Think Like Your Customers to Draw Traffic to Your Website

 website marketing, digital marketing, online marketing, marketing websites, marketing online

Ten to fifteen years ago, the advice to be given to a small business owner regarding an online presence may well have been, “you should have a website.” Today, it’s rare to find a business of any size without a website; however, that only means it’s harder to stand out among the crowd. Having a website is no longer in and of itself a sign of an established, sophisticated business. That website has to be designed to ensure brand consistency as well as prospect and customer engagement.

Here are some strategies to outshine your competitors in the digital environment.

Consistent Messaging

Ensure your online presence is aligned with your overall brand. Your logos, colors, style, etc., shouldn’t be different if a customer walks into your store, navigates to your website or sees one of your advertisements. This means consistency across all channels. That consistency reinforces your brand to your audience and helps them more easily draw the connection between the various channels of your marketing strategy.

Closely related to this is making sure the quality of your online presence reflects your desired brand identity. Small businesses, in particular, are sometimes tempted to cut corners or save expenses by taking a do-it-yourself approach to their marketing efforts, or looking for low-cost providers regardless of the level of quality delivered. Particularly for those businesses that are entirely based online, it’s important to understand that the only perception consumers have of you is your online presence. It’s also very important to consider the competition.

Positioning

Consider the presence you wish to establish compared to your competition. This is known as positioning, and it requires evaluating your competition to determine how they have positioned themselves, understanding the needs/desires/interests of your target audience, and determining how you want to position yourself based on these analyses. You should not try to “copy” your competitors – instead you want to be different in some meaningful way from the competition. This differentiation, and the way you convey it to your audience, is the reason they will choose to do business with you over your competitors.

Crafting a Successful Online Message

Know your audience, and remember your goals. There is a big difference between writing content for print/traditional marketing and writing for online consumption. Online writing requires an understanding of SEO and the search terms and phrases your audience is likely looking for. Too often businesses insist upon using their own lingo and don’t understand that they need to use the language of their customers – even if that language isn’t “right” according to their understanding of their products/services.

It does no good to have copy on your website that is technically accurate, but obscure. Your copy needs to be based on the language that potential customers are most likely to use when looking for whatever it is you have to offer.

Measuring Results

The real beauty of the digital environment is its imminent measurability. Make sure you are leveraging the analytics capabilities that are available to you online. We have encountered situations where business people not only aren’t reviewing metrics, but when presented with metrics try to explain away the results. Digital marketing allows you to evaluate what works and what doesn’t — but you have to pay attention to, and act upon, the numbers. Better yet, many of these tools are available at no, or low, cost. Contently offers a list of the “top 10” free content analytics tools.

Simply having a website isn’t enough to stand out among competitors anymore. You need to find ways to boost your online presence and set yourself apart from the competition. While it may seem like a daunting task, the tips above are straightforward enough to empower even those with little online experience.

The most important thing you need to consider is thinking like your customers!

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

 

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