Often I get requests to design new websites for clients who think they are going to succeed online with only an attractive online brochure. They believe that people will miraculously start calling them and end up at their doorstep. We are nearing 2013 and thinking you are going to make a big impact online with only a website is very short-sighted in today’s digital business world.
Of course it’s true that when you meet people who might be working with you or applying for certain positions, having a professionally designed website can create a thoughtful online picture of how you want to be perceived, but only having a website is not the most effective way to go. Will people be able to find you online solely through your website?
Old school marketing
If you are one of those that believes a simple website will do the trick, think again. This approach is exhausting, limiting, and old school when you can turn it around by reaching out and creating online relationships that ultimately bring in a lot of awareness about your business, yourself, and your writing, than was ever possible before the social web. If you want to become known as the expert in your niche, it’s important to get the word out to your target audience on what you do and provide them with solutions to their problems.
A couple of weeks ago I created a website/blog for a new business and explained exactly how the process works. The website should be the hub for all their digital marketing efforts and social media and blogging will help generate traffic back to their website. The owner of the website said that they have just started marketing and have quite a lot on their plate and so they cannot devote time to market their business online.
A couple of weeks later, I received an email and was asked why they are not first on the Google results page for the one keyword phrase they were after. I told the respective client the truth: by only having a static website with no digital marketing strategy in place, you will not help your rankings — especially with a competitive keyword phrase.
By ignoring the social web and not publishing any relevant blog posts relating to your target market that mention the keywords you are after, and without engaging with your target audience online, you have to find new customers the old school way. It really doesn’t matter how you look at it, it’s time-consuming and an old way of thinking when it comes to marketing.
It’s not difficult to start with social media
I know there is a wealth of information online that can be quite overwhelming when starting out with social media marketing, but it’s really not that difficult to begin. Start by researching and analysing your target audience. Who are they? Where can they be found online? What problems do they have? How can you help them? Once you can answer those questions, you will know where you can reach your audience, what content they will find interesting, and what solutions you should provide them to draw them magnetically to your business.