A website is one of the most powerful sales tools you have available to bridge the gap between your business and potential customers. If you can’t get the right eyeballs looking at it, it will forever be an underperforming asset. So while you may have thought launching your new website was the end of the road on the path to infinite possibility and wealth, it was merely the beginning of a much larger journey.
We thought it would be handy to compile a high-level overview of the things you should be looking at now that you have an effective, responsive, website up and running (and have Google Analytics installed - of course).
To make this guide a bit easier to navigate, feel free to jump to a section using the navigation below.
Using paid channels such as Google AdWords and Facebook's promoted posts to drive traffic to your website
Paid Digital Advertising: AdWords, Facebook, and more
The quickest and easiest way to drive traffic to your website. This involves paying an established website, or service, that is already receiving tonnes of traffic to help drive some of it your way.
Using Google AdWords to drive traffic to your website
The most common place you will see ads from Google is when you search for something online. You may have noticed little ads for websites right above your search results from time to time. Those ads are paid for by companies, such as yours, to get placed there.
Well - kind of.
They are actually paying when you click their ad. That's the great thing about Google Adwords - it is typically "Cost per Click" (CPC). This means that if you advertise on Google, you are only paying them money when someone clicks on your ad and ends up at your website. That's why you want to optimize your website for conversions once they land there!
To protect yourself from any surprise bills from Google - you can simply put in a daily budget to ensure the advertising campaign spend never gets away on you. This is also a great way to make those dollars last longer, opposed to just entering in a one time budget and seeing it get used up within a day.
Google has other advertising venues as well - such as Youtube (you knew Google owned Youtube, right?). If you have a video that helps sell your product or service, you can have it placed right before a video hosted on Youtube. Google also has some image based advertising options that they push through to third-party sites, called the Google Display Network, that are great for remarketing and brand awareness campaigns.
All these options make Google a behemoth in the digital advertising world. It also makes their product offering complex. That's why it is always best to work with a company that is Google Adwords Certified, or better yet, a listed Google Partner (like us!).
Using Facebook and other social media platforms to drive traffic to your website.
Facebook and other social media platforms offer very similar advertising options, but tend to be more visual in nature. While Google does allow some image based advertising, social networks like Facebook and Twitter really need a strong supporting visual photo (or even a video) to accompany advertising copy.
All platforms will give you some level of control over the targeting of your ads. For example in Facebook an ad can be targeted to 20-25 year old females, in Western Canada. Or you can narrow it down even further by saying to only show the ad to women who are interested in fitness, live in Kelowna BC, and only between 2-5pm. The amount of, and types of, targeting differ from platform to platform.
Using niche and regional websites to drive traffic to your website
You might not know it, there are other options beside search and social media giants. Using sites that speak to a specific niche or region might be a great fit with your brand for advertising. For example, if you sell a high-tech product, it would be a good idea to see if you can get a blog post written about it on a tech-focused website. Or if you are a new real estate development, it could be a great idea to get a write-up in a region based website (like our sister company KelownaNow.com).
One of the big benefits of working with a niche or regional website is you have more flexibility in the type of advertising you do with them - you aren't just locked down to banner ads and photos. You may be able to work with them to place valuable content in their site that references or promotes your brand, alongside their normal content. This is a really effective way to get passively influence consumers opinions - and wallet.
Choose your shots wisely
When debating a laundry list of choices, a mentor of mine once said "A gun can only hold so many bullets - so you need to choose your targets wisely". The same thing is true when we speak of advertising budgets.
When we work with our clients to launch paid campaigns on these networks, we collaborate together to determine the goals of the campaign, and the marketplace we want to reach. With those goals in mind, we can effectively target using the best tool for the job (or multiple tools) to deliver the most results for the investment. Maybe this means using all the above mentioned avenues for advertising, perhaps it means only using one.
Popular Paid Channels
3.5 billion searches per day
Good for B2B and B2C when customers are searching for a solution
Usually a higher CPC compared to other channels due to more qualified clicks
Google Display Network
Reaches over 90% of internet users expanding across 2 million sites
Good for retargeting and building brand awareness
Facebook Promoted Posts
Has access to over 2 billion active users a month
Good for retargeting, building brand awareness, announcing promotions, and sharing content
Works best in B2C relationships.
Instagram Promoted Posts
Has access to over 800 Million active users a month
Good for building brand awareness, announcing promotions, and sharing content.
Lack of easy linking makes it less effective to use for driving traffic to a website
Works best in B2C relationships
Twitter Sponsored Posts
Has access to over 330 million active users a month
Good for retargeting, building brand awareness, announcing promotions, and sharing content
Tends to work better in B2C relationships
LinkedIn Sponsored Posts
Has access to over 108 million active users a month
Good for building brand awareness, and sharing content
Performs best in B2B relationships
Regional or Niche Websites
Users and traffic volumes differ from site to site
Great fit for content marketing/sponsored content
Can be used effectively for both B2B and B2C relationships
Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (Google Economic Impact Report)
Search Engine Optimization, or “SEO”
Paying Google for AdWords can get your website to the top of Google. But if you ever stop paying - it won’t stay there. This is where “organic” search results come into play.
