Why am I not getting calls?
You Built a Website, Why aren't you getting calls?
This a familiar question that business owners face on a daily basis. You spent months developing a new website. You got the best pictures you could, rewrote or combed through all your content, and paid a decent chunk of change to get the site developed. Now that you're done, it looks great (hopefully) but you aren't seeing an increase in business. Why?
Digital Marketing is a puzzle and your website is just a piece
Your website is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to online marketing solutions. Most web developers wan't to make money off your project but ignore the complexity and reality of what it takes to help that website rank in the long run. Having a decent website helps no matter what. Even with word of mouth and referral business, a decent website is imperative to give your customers peace of mind about your legitimacy. Aside from business that falls in your lap, it can be difficult to drive traffic toward your site. Websites aren't very helpful if they can't be found by potential customers. There are a variety ways of getting visibility to your site from "high intent customers."
SEO- Search Engine Optimization
An effective SEO strategy is something that takes time and education. You can't just pay someone to do "SEO" if you don't know what it stands for and what a proper campaign really involves. SEO is the process of encouraging search engines to display your website above your competitors. It is made up of 3 primary factors, format of your website, content of your website, and domain authority (backlink profile).
Format of your Site
The format of your site is crucial because it needs to be easy to read for customers and search engines. All your headers, link structure, page structure, navigation, etc. needs to follow best practices. Most legitimate web developers understand how to format a website so this should't be your biggest obstacle. You should at the very least, take charge of your meta tiles and descriptions
Content of your Site
Content of your website is very important. Everything needs to be well written, relevant, and intriguing to your potential clientele. You need to have a cohesive brand but also use your blog to answer more diverse and specific questions. You should always update your site and refresh your older content. Search engines love fresh content and it helps to have a variety of articles and blog posts that are related to your industry. This is a great way to establish yourself as a "thought leader" in your line of business. Blogs will drive visitors to your site while simultaneously making your site look more credible for customers. This is a great article on formatting your blog posts.
Backlinks and Domain Authority
This is an often overlooked aspect of web development because it happens behind the scenes and results aren't as tangible as content, format, and aesthetics. Link building can be time consuming and expensive but it is imperative if you expect to rank among your competition. Before developing a backlink campaign, take a look at the domain authority of your competitors vs your own website. This domain authority checking tool is free and easy to use. Once you look at domain authority, you might realize this is the piece of the puzzle your website is missing.
How to build backlinks
Backlink building sounds simple but it is not. First, all links are not created equally. Google has sophisticated algorithms that pick up on spammy links. Maybe you should go around posting links on forums! Already thought of that and no it doesn't work. In fact, it can actually penalize your site. What about paying for links? This is strictly against Google's guidelines and if you're caught, it can be devastating to your online reputation. Even if you aren't caught directly, websites that sell links are often spammy and as a result, their links can actually hurt you as well.
The best way to build links is by creating valuable content. This can be posted on your site and shared through social media. If you write an article that is really helpful or compelling, people may organically link to it from their own blogs. It's not easy to make an article go viral but the possibility does remind you to always produce the best content you can. Another effective linkbuilding strategy is through blogger outreach or guest posts. This process involves the selection of websites related to your industry, preferably those with high domain authority. These may be magazines, newsletters, bloggers, etc. Either way, large sites always need fresh content. If you are confident in your writing skills, create a list of dream sites where you would like a link, reach out to the editors or authors, and send them articles that they may be interested in publishing. If everything goes as planned, you can get a link back to your site when you receive credit for the article. If you continue to repeat this process and build relationships, you'll see results.
Paid advertising is a great shortcut to generating visibility for your site but it comes with a hefty price tag and doesn't yield the same long term return on investment that SEO does. Regardless, paid advertising, especially though social media or Google Adwords can be a great way to jump start your business. Always make sure you monitor your Cost Per Acquisition so your campaigns don't spiral out of control. Even if it does cost you a lot of money to get customers through paid ads, the return on investment extends beyond the sale of that particular good or service. Each new customer is an opportunity to advertise the success of your business, gather reviews, earn repeat business, etc. Customer lifetime value is the metric assigned to the prediction of net profit of the entire future relationship with a new client. This metric is extremely difficult to determine but either way, you never know when a new customer will turn into a repeat, referral source, or diehard supporter of your brand.
The Bigger Picture
As you can see, the success of your website extends well beyond it's aesthetics. People often ignore the time, money, and effort involved with generating visibility and focus more on web development costs. This can be a big mistake, especially if you have an ambitious goal toward acquiring more marketshare. Learn about the different methods of customer acquisition, read as many articles as you can, and if possible hire a consultant to save you the time and money by learning from other people's mistakes rather than your own.