By John Jantsch
Your website is the hub of your online presence and is clearly a must in this digital world. However, it’s only one piece of the marketing puzzle. It won’t return the results you need unless you optimize and integrate a what I’ve long been referring to as a total online presence.
Below are the remaining pieces you need to create this presence, but note, it’s isn’t enough to simply have them. They need integration that allows each to support and amplify another.
Marketing activated website
Sure, I’ve already mentioned the need for a website, but the term website has lost much of its meaning when we think about what it really does. We need a new term and I’ve taken to using Marketing Activated Website to describe what we need today. (Hat tip to Justin Sturgis of Systemadik for sharing this term.) A marketing activated website turns your website from a digital brochure to a fully-functioning platform that can do a lot of your work for you. A marketing activated website can help you:
- Get found
- Build trust
Can you see why it’s so important? To make sure you’re building a website that will actually convert leads, keep the following in mind throughout the design and development process:
- On-page SEO to increase your rank in search engine results pages and help you get found online
- A promise to your audience – Visitors want to feel assured that when they visit your website, they’ll get the answers they are looking for.
- A simple user experience – Make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for.
- Engaging content to boost conversion
- Calls to Action (CTAs) to drive visitors towards the next step you want them to take
- Visual branding to engage your audience
- Mobile optimization – Google is now penalizing sites that are not mobile-optimized.
- Trust elements – Using testimonials on your website lets visitors see the value you’ve provided in the past.
- Personality – Humanize your brand to help establish an emotional connection between you and your audience.
Content with editorial approach
To get your audience’s attention, you need to create valuable content for them that is educational, informative and addresses the problems and symptoms they’re experiencing. There needs to be a strategy behind each piece of content you produce. You need to know:
- Who the content is for
- Why you’re creating it
- What it will say
- Where it will live
- How it will be promoted
- How to measure the success of the content to improve results over time
Create an editorial calendar to help you stick to your strategy and themes throughout the year.
Does anybody ever take a step back and think about the true meaning of social media? Social media can be defined as the use of technology combined with social interaction to create or co-create value. “Value” is the keyword here. With your social media efforts, you need to create value for your audience.
Taking full advantage of social media requires understanding and adopting a specific social media strategy. In my opinion, the best way to look at social media is to view it as a way to open up access points. These points can then be leveraged to create content, connection, and community. Done well, these points will improve lead generation and increase conversion.
Consider developing a systematic approach to streamline your social media efforts. To check out how I approach social media, read this blog post.
I believe an online network is invaluable to a total online presence. You want to attract long-term, trust-building relationships because the more likely people are to trust you, the more likely they’ll be to buy from you. By connecting with others online and providing value to them, you’ll increase the odds of your content being shared, and in turn, increase the chances of people landing on your website and converting into customers.
In recent years, there have been questions around whether or not the days of email marketing are behind. Well, I’m here to tell you that email marketing is still alive and well. I’ve always been an advocate for this tool, especially throughout the rise of social media.
When sent to a targeted and segmented audience, email marketing is great for building trust, doing research, announcing new products, educating customers, selling products and services and expanding awareness of your web presence beyond your website.
Search engine optimization
One might argue that I saved the best for last. If you don’t know my background, I’m kind of into SEO. In a nutshell, if you want to grow your business, you can’t ignore Google. If your website doesn’t show up on the first page of search engine results pages, you’re missing out on business opportunities because potential customers may not even know you exist. SEO can be complex and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be if you can focus on:
- Producing keyword-rich and educational content
- Optimize on-page elements
- Draw links naturally from other sites
Without the components above, your online presence is incomplete. They all work together to get your business in front of the right people at the right time, so having each piece of the puzzle is critical.
And of course, integration is the critical element. It’s not enough to simply have each of these elements. They need to support each other.
- Your social media efforts should be looked at as email list building and link building efforts.
- Your content should be thought of as a way to capture leads and make your advertising more effective
- Your content is the only reason you get to talk about SEO, but your website is the host for both