There are billions of websites, with more appearing every day. There is a lot of competition out there, and that is without looking at the demands that social media makes for attention. Trying to be found online can be hard, and although you might want to consider spending several hundred a day in order to be consistently ranked in the top spots on search results, throwing money at a problem isn’t going to ensure that you increase your client base.
When you are looking at using the internet to increase your customer reach, you need to start with being very clear about your goals. This is standard operating procedure for any marketing campaign, and there is no difference when you’re taking it from traditional print and broadcasting media through to an online creative space (and beyond https://arxiv.org/abs/1809.02230).
Good content will be found and talked about, but the job of marketing is to ensure that the right people can find your content easily and quickly. To be able to do so with clear content and while avoiding trying to use ‘clever’ tricks will make your reach stronger.
Online Marketing For Real Life Stores
When you are talking about a niche market bricks and mortar store which doesn’t sell online and only targets a small local market there is often a thinking that online marketing is wasted, that SEO and SEM strategies only apply to big internet-based firms.
However, if you talk to professionals like ADV Marketing you might start to see how this thinking will lead to doors being closed.
While many small business owners have a dedicated client base, they are still competing with huge online brands, and as more and more big discount stores start to make purchases available online there is the very real risk that small businesses will not be profitable enough to keep their doors open.
However, this doesn’t mean that everyone needs to start selling online, as this comes with a whole host of other issues that need to be addressed, including hosting and security as well as online payments.
What is essential is a well-designed and accessible website with strong content that gives all the information potential customers may want.
Optimizing Your Content
This isn’t the first thing that you need to think about, but it is certainly one of the most important aspects if you want your potential customers to be able to find you through a Google search, it is also the basis of SEO strategy.
Taking it back a step, SEO is Search Engine Optimization. It is a way of making sure that the content (the words, videos, images and even links) on your website is providing information that website search engines can read and get a very strong overview of what your website is all about.
Now, there isn’t actually a human being clicking on your website after you press the “go online” button, what is happening is a bit of software called a “robot crawler” or bot is starting at home base (e.g. Google), and following links all the way around the internet, scanning each site it encounters to see what is going on at that location before heading off to see the next site.
This obviously all happens at a fraction of a second, and if you open your web analytics or online statistics software you will be able to see which primary crawlers have found your site. If your host hasn’t provided good analytics google can provide this free if you open an account with them.
Writing For The Web
When people talk about optimizing your content there is often talk about keywords and having keyword rich content. This sounds great, but often this results in a small shoe store seeing how many times they can use the word “shoe” on their contact page. This is dreadful to read as a human being with basic grammar skills, and it’s a practice that search engines have called “keyword loading” and dislike so much that they will actually penalize your site if you do this.
Writing good content means writing stuff that you would actually read. You don’t need to be writing essay’s every day; however you need to make sure that any and all information on your page is useful (see here).
An example: look at your contact page
Does it do what it is supposed to? If you’re a local photographer, things that you might want to consider on your contact page is ensuring you have basic contact details but formatted in a way that works for people on a laptop, mobile or screen reader. This means either use a webform that is easy to use (and doesn’t require too much information), or a clickable email address, or both. You also need to have a contact phone number, including the area code, which means most mobile phones will be able to allow users to click and call.
However, you are a local photographer, so even if you don’t have a physical studio that people can come to, you need to mention the area that you service. Make it obvious! Use wording that says that you take on location shoots at any of these areas and the surrounds. A contact page should be very clear on how to actually book you, and also include internal links to your rates page or the type of photography that you do, and your portfolio.
Picking The Information To Include
You do want to make sure that you are not giving too much information, which can be overwhelming and hard to sift through. However, you need to think like a client, what are the sort of things that your clients always ask you? Is this information on your website?
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are putting this information up so that they don’t call and ask you, you are putting this information up so that search engines can see it and present it within their search results.
Get a third party to go through and test your site, can they find things easily, ask them to find your address, phone number and email. Write a list of the top 10 questions that you get asked every where and make sure that you have them addressed.