And trust us. You want to have good organic placement.
SEO is a really broad topic, and depending on who you ask, it can include or mean a lot of different things.
When Csek Creative is talking about SEO, we are looking at it from a technical and content optimization point of view. This means we are looking for things like having the right keywords in the right places on your website. Or making sure your meta information is unique and descriptive on each page. Or ensuring your website works properly on mobile devices.
For small to medium sized businesses, this “SEO” process can take place periodically. Usually there is a bit more work the first time around, with smaller tune-ups once in a while depending on how often the site is updated.
For larger companies with many pages (over 100), who are producing content on a regular basis, this process can take longer and may need to happen in shorter intervals.
This SEO practice helps lay a strong foundation to build upon. However, do not be mistaken - this alone will not move the needle very far for your business in regards to ranking higher in Google.
If you are wanting to make notable gains in Google you must be committed to a much longer strategic approach to publishing content - known more commonly as “content marketing”.
Technical SEO Starter Questionnaire
Is the website protected with an SSL?
Does each page have a unique title and description?
How quickly does the website load?
Are duplicate versions of the site being indexed because of "www" prefix issues?
Are there any NAP issues?
Are images correctly tagged to assist in search engine placement?
Is Google Search Console setup to help find potential issues?
Can a search engine successfully crawl the website?
Is the site free of broken images and links?
Does the site work well on a mobile device?
Are there any duplicate pages getting indexed?
Does the site have well-written and error-free copy?
28% of adult internet users use Instagram.Pew Research Center, 2015
Businesses often struggle with getting results out of social media.
Because they are typically lacking two critical components for successful social media marketing. Consistency and goal alignment.
If used properly, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even Instagram can drive potential customers to your website. The tricky part is figuring out what to post, and on which platform to post it.
Each platform has its strengths and weaknesses and can be used to target different audiences and promote different industries. For example, Instagram is great at promoting retail and company culture, but struggles to deliver the same results for complex B2B relationships and transactions.
When we work with our clients we help strategize which platforms to invest resources in based on the immediate and long-term business goals. Goals like increasing awareness, recruiting staff, or generating inbound leads. We then start creating content based on that strategy.
A solid social media strategy is most often part of a larger content marketing strategy (or at least it should be!). Social Media is great tool to deliver content that is created in other mediums - such as a website blog, or a video!
Email Marketing, or “E-Newsletters”
Email Marketing is one of the most overlooked ways to drive traffic and sales. Not as sexy as Google Adwords or Social Media, nor technical as SEO - but can be just as, if not more, effective.
Did you know that E-Newsletters actually have the highest, on average, conversion rate out of all the marketing channels and initiatives that we have covered so far!?
The key difference between E-Newsletters and some of the other channels we covered already is that the audience for email marketing can often be quite small. In some cases it can be non-existent - especially if you are just starting out.
This means you may even need to start from scratch, and market your email marketing list. We often do this by helping clients provide incentives to encourage people to subscribe to their mailing lists. This might include prizing, or it could be as simple as promoting the content of the newsletter in other channels such as Social Media.
You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.Campaign Monitor
You may have noticed that the one common topic that binds everything together so far is content.
In truth, all the above strategies are different facets of content marketing. The act of content marketing is aligning all the different mediums with specific goals, and creating high-quality, unique, content that can be used across those mediums.
A strong content marketing strategy focuses on creating the right content, for the right person, in the right place, and at the right point in their purchase path.
When we work with our clients to develop and execute a content strategy we start with the basics. We help determine the goals of the campaign, and what the metrics for success look like. Then we craft messaging and content to best achieve those goals and measure our progress against past performance and the metrics designed for the campaign.
The real challenge is creating content that grabs the attention of the viewer and keeps them interested.
That is why we have a team of writers, designers, strategists, developers, photographers, and videographers in-house that we can pull into any project. This allows us, as a full-service marketing agency, to be creative and innovative, while aligning with our client’s business objectives.
Ultimately the most important thing to remember is that great content will feel like an experience, not an advertisement.
We hope that this has provided a strong starting place to help map out the next chapter in your business success story. Every business is unique and has its own requirements, challenges, and opportunities. If you feel like we missed anything that you would like us to cover or comment on, feel free to reach out to [email protected] and we will update and amend this handy guide!
This guide really just scratches the surface of all the different ways to build the online component of your business. We hope to keep adding to it as time goes on. And remember, if you ever need help with anything mentioned in this post - Csek Creative does provide and support all the services mentioned above. So don't hesitate to give us a call or shoot us an email if you need help creating your own success story.