Goshen News, Goshen, IN

April 6, 2014

Six keys for online business success


Goshen News

---- — Today I’m going to look at six tips that can help your business succeed online.

These are not rocket science tips, but essentially a “back to the basics” approach. I find too often that businesses get overwhelmed by the speed of change and the sheer volume of possibilities of what they could do online. Instead of jumping to the next new and shiny tool, service, or gadget that launches, businesses can be better served by making sure their core is solid. These six tips address that core.

1. You need a mobile friendly website! In this day, your website traffic can be 25 to 65 percent mobile users. Even if it is only 25 percent, you want to give those users a good experience. Mobile matters today. Smartphone use simply continues to grow and expand. It’s time to make this a priority or visitors will never come back to your site.

2. You need a content strategy. Businesses cannot simply “wing it” and create new web content or blog posts on a random basis. Your ability to attract more visitors, generate leads, and nurture leads to become customers requires a plan and that plan must include organized content to support each segment of the online digital marketing funnel. Read more on the digital funnel components here: https://mikegingerich.com/3keys/. In short, you need to organize your content writing (new web pages and more specifically ongoing blog posting) to match your digital strategy. Creating a calendar of what content should go live on what date and tied to a specific focus in the funnel can help you plan confidently to accomplish this. Too often businesses overlook the power of new content or all of their content is too similar. This is causing lower traffic and limiting sales conversions via your web presence and it needs to be corrected.

3. You need to be on some social networks, not all. Where is your companies ideal audience spending time online? What social networks do they prefer? Do they prefer Twitter or Facebook, YouTube or Instagram? Identify where they spend significant time and this is where your business need to have an active presence. Need help knowing where and deciding on your key areas? View the “Guide to Decide”: https://mikegingerich.com/9-questions-for-a-vibrant-online-digital-connection/ to help your company prioritize where you should invest time and effort.

4. You need call-outs on your website with offer incentives, enabling you to grow your email list. Simple offers, often called “Calls to Action,” that are relevant and have enough value to the visitor to be an incentive for them to sign-up are key in growing your email list. Coupons, free downloads, ebooks, access to webinars or videos are all methods that can be used. The call-out directs the user to a landing web page where they can view the details of the offer and enter their name and email address to gain access and join your email list. Use incentives that are relevant to your audience to gain the most traction for new sign-ups. Visit the Digital Hill blog (www.DigitalHill.com/blog/3-keys-to-digital-marketing-power/) to see an example.

5. Email remains critical to marketing. Email’s get handled because they are in the inbox. This is the follow-up to the call-outs above. Growing your email list is important because if done well, it is a list of qualified, customers and potential customers. The call-outs help you capture leads and then once a visitor has joined your email list it is important to have a series of helpful, scheduled emails go out over a course of seven to 10 days that offer information, insight, and help build trust with the reader. This is the gateway to build rapport and grow sales.

6. Being helpful can be a very valuable online sales strategy. This goes back to the type of content you are producing for your website. A website needs ever-growing, weekly new content if a business wants to grow their online presence and have their site be a sales tool. Often businesses can get stuck on what type of content to create and they resort to being too “sales focused” all the time. Instead, create content that answers the most common questions your customers and contacts have asked. Create a list of what they need to know and then create content that answers those questions. Be available on your site by adding a comment area to blog posts and respond to questions on your social media sites. Simply answer questions thoroughly and in a timely manner and watch the value it creates. Trust grows, and then sales follow the trust.

That’s a core six. By focusing on these your business foundation online can be strong and focused.

What’s your next “doable” step to take action on? Commit to taking one action this week and plan time for the other items over the next two months.

Mike Gingerich leads the Digital Marketing and Social Application divisions of Digital Hill Multimedia (www.DigitalHill.com). He is a co-founder of TabSite.com, a leader in Facebook fan page tools for businesses. TabSite offers brands the power to boost Facebook marketing with contests and promotions. For more information on TabSite, please visit www.tabsite.com.