A successful local marketing campaign is designed not only to attract your targeted audience but to convert them to customers. At some point in the process all potential and existing customers will visit your website. It is the most powerful online representative of your business – your virtual sales force working for you 24/7/365 to provide information, answer questions, solve some problems, and sell. A professional website is designed to greet, inform, assist, educate and motivate targeted site visitors that:
- You have what they need
- You provide quality products, services, information, care
- You are professional
- You are a trusted provider
- Your business is sound and going to still be there in a week, month, year, etc.
- You are customer-centric and will serve them the way they expect and need
- You can answer their questions/concerns to their satisfaction
- You are their best choice
That is a lot to accomplish when you are not speaking directly with a person and responding to specific questions and concerns. But your website must accomplish these challenges to the satisfaction of every site visitor who is a potential customer.
In the simplest of terms, the goal of your website is two-fold:
- Help existing and potential customers to get what they need from you by fulfilling the above listed items
- Help the search engines to get their users what they need by making it easy for them to scan, index and serve your optimized web pages as the most relevant results corresponding to the terms searched (i.e.: help them to do what they do with the highest standard of quality)
An optimized website refers to more than just search engine optimization. Yes, you do need to ensure that your web pages have content highly focused on the terms for which you want them to be delivered in a search engine result. As I explained in Part 2: Search & Social Media, the search terms you select must be the result of your comprehensive keyword research and development because they will be the foundation upon which your online authority will be built across multiple online platforms. They must accurately correspond to your content as well as the language used by your targeted audience groups to search for what you offer.
To recap, search engines aggregate information about your company from a wide variety of online sources, including blogs, social media, web listings, and so forth, looking for a confirmation of your identity and authority for the terms represented by your content. The terms you use in your optimization campaign for your website will be the same ones you use to confirm your identity and authority elsewhere online. Why is this important? Consider the two-fold goal of your website. You are trying to help customers and the search engines get what they want from you. So you must optimize for both. It starts with keywords but it doesn’t end there. Keeping the expectations and needs of both targeted site visitors and the search engines in mind, you must also plan, develop, and implement:
- Relevant, highly focused content including text, images, meta data, title tags, urls and hyperlinks (internal, external, anchor, inline, crosslinks with web pages on different sites, attachments)
- Ease of access, ease of use including graphical interface, navigation structure, design and programming code
- Intelligent architecture that allows for expansion and further optimization
- Relationship with all relevant off-site content
Optimized web design may be the most important component of your local marketing campaign because it is your virtual office or showroom ultimately designed to convert your targeted site visitors.
Think of yor website as the house and your marketing efforts as invitations to the party you are having at your house.
It makes no sense to invite people until you are properly prepared.
Thank you for reading my Local Marketing Online series. My objective is to always provide you with practical, easy-to-follow business development tips. Please feel free to share any comments, questions, or experiences. And please share the posts with your friends and colleagues.
Read the Series:
Local Marketing Online: Part 1: Intro
Local Marketing Online: Part 2: Web & Map Listings
Local Marketing Online: Part 3: Google Place
Local Marketing Online: Part 4: Search & Social Media
Local Marketing Online: Part 5: City Sites, Reviews & Recommendations
Local Marketing Online: Part 6: Share Content
Local Marketing Online: Part 7: Email Marketing
Local Marketing Online: Part 8: Pay Per Click Integration
Local Marketing Online: Part 9: Mobile Marketing
Local Marketing Online: Part 10: Optimized Web Design