For many companies the concept of internet marketing is not a concept that’s easy to grasp. There are just too many options and choices to make. Companies know that being “on the web” can help them, but very few people have a proven system or the experience to get the job done right. Companies will often find a “website designer” and a website url and hope for the best – somehow believing that just being out in cyberspace will help them grow their business. Getting your business online is important and it can help your business grow in leaps and bounds but there is a right way and a wrong way. Unfortunately the days of just “designing” a website and getting anything substantial in return are over.
We know your busy running your company and you probably just want to know “the big secret” and move on. Well, for those of you that just want to get to the point, the big secret to internet marketing is not simple. But the big takeaway is this:
Your business will be successful on the web if you start with strategy above all else.
This is the secret. But to have a successful strategy you need to know the formula. Again, that’s why you have an experienced internet marketing company like Sanctuary Marketing Group available to help. We know that success on the internet doesn’t start with a website design. It doesn’t start with a discussion of the words on the homepage. You don’t even start with choosing your website address. Before anything you need to have A STRATEGY.
So, without further delay we’d like to reveal our 6-step formula and demonstrate how a successful and experienced internet marketing company can help you succeed online. We’re not going to spill all the beans right out of the gate, but this is a high level outline that will demonstrate our suggested approach.
Step 1: Define your goals
Everything we do is guided by one question “What is the goal of this project?” For many business owners, they’ll answer “sell more” or “get more clients” or simply “make more money”. These are all good goals for any business. But often it’s not that simple. Especially if you are not actively selling something online. You might sell products through a retail store. You might sell a service like accounting. You might sell an intangible service like consulting. We all want to sell more and connect with more clients. The big question is how to do that using the web.
Using a few of the previous examples, this is how several businesses might answer the “goal” question and get past the standard answer of “making more money”.
A business that has a retail store might have the goal to effectively position themselves as being better a competitor. Everything that they do on the site has the single-minded goal of selling potential customers on why they’re better than the competition. This goal isn’t accomplished by one page on the site like “About Us” or “Our History”. This is driven home with every decision made in the process from the color scheme for the website, the imagery and the ongoing marketing campaign. Therefore, making more sales is accomplished through fulfilling the goal of positioning the business as better than the competition. Fulfilling the website goals will drive more people to the store, create loyal customers that LOVE the business – and therefore increase profits.
Selling a service — especially a commodity — can be tough. Nobody has time to listen to how great you think you are. For example, every cleaning company will say that their people are the best and that your home or office will be a good as new when they’re done. You can only do so much with words on a page though. Personally, reading about how great a company says they are is not going to work for me.
So what might be the goal of a service website? One goal of the website would be to get people to make contact. That might be through a free consultation where a real person can get in front of them and demonstrate the service in a planned and effective manner. They can put a face to a commodity business. The goal of the website would be totally geared toward making contact with potential customers using the right layout, the right wording, effective methods and encouraging the desired outcome which is getting a real person in front of a potential customer. An effective website strategy CAN drive customers to make contact with you vs. a website that’s static and not specifically designed in every way to fulfill this specific goal.
Again, developing a strategy to fulfill a goal will ultimately increase profits and ensure that your business is successful on the web.
Next: Step 2 of our 6 part series, Establishing Measures of Success