In this digital age it is inevitable for any business to reach online customers.
But it is not just about getting their attention, it is about keeping it to establish consistent incoming revenue.
The challenge, therefore, especially for new digital businesses, lies in finding effective ways to create a steady flow of both new and returning customers to the business website. This is essential to build a thriving and profitable brand.
As an experienced SEO consultant and digital entrepreneur I, Fernando Raymond, can assure you that it is no hidden secret or mystery how to achieve this.
However, it takes a solid marketing strategy that involves a lot of digital marketing techniques and of course, hard work and determination.
With a good team and the right tools, this is achievable even on a smaller budget, so read on to discover some of the simple yet effective things one can tackle to bring in customers and revenue that will last.
1. Strategic & Customized SEO
Search engine optimization is at the top of this list as it is the most powerful and yet achievable marketing tool. Assuming that your business has a website, you should start with optimizing it for the most used search engines such as Google and Bing as that’s where most of your customers will be found.
But they won’t find your website, if it does not rank on top of the search engine results page for related keywords.
It’s fairly simple: any business tries to be in a prime location to achieve the best sales. You wouldn’t set up your store in a hidden one-way street in a small town, would you? You would rather be visible with a storefront on a busy high street or a big shopping mall. This prime location comes at a price. A digital business can only thrive when billions of search engine users enter a search that results in a click on their website.
Not all website visitors will buy immediately, nor will they become a loyal customer right away. But the more often they find your brand and website in their searches, the more will they trust you and eventually choose your product or service.
I’ve built a solid reputation as the founder of one of the top city of London SEO companies in the UK by helping business owners with improving their SEO through ranking my business websites. One of the major factors to rank their websites was creating unique web content that adds genuine value. Content marketing is a key component of SEO and many business owners do not know how to go about it with so many different types of web content such as blogs, infographics, videos etc. that they need to consider. To grow into a successful brand, people need to find it, understand it and like it.
Creating and spreading unique and valuable content requires a team of good content producers, social media marketers that can package and share this content and SEO experts that understand how to add meta tags, HTML optimization, and keywords to the website’s content to rank.
As you see, you need to focus on all the pieces of the SEO puzzle with your strategy and it is therefore best to either hire a SEO content team yourself or an agency that can deliver this for you.
I have created online courses and written books and guides about SEO and blogging to help business owners, but I understand how time-consuming it is. I still believe though, that SEO is a core skill any CEO or business manager will need to have to market their business successfully and attract the right customers for the long run. This also includes running paid Google ads.
2. Targeted Social Media & Email Marketing
When we talk about a digital business, we cannot ignore social media and email marketing. It is estimated according to Emarketer that email marketing provides the highest ROI and social media the second-highest ROI of any digital marketing strategy.
SEO will help you drive new customers to your website; however, email and social media marketing will help you to retain them. To build a subscriber list that you can regularly communicate with about your business is key to keep them hooked and return to your website. Of course, this can only happen with valuable content that will encourage subscribers to continue to stick with your brand. Avoid bombarding them with irrelevant emails through a filtering system that many email automation tools offer together with their integrated analytics tools. This helps you target different customer interest groups with the right email content that is more likely to encourage them to want more.
The strategic and targeted use of social media is equally important to get your brand recognised. Determine the right platforms for your business among the many according to your unique features. You will realise how versatile social media marketing can be if you look at how your competitors use it. Again, it is all about content and how it is presented. Top priorities should be customer engagement through Facebook groups for example, business branding through well-designed campaigns that truly represent your business with branded stories and paid ads that allow you to target different customer groups.
Obviously, your business will also need social media business pages where customers can make enquiries quickly through messenger services or leave reviews. And do not forget YouTube!
3. Data-Informed Customer Targeting
As a digital business you can easily gather data from online customers to gain insights into customer behaviour that could transform your business marketing.
There are various analytics tools to help businesses with gathering and analysing customer data and I have used Google Analytics and Clicky mainly, which I have integrated into the web hosting control panel that my web hosting company SeekaHost offers, called SeekaPanel. Such tools help you collect data that reveals your real client and what they’re looking for. Use this data to customise your web content for them and their needs.
You may discover surprising findings as many businesses misjudge why their customers are making a purchase with them. When I started to offer Minecraft server hosting with SeekaHost I had no idea what gamers were looking for, so I just created content according to high-volume search terms in this niche that were not too hard to rank for. Over time I found that gamers who looked for tips to play Minecraft landed on our website but did not go through with the purchase. I then had to adapt our Minecraft tutorials to cater to an audience that is more interested in renting and using a game server.
As an online business, you can use website analytics to gather data reflecting your customers’ behaviour and decisions. This information will help you get to know your customers better, which in turn enables you to provide them with what they need and want to know. Customise products and services better to fit your customers’ needs.
Over to you
If you’re still at the beginning of your business operations, don’t delay the above suggestions. I would recommend that even before you launch your business website, you should look at marketing strategies of your competitors. Because through your website you utilise SEO, email and social media marketing and analytics. So, you would need to have such features added to your website and understand how to use these tools for marketing analysis purposes. If your website is already up and running, analyse your user data, review it, and plan your marketing strategies accordingly. Customer information such as their location, their age, their interests etc., can be used to improve your marketing and SEO and better target new and old customers. In turn, they will thank you by visiting your website more via search engines, social media, or their emails.