January is the time when we make New Year’s resolutions and plan for the next year but planning especially for business owners has become highly difficult in this pandemic environment forcing all of us to be continually agile and on our toes.
However, the one certainty that has come out of 2020 is that businesses have had to move online. Last year saw online retail sales in the UK increase by 31% to just under £100 billion! Those companies that were already online suddenly found that the online space is much more competitive.
Maximising your Online presence is Essential
Being online then and having the ability to sell to your customers is now essential and enabling your brand to stand out from the competition is key.
Below we’ve come up with 5 key tasks that you and your team can implement as part of your digital strategy that will enable you to maximise your online presence.
1. Understand your Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that many companies have set up and linked to their website to tell them vital statistics about how their website is performing. However, it can be easy with the demands of running a business to forget to look at this very useful data.
Google analytics enables you to know:
– how many visitors you get to your website in any given timeframe
– who they are, male / female
– what visitors’ interests are (if you have enabled ‘Advertising Reporting Features’)
– what pages are bringing visitors to your site
– which channels are bringing visitors to your site (social, email, PPC, referrals etc.)
– which pages visitors bounce off (the last page a visitor views)
– how visitors journey through your website
Understanding this data can really give insight into how your website is working and which pages may not be working so well, signalling they might need to be revamped to improve the user journey.
If you’ve got Google Analytics set up and would like an expert to take you step by step through the foundations, we’ve created a 30-minute introductory webinar just for you. You’ll come away knowing how to navigate around analytics and understand vital data that you can feed into your digital campaigns.
Watch the Free Analytics Webinar here
2. Engage with Your Audience
With customer interactions almost solely online whether through the website, email or social, you want to make sure that you are creating a really strong and easy online experience with your brand.
…On social media
Social media allows for immediate interaction with customers who have questions and niggles. Use comments and message functions to respond promptly and solidify a positive experience of your brand. Audit previous posts and see which ones resonate with your audience so you can create future posts that are similar to get reactions and clicks.
…On your website
Ensure that the visitor’s journey on your website is as straight-forward as possible. Check your menu navigation is easy to use and find key products and services. Test the purchasing journey through your ecommerce platform and make sure relevant purchase and abandoned basket emails are sent in a timely manner.
Email marketing allows you to tailor messages and offers for different groups of customers. Make sure you are emailing on a regular basis to help keep that relationship / connection warm. Every so often it is an idea to ask your audience what they would like to see in your newsletters or what their current pain points are? So that you can address them in future emails and make them more valuable to your audience.
3. Create Great Content
Another way of engaging and creating a greater connection with your audience is to write regular and interesting content. It needs to be relevant to their interests and address their pain points or questions.
“But writing content takes a lot of my time and I never quite get round to it!”
Yes, we hear this a lot. Writing content does take time, but the dividends in the longer term are immense.
Writing good quality content:
- Keeps your community engaged
- Demonstrates your knowledge / experience / expertise
- Increases the Know, Like and Trust factor of your business
- Continues to bring traffic to your website long after is it written – great SEO!
- Can be updated from time to time so it is still relevant
- Enables you to use keywords (appropriately) within it to help your SEO
As I write this, ATW’s analytics shows that there are certain blogs that consistently bring in visitors to our website. These blogs are usually ‘evergreen’ content – not necessarily specific to a certain period in time – and remain relevant and accurate a year or more on.
Our blogs help the search engine optimisation of our website, as well as provide useful and interesting information to readers and customers. And if a blog becomes partially out of date, you can simply update it.
Still not sure you have the time? Marketing agencies like ours can help with content writing and keyword research. You get to impart your knowledge and expertise, whilst the writing is done by someone else, freeing you up to focus on other areas of your business.
4. Boost Website Visitors with Paid Advertising
Whilst SEO is a key part of your digital strategy, there’s no denying that paid advertising is also an essential ingredient in helping new audiences to find your business or products.
Paid advertising might be paid ads on social media, or it could be Pay Per Click – Google Ads.
Paid advertising allows you to:
- Spend according to your budget (Facebook starts from £1/day)
- Target your audience on a given platform
- Create an audience based on interests, demographics and location
- Re-market to people who have visited your website
- Form look-alike audiences based on those that have visited your website
The key difference between social ads and Google or Bing Ads is intent.
On social media your advertising is like a billboard for people to see in their feed. They aren’t necessarily looking for your product or service, but their interest may be peaked to click on your ad.
We’ve got a blog on paid social media advertising if you want to look into this further.
On Google, users will see your ad when they have searched for a particular phrase/keyword. Their intent is greater and they are more likely to want to click on your ad because they are looking for content around that keyword.
If you already have Google Ads set up, you may be interested in our blog on 10 ways to prevent common Google ad mistakes
5. Communicate your Experience and Successes
Our fifth tip is, don’t forget to communicate your expertise and successes through reviews, testimonials and case studies.
The importance of reviews
Whether you are a B2B or B2C company make sure you encourage customers to leave reviews of their purchases whether on Google or on Facebook. These are crucial in helping new customers making purchases. A whopping 93% of people read reviews before purchasing a product.
A lack of reviews or ones that were left a long time ago, may negatively affect customer purchases. So, setting up an automated email that gets sent to a customer a week/ relevant time period after purchasing, and encouraging them to leave a review is a really effective way to build your online reviews.
For B2B businesses building up a portfolio of case studies on your website are a very effective way to show how you solved a customer’s problem and the expertise and solutions you can provide.
What about negative reviews?
Don’t worry too much about negative reviews. The way you respond to these can still build a positive picture of your brand for potential customers. Plus they may highlight areas in the customer journey that could be improved.
Using reviews across platforms
In addition, reviews, case studies and testimonials can be used across your website, in emails and on your social channels, helping to amplify your expertise and give prospective customers reassurance.
Creating a More Effective Digital Strategy
We hope you find the above suggestions useful and thought-provoking as you look to create a strong and effective digital strategy and grow your business online through 2021.
Here at All Things Web® our team are ready to help your business whether you’re looking for consultancy, specific digital services or training on the above tactics. Call us on 01793 766040 or contact us here.