You may be familiar with the old philosophical brainteaser: If a tree falls in the woods and no one’s around, does it make a sound? Along similar lines, it’s important for marketing professionals and business owners to ponder: If you build the best website and write the most amazing content in the world, but nobody knows it exists, does it actually do any good for your business?
Did you know that Google’s internal algorithms change hundreds of times each year? Search engines are not static, and so your search engine strategies can’t be, either.
That’s not to overstate the dynamic nature of search engine optimization (SEO). In many ways, the foundations of search are pretty solid. Google always wants to provide its client (i.e., the search engine user) with a great product (i.e., relevant search results). If you keep that in mind—producing content that’s high-quality, value-adding, and topical—you’re well on your way to SEO success.
Ideally, your business website is a guidebook for customers, leading them through the sales funnel and providing education and insight at each step of their journey. For this to happen, of course, you need more than just a website that looks good or ranks well on Google. You need a website that’s not only visible, but actually substantive—providing informative content to the consumer.
There’s an old saying in marketing: Everyone is not your audience. In other words, you don’t want to spend money trying to get your product or brand in front of every single human on the face of the planet; that would likely be quite wasteful and unnecessary. What you want to do is to get the product or brand in front of the people that will have interest—your target consumer.
One of the cardinal rules of marketing is that business owners must meet consumers wherever their attention lies. In today’s marketplace, that means the Internet. Consumers’ attention is largely focused online, which is why business websites are built—and why businesses of all sizes must understand this fundamental shift in consumer attention simply in order to stay afloat. What’s more, business owners must understand that design, functionality, and performance are all necessary to ensure the website makes a strong first impression with consumers.
Something we always say here at enCOMPASS is that the best online assets in the world are meaningless if nobody sees them. You may have a perfect website, for instance—functional, interactive, aesthetically pleasing, and great for capturing leads and educating customers. If you don’t do anything to drive traffic to the website, though, then what good is the site actually doing you?
What’s in a name? Well, quite a bit, and not least where domain names are considered. In fact, the domain name you choose for your company website can have a very real impact on your branding and on your search engine optimization (SEO) potential.
To be clear, we should start by noting exactly what we mean when we talk about a domain name: Basically, it’s your company’s website address. Ours is encompassagency.com—which seems simple enough, right? For some businesses it is indeed a straightforward decision, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few factors to weigh and consider.
Your website is more than just an online placeholder or the virtual equivalent of a Yellow Pages entry. In a very real way, it’s your digital storefront; the public face of your brand; the encapsulation of your brand’s values, identity, and reputation.
For many first-time clients and potential customers, your website sets that all-important first impression—and if the website is doing its job properly, it’ll capture their information and help guide them through the sales funnel, all while establishing your brand as the brand of choice.
You may have heard anecdotal evidence to suggest that email marketing is dead. You may be on the receiving end of a lot of promotional emails, for example, that you routinely delete without even opening. You may even have signed up for a service to remove your name from those email lists. And you may take all of this as evidence that, in these golden days of social media, email marketing has become something of a dinosaur—something of an antique.
Here’s a question that’s far too often neglected by small business owners: What exactly are you trying to accomplish with your website? Is it merely an online placeholder, or do you intend for it to be an around-the-clock sales machine—actually bringing in leads and converting them to customers? What’s the mark of a successful website, in your mind?