Don’t Build a Website Until You Have a SOLID Web Strategy

I would LOVE to get right into the meat of this article because everything in here is absolutely essential to building a site that will get you sales, calls, and leads — but it may be important to start with the what and why first, if you don’t mind. So…

What is a Web Strategy?

Web strategy is not discussed often enough in web design. The truth is most designers you encounter don’t have much knowledge of what this is and no intent on doing anything after your site is built. But web strategy is essential, otherwise you might as well not build a website.

A web strategy is a plan of action to get your website out. To get qualified traffic coming in and then get that traffic to take a specified action. A web strategy involves your website first and then everything else you may need outside of that. So for example, you need to make sure you have the right keywords on your website and you also need to setup the appropriate social media channels outside of your website.

It is a complete plan of action for leads through the site after it is built.

Why Bother?

Well, if you care to get any business or customers, it kind of matters. You see, many people think they can build a site and people will just come. It is important to keep in mind that a new site is just one of the ten million made that month. I don’t mean to get you down, but that is the truth. The good news is that most of those websites do what I mentioned previously. They just build it and that’s it. Most will not get their site out there by implementing a website strategy. So read on to learn exactly how I do it here at MarvelousWeb Media. Follow this plan of action and you will EASILY make your website stand out amoungst millions!

Let’s Dive In

Your site has to be built for your audience

Traffic doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t convert it. Before you do anything outside of the site you must make sure it is something your audience will like. Learn what your audience values when it comes to your services. Understand their motivations and what they are looking for when they browse for your services.

Let’s say you are a roofer in this example. What would your customers value? Let’s explore:

  • Someone who needs a roof on their house is looking for something that will last a long time and not degrade and cause damage in the long run. It needs to be solid and long lasting.
    • What do you do? Show warranties on your work within the website (preferably the home page). Make it clear in the copy that you do a solid job and all your roofs stand the test of time.
  • In most home services, trust is a big deal. You have someone coming to your house, you don’t want it to just be any random person. Establishing trust is very important to your customers.
    • What do you do?  Show that you have been doing this a long time. Show any reviews you may have from past customers. Show any accreditations you may have from popular companies like BBB.
  • Your customers may wonder if you offer what they need and if you do a good job.
    • What do you do? Display photos of past work. Explain clearly who you serve and what you offer. Do you only work on commercial roofs or do you serve residential and commercial? Make this clear right off the bat on the home page. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time if you don’t offer what they need.

Take this example and apply it to your own business. Really think hard about your customer and what they may find important. You can even think over frequently asked questions to get a good idea of what people are concerned about when it comes to your service. Then take the answers and address them on the website.

Other key elements to making a high converting site are having a nice readable font, a clear call to action, and an easy to navigate menu.

When I build a site here at MarvelousWeb, I ask specific questions to my clients that help me get all these little details out. If you were interested in starting a project with me you could get a taste of those questions on the Get Started  form.

Getting Those Keywords Just Right

When I say keywords in this sense I am referring to keywords as they relate to Google but also as they relate to your customers. We’ll start with customer keywords.

Customer Keywords

Customer keywords are what I call keywords that mean a lot to your customers. Since I just got finished with a home remodeling website that will be the example for this bit.

If you were a home remodeler what are some words your customers may use. You would find that “dream kitchen” or “dream bathroom” are really big ones. So you would want to play on that in your copy for the site.

Other phrases they may relate to are “transforming your space”, “perfect family area”, or “extra space”. These are all important phrases for someone who is remodeling their kitchen or basement so you will want to use them throughout the site to show them that you understand and you can really deliver on what they need.

So know your customer, understand what they recognize and relate to, and use that in your website.

SEO keywords

Recognize and use high volume search terms on the website. This will get it on the search engines radar so they know what you offer and can rank index you accordingly. Make sure to use your company name in the actually text of the site, not just the logo. Google can’t read an image. Also use the name of your services where it is sensible. All this will ensure you rank for your own company name and can get indexed for the right services.

You’ll find that just doing this is usually enough because the majority of search terms revolve around the name of your service. So going back to our example, if you were a bathroom remodeler, you would use that term on the website and that is also what people might search to find you.

