Who is my target audience? What steps can I take, so that my target audience will find me? How can I convert visitors into sales? These are the first three questions you should be asking yourself when putting together a small business website.
When planning your first Small Business website, you should be thinking of three essential marketing aspects:
- Who is my target audience?
- How will my target audience find me?
- How can I convert visitors into sales?
These questions might sound obvious, and yet they remain neglected by so many burgeoning business owners who are at a later stage surprised when their website fails to render any business.
Think about your target market. How would you describe the person that you want to attract to your site? What is the motivation for this person to visit your website? These questions here are often related to Goods that you are offering – a product, a service, or even an idea.
Answering these question with: “Anyone” is extremely vague, and your website will be missing a crucial “Focus”, and fail to utilise its optimal potential. You must identify the uniqueness that lets you rise above the mediocre pool of copycats.
Finding your innate strength and individual character will help you to stand out and consequently become acknowledged by the search engines.
Brainstorm about what keywords your target customer might type into a search engine. Always perform some searches yourself by putting yourself in the shoes of your potential client. Who ranks in the top thirty? Because that’s where you need to be. Can you spot your competitors on this list? Check out their websites. Are they well designed? How could you enhance them? Try to identify something unique about your venture that sets it apart from the others.
Your Keywords – or rather Key Phrases – need to be tied into the content of your sites such as Page Titles, Headings, and Internal Links.
Be explicit with your keyphrases. They will encounter less of a competition than the more common single word searches and will more accurately target your market. It could be beneficial to “Localise” or “Specialise”, in getting to achieve that ever so critical top 30 ranking.
A further decisive angle in your approach to boost your search engine ranking is building inbound links to your web pages – i. e. external web pages that link to your website. As a matter of fact, this link acquisition should occur organically. The inbound link count should increase at a gradual rate. Importantly, the pages that link to yours should be in good standing and relevant; a link from a dodgy website could, in fact, cause the opposite and harm your ranking. Search engines base their rankings on page reputation – your position in the search results is determined by what other (preferably high ranking) sites say about your website.
Don’t merely tell them what you do or sell. Tell them Why they must have your product. Customers love offers, incentives, discounts, freebies – this could be an excellent opportunity to commence that all vital discourse.
Current research has shown that the human brain makes a judgment about a web page within 0.05 Seconds! That doesn’t give you much time to make an impression. So, establish your “Unique Selling Point” (USP) and make sure it is clearly visible on your home page. But do not neglect the subpages, after all, it’s not a given that the home page will be the visitor’s first encounter, especially if they stumble over your site via a search engine.
Make sure that you provide bullet-pointed guarantees. Visitors should understand why you are different than the rest, and why they should deal with you and not your competition. And as we have seen above, the visitor has to grasp this in a flash.
Finally, a few words regarding the format of your website; make sure that you adopt a funnel-like structure. Establish the essential pages, usually the “call to action” (purchase pages) – and make sure all paths lead to this area. Your internal links – as well as their external equivalents – should describe the target page. If you sell iPhone covers, don’t call your products page “Products”, call it “iPhone Cases”, and make sure that the links are pointing at this page also say “iPhone Cases”. This will help the search engines identify and rank the pages that matter in your site; it will also direct your Visitor to that all-important purchase.