, Live Chat Modules, SMS text message marketing, and more. If you’d like to talk to us about how ActiveCampaign can help your business. Give us a call at 724-672-2692
How a Website Helps You Leverage Your Products and Services to Create Authority Within Your Industry
I touched a bit earlier about how, as a business owner you can leverage the products and services you sell to find new clients online. You already have knowledge about whatever it is you sell, otherwise you wouldn’t have a sustainable business. Use that knowledge to create authority by writing about it in a blog. A blog is a powerful tool and most business owners don’t recognize it because the benefits are so obscure. Google can read your blog posts and it uses the content of your blog posts as a basis for search results. If you want to show up more on search results, all you need to do is blog about your business; this in itself, creates authority. Your knowledge of your industry is readily available for people to read. Sure, you may be giving some information away for free, but you are attracting more clients than you would be sending away if you had not provided that information. You want your collective knowledge to be visible to world in order to build that authority both with Google and real people.
The tools available from Google will help you find the best keywords to use and also which ones are performing well for you. Google, the core search tool can even help you find new keywords that you may not have thought of. If you go to google.com and start typing, you will of course see suggested search topics, those topics are common things people are searching for. Use that to your advantage.
Conclusion: A Website Will Help to Ensure Your Success in the Long Run.
The events in 2020 have been a catalyst for a paradigm shift in how people do business. Over the past 30 years, there has been a gradual move for small businesses going online. Events like Covid-19 are sure to happen again and with the hyperawareness in communities around the globe, every business must find ways to make themselves sustainable. Restaurants, travel and event businesses are probably the hardest hit, but industries hit hard like these are not dead; they just need to find new ways to do business. We, as business owners, must continue to educate ourselves to stay current and relevant. Changes in web technology have slowed as Moore’s Law does not affect websites and web apps like it used to. These days, Moore’s Law (“The observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years” Wikipedia) really applies to AI and super computers. Therefore, we can assume that a well-built business website made with a platform such as WordPress will be viable for decades rather than years in the future. This will reduce the long-term cost for business owners as internet technologies have standardized.