Moving Off Site and Getting Traffic

I’ll this section simple with three key ways to get traffic. People may try to complicate this but it doesn’t get any harder than this. These are the three ways to get traffic to your site

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is an excellent way to get traffic to your site. It is actually what I consider the best way to get traffic to your site. I love SEO because it is the modern billboard. If you were the leader in your industry in the 80s you would have billboards everywhere. That is how people would know you are the top dog in the area for your service offering. You would have those cheesy commercials on every channel and everyone would know who you are.

But in the 21st century that is not how things work. People are looking online to find what they need.

If you really are the dominate business in your industry you will rank high on Google. Especially in your local area. And you will reap all the benefits that come from it. If someone is on the first page, I promise you they are paying for it and getting that money back ten fold. So that is why SEO is the number way to get traffic. The only issue is that it takes time, financial investment, and patience. This makes it harder for some small businesses to take the leap but they really shouldn’t let that be a barrier because it all pays off big time in the end.

For SEO, you need to decide on your keywords and find places where you can post your link.

Social Media

Most social media channels are perfect for building a brand and getting people talking about you. Even though it may not translate to direct sales or traffic, getting people to talk about your business is a big deal. It seriously helps in growing your authority online.

If web traffic and sales are your goals, I think Facebook might serve you well. Not just a Facebook page but also Facebook ads. Get in on it while it’s hot!

Other social media like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn can really help you to boost your business depending on what you have to offer.

If you aren’t feeling you need social media, at least get a Facebook page up.

Ads

Adwords, Facebook ads, Youtube ads — when used correctly this can be the lifeblood of your business. People may want to complicate PPC (pay per click) but it is rather simple. Focus on ROI. Ensure for every $10 you spend you get a minimum of $10 back. But that is a poor goal. You should look to get at ten times your investment back from your ad spend. If you spend $100, you should get $1000 back in return. If you can get this result consistently, all you need to do from there is scale. Invest more and get more back. That is literally it.

But there has to be more to it right?

Well, yeah. You of course need to put in the work to get those results. You need good ad copy and more important than that you need to know who your target audience is. You can run great ads with wonderful copy all day but if you are targeting someone who isn’t in your audience, your money will be for naught.

Other great free methods

Don’t have a lot of money to invest in your business? That’s fine for a while.

If you really can’t put any money into ads or SEO or social media, there are some other options out there for you.

The first thing I recommend to my clients is a Google Listing. Even if you don’t have a physical location, a Google Listing is a must. I have multiple clients who get most of their business just from a Google My Business Listing. It pretty much counts as free SEO in my opinion. Slap some reviews on there and you could take over locally!

If you need any help with this, I’d be more than happy to assist. Head on over to my Contact page and let me know you’re interested. I charge 20 bucks to set it up properly for you and I can usually get it done pretty quickly.

Chances are you already have a listing for your business but it hasn’t been claimed yet. If that’s the case, you need to claim it right now. Anyone can claim it in the mean time, taking away your access. You really do not want that to happen.

Offline guerilla marketing

I may be young but I still know the importance of word-of-mouth, cold calling, and hanging up some flyers in your neighborhood or reaching out to some friends so they can spread the word. You can place business cards in books at the library, or walk right into a place where your ideal customer is and put up your business card somewhere. Good old fashion guerilla marketing never hurts. It can actually be fun.

And the final free method is learning.

You can learn SEO and how to properly use social media. If you learn it, you can implement it yourself. It mostly comes down to whether you have the time or not but it is totally an option. One of my favorite sites for online learning is Udemy!

Wrapping it all up

This is it and don’t forget it.

When it comes to growing your business, this is it. This is how you get your name out there. This is how you get traffic to your site. This is how people can start to find you on Google. This is it.

So if you are wondering, “hey, my new site is up now how do I get traffic and sales?”, this is how. You need a Google Listing, you need social media, you need SEO or ads running. That is how you will get sales and traffic. Get an awesome website designed to be the center of it all and you will take off.

If you have any questions let me know. I love being able to help out whoever I can and give free advice to those who ask. Just let me know your name, business, and what you do.