There are three types of businesses: those that don’t have a website, those that have a run-of-the-mill, you-won’t-die-if-you-don’t-check-me-out website, and those that have websites that are like sales machines.
It’s the sales machines that we need. I’ve been on exactly 67 calls (including remote skype calls) pitching digital marketing and invariably, “the website” pops into the conversation.
Looking at the websites I saw, I am not happy. They are built for ego. They are built because they should exist. They are built without a purpose.
This hurts. Your websites can be hub of your inbound marketing strategy. They can literally be at the centre of your business. They can make you money, only if you let that website work for you.
Here are a few misconceptions about “your website” that’s costing you money:
I am cheap, and I use shared hosting
I believe that bootstrapping is the best thing for entrepreneurs. The sense of accomplishment and the pure ecstasy of making money from almost nothing is the true essence of entrepreneurship.
However, there’s a certain hair line divide between going cheap and doing things cheap enough that it can kill your business. Shared hosting destroys businesses (we know, because we were there). Shared hosting is cheap, and just as vulnerable. It’s susceptible to attacks, and malware.
With some incredible companies like FlyWheel and WPEngine, it’s a shame that you’d even consider using shared hosting anymore.
It’s there. My cousin designed it. It’s good
The average website bleeds money. It spits on opportunity that comes its way. Given the rise of DIY builders such as Weebly, SquareSpace, Webflow, and many others, not building a website that’s at least decent to look at is a shame.
Do us a favor and redesign your website. This time, use a DIY website builder since I guarantee that it’d have a better conversion rate than the one your cousin designed 12 years ago.
The Website is done with
Your website work is never completed, ever. You’d have the basic task of putting up a properly functioning, fast loading, robust website and then you’d need conversion rate optimization.
We have on one side a huge subset of website owners wondering what CRO is and there’s another 92% of them who believe that website personalization and optimization is one of the hardest tasks they ever had to do, according to eConsultancy’s CRO report
The Traffic Comes In
Just any traffic isn’t enough for you. Even if it’s focused traffic, over 97% of them would leave. What you need is engagement. You’d have to have a system closest to the capability of identifying visitors by name, if that’s possible.
Use tools like LiveChat to chat with visitors when they arrive and while they are there, use WebEngage to come up with all sorts of smart ways to engage with them.
What are you doing with your website? What kind of web design myths have you fallen prey to?
Local marketing is almost untapped, as is. It’s, however, one of the biggest opportunities for businesses today. It just makes sense for businesses to be positioned in such a way that they are easily found when customers seek. The trends are telling. The opportunity is here. As a business, you don’t need to lift boulders or run marathons. You’d just need to show up.
The signs are all here.
Work on the wrinkles
It’s time for a little housekeeping on your website. The number one negative local search ranking factor is “Incorrect business category” and “listing detected at false business address”, according to Local Search Ranking factors report by Moz.
Get the NAP (Name, Address, Phone) right, remove the presence of any malware on your site (or get good hosting), stop stuffing keywords in, and get glowing reviews on your Google+ page.
List for Local search = Footfalls
If you are a local business, know this: local searches lead to 50% of mobile users to visit stores, according to Jessica Lee of Search Engine Watch .
It’s plain common sense: users won’t whip up their mobiles and “search” for your business out of boredom. They do it with intent, local intent that is. These people, according to Google’s new study, are ready to buy once they are in your store.
Read Moz’s Local Search to find out more, and visit Google My Business to list your business now.
Consumers seek a variety of local Information. Give them that
It’s not just “Which store, where” intent that comes with local search. Consumers look for a variety of information such as business hours, directions, address, availability of products, reviews, and more.
Their decision to purchase grows stronger if they knew they were close to a store, if they could get to the product quickly, and if they see a reason enough to believe that pricing was better.
Make ads relevant to local search
Be it search optimization, content, or PPC ads, keep the ads localized. The more the ads are optimized for customers’ location, the more effective your ads are.
About 32% of customers who clicked on optimized local ads visited stores or made purchases. Another 19% made unplanned visits to the stores.
Use location optimized ads, build landing pages matching these ads, keep the flow going, capture the lead. Period.
Those extensions matter
Help customers find you. Make it easy for them to look up your information online (and on mobile), add location extensions, provide a number for them to call, have them “click to call”, and provide a map for directions.
If you are using paid local ads on Google, use radius bidding or locale-based bidding to reach customers near stores to build an attribution model for local searches.
Have Multiple locations? Flaunt it
Some fortunate businesses have multiple locations nationwide or even globally. Use that to your advantage. Bring in a tool like BullsEye Locations which makes it easy for you to setup a store locator in minutes.
If you have multiple offices, a dealer network, or a directory of agents working out of various locations, put that to good use.
Are you using local search to your advantage yet?