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web marketing Simple Strategies for Success

Diversification is for people who don’t know what they are doing.” WARREN BUFFET


website marketing, like any other marketing, is a complex topic. You could spend years reading about hundreds of strategies and tactics.

We’ve compiled a list of some key things you can do to make your website a better marketing vehicle. We can almost guarantee that few of your competitors do these things. If you do nothing more than the basics, chances are you’ll leave your competitors in the dust.

Differentiate Yourself on your website

If you expect people to do business with you, it’s mandatory that you give them good reasons to do so. And that means you have to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. Here are some ways to do that:

Know Thyself

You understand your business’s brand, right? And we don’t mean that you have a logo. We mean your brand: your vision, mission, values, beliefs, and personality—the culture of your business that is reflected in your logo. Getting clear on your brand helps you tell your prospective clients what you’re all about.

“Wait a minute,” you say. “I thought this was all about marketing.” Yeah, it is. And uncovering your brand is the first step to effective website marketing. It’s also the first step to creating a great business all around.

How do you expect to create a website design that truly reflects your business if you don’t understand your brand? And how are your prospective clients going to get to know who you really are? Conveying your brand on your website is the first step to website success.

Know Thy Clients

It’s common to try to sell to everyone. But it’s a big world and no one can be everything to everyone.

Think about your target market when you’re creating your site layout and content, and write your content as though you were talking to them, not to everyone. Tell them the benefits they’ll receive by doing business with you. It’s those benefits, combined with your brand, that appeal to people’s emotions. You’re never going to appeal to everyone, so make sure you really appeal to the ones that count.

Know Thy Competitors, and Specialize

If you appear to be the same as your competitors and do the same things they do, why would anyone pick you over them? Find out what you do that your competitors don’t do and focus on those things. Are there products or services that you can focus on that make you a specialist? Is there a way you provide your services that’s unique? Discover the sizzle in your products and services, set yourself apart, and let your competitors fight it out amongst themselves.

Authentic Web Marketing

No one likes a faker. Worse, people will see right through that fakeness. Have you ever had a gut feeling that someone wasn’t being totally honest with you? Have you been able to see right through their words?

If the impression visitors get about your business on your website doesn’t jive with their impression in real life, chances are that’s the last you’ll see of them. Be authentic and you’ll never have to worry about that.

create a Great First Impression

Your website is a reflection of your business and its brand. It’s the first impression that can either draw people in for a longer look or drive them away in seconds. Once people form their first impression of your business, it’s very hard to change, so it’s critical you have a professional website design that reflects your brand image.

keep it simple

It’s tempting to try to cram everything into a single web page: content, videos, calls to action, banner ads, sign up forms, blog posts, and promotions. Combine that with a garish design and you’ve just created a horror show for your clients.

Simplicity works. Trust your designer and developer and keep it simple: easy on the eye, easy on the brain, and focused on usability. Resist the temptation to have too many actions for a visitor to take on your home page, and keep other pages focused on the one specific thing the visitor is interested in.

And don’t freak out if there’s lots of white space on your site. Your designer did that for a very good reason: white space is the visitor’s space on your site. You wouldn’t invite guests to dinner and not give them a place at the table, would you?

stay away from platitudes

Do you say the same things as your competitors, like “We have the highest quality and best service,” “We’re family owned,” or “We have 150 years of combined experience”? These platitudes don’t make an impression on customers because everyone says them. Worse, they can cause your audience to take everything else you say with a grain of salt.

Platitudes aside, it’s generally wise to avoid copying what your competitors do because most of them don’t really know what they’re doing. They probably just copied someone else.

focus on them, not you

Check out some of the content you’ve written for your website or other marketing material. If it contains the words “we” or “I” more often than it contains the word “you,” you’re not speaking to your clients.

People want to know what’s in it for them. Focus on giving them information and advice so they see you as the expert. But you do get a chance to talk about yourself…

let them know you

The “About Us” section of your website is one of the first things many people look at. Why? Because they want to know who the real people are behind the business, hear their stories, get to know why they’re in this business, and find out about the history of the business.

This section builds credibility and trust because it’s the place where real people (your visitors) can connect with other real people (you). And that’s what people are looking for—a human connection. “Social” is all the rage these days. Whether or not you engage in social media marketing, this is your chance to be social. This is also the only place on your site where talking about how great you are, as long it’s done tactfully, is OK.

Many people treat the “About Us” section of their site as an afterthought, with no more than a brief description of the business. This leaves visitors confused about who they’re actually dealing with.

Remember, the “About Us” section belongs to you, but it’s the only section that belongs to you. The rest is for your visitors.

learn about seo

SEO, or search engine optimization, is something everyone talks about it. The problem is that few understand the basics and, for most small businesses, basics are all that’s necessary.

Most business owners hire an SEO company without knowing exactly what the company will do for them. You don’t have to become an expert, but take some time to learn enough about SEO, both on-site and off-site, to know exactly what you want. You may discover you don’t have to spend a lot of money to achieve your goals.

Think Big