So you decided to jump in and do it! Good for you!
There’s only one issue – if you only knew how to reach more people you would have clients and a thriving online business. But alas, that’s not the case – so how do you actually create a profitable website, one that will actually work for you?
Lets’ dive in – there are 7 steps to creating, promoting and profiting from your website, get ready to take some notes and let’s go:
The Right Tools to creating, promoting & profiting from your website
Like all areas of life, in order to be efficient and profitable online, you MUST begin with a solid foundation.
On the mental side, you have to get clear on what it is that you are trying to accomplish. What is your business, what are you offering and can you develop that into multiple income opportunities? In other words, if you are a consultant or coach and offer package pricing dependent on the number of hours/weeks, can you then create a VIP training, or a retreat or perhaps a yearly, hands on training course? If you have a product-based business, are there additional products you can offer? Are there affiliate products you can offer that compliment your product?
Clarity is key in any endeavor but particularly in the world of online for the simple reason that there is a lot of ‘noise’ out there. You’re competing in a huge field and you must be focused in order to be heard and build a successful, profitable business.
On the physical side, there are primarily seven items you’ll need to create a website and online platform that works.
7 Absolutes to Put Your Site to Work for YOU!
- Site Platform – WordPress
- Optimized Pages
- Targeted Content
- Promotion – Content & Social Media Marketing
- Lead Magnet
- Traffic – List Building
#1 The Platform
There are several do-it-yourself website builders out there but don’t be lured in by the shiny packaging – the only platform you want to use to build your website is WordPress for these reasons:
- Plenty of Free templates – we only use free versions
- Allows installation of helpful tools (plug-ins) – we use free versions
- User friendly
- Automatic software updates
#2 Site Optimization – Get Found in the Search Engines!
To determine what information people are searching for, and the competition for that information (note: competition is good), it simply means there’s a need for what you have to offer.
Why are keywords important?
There are really (3) ways in which to get your content ranked in the search engines. The first is to purchase an ad on Google in order to have your content sit on the first page of the search engine.
For many small businesses this is not an option because it’s expensive. The other problem is that when people know you’ve paid for page position they are less likely to view you as a credible unless of course, you are of Nike status.
A company that has not purchased an ad, but appears on the first page of Google has arrived at that spot due to the large volume of traffic visiting their site. In order to get that traffic they successfully promoted the item people are searching for through social media and/or search engine optimization (SEO).
You must have keyword rich content & know how to use H-tags (headers), Alt text descriptions, tag words and Meta description.
Basically, the search engines i.e.: Google, Bing, Yahoo have feelers out to locate the keywords or phrases that people are searching for. These feelers are often referred to as spiders because they crawl the web. As they crawl the web they are searching for the keywords or key phrases people type into the search bar.
The H-tags help direct the search engines to your site. The keywords throughout your content, along with the alt text and Meta descriptions all work together to help boost your ranking in the search engines.
Most people overlook this part, in fact, most people don’t know this even exists, but you do now and the good news – we use a tool that makes this process a breeze – even better news: it’s free!
Meta Description – the page snippet (ultra-important)
- Often overlooked or done incorrectly
- Must contain your keywords
- Must be in-line with Google parameters
Below are two examples of page snippets ranking for Children’s Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ. Notice how the keywords appear in the meta description or page snippet:
#3 Creating Targeted Content To Get Business
One of the biggest mistakes, especially in the world of online marketing, is being too general to develop any type of connection with your key market. You have to be specific and targeted in order to be found online. Take a look at the following example of website descriptions:
› Specific Niche – Know your target market and get specific
- Broad: Life Coach
- Better: Relationship Coach
- Specific: Relationship Coach with a focus on Newly Married Couples, or New Parents etc.
Before you create content for your site or for your first blog post, you may want to search for keywords that target your ideal market.
#4 Content Marketing
Content Marketing is the way in which you reach your target audience online and achieve ranking – provided of course you’re using keywords.
Content can be in a variety of forms: Written, Video, Audio.
- Consistency in posting – Important because Google likes activity and that comes with regular postings of fresh content on your site.
- Audio, Video, Images, Curated Content – Ideally you’ll have a variety of content forms on your site
- Feature or refer to authority voice in your industry – A quick way to add content and align yourself with leaders.
- Contribute to authority publications – A great way to position yourself as a leader in your industry.
- Comment on other like-industry blogs/articles – A great way to get your name out there; think of it as networking!
#5 Social Media Marketing
- Update your profiles to contain your business name and web address
- Share your own value based content or messages regularly
- Share other people’s content
Automating your workload is a huge plus of the online business world. Automating your emails, social media posts and even webinars makes it possible to run your business 24-7, so you can have a global impact. Automation is done with a tool called the autoresponder.
Working with Autoresponders
The Autoresponder is your connector. It’s the tool that enables you to build your list and interact with that list. With an autoresponder you’ll be able to start building a relationship with your potential clients. It’s key to the online marketing process.
Several companies offer a free or $1 trial period and then charge a monthly fee of about $20 (and up – depending on the number of subscribers on your list). Personally, I use Aweber, as it’s the one I started with, I think it’s very user-friendly and I like their opt-in form templates.
However, many of my clients use Constant Contact, which I also think is quite easy to use. If you are just starting out and do not have a list, you may want to try MailChimp as your first 2000 subscribers are free, and hey, free is always nice!!
- Opt-in Forms – strategic placement is just as important as having a form. Generally, it’s best to weave a giveaway into your content with an invitation to grab the giveaway by entering an email.
- Have a value-based give-away (lead magnet)
- Always have an opt-in form attached to the giveaway (lead magnet)
- Connect Consistently – It sounds a bit crazy, but many people fail to connect consistently. Now that doesn’t mean you have to blast your list daily or even a couple times a week. You have to be strategic about it, and when you do send a message it better have something worth reading, otherwise, you’ll have a lot of people opting out. If you’re spending the work necessary to get subscribers, you’ll want to invest the time to develop a rapport with those subscribers, so connect regularly.
- *Use Follow up Campaigns – Once someone opts-in for your lead magnet, make sure to follow up within the first 24 hours. This is no different than the procedure for offline sales. Follow up is hugely important as you probably guessed since I’ve mentioned it more than once.
Your initial follow up should simply be asking if they received your free giveaway and if they enjoyed it. Now they certainly are not going to reply via an autoresponder but you can direct them back to a specific page on your website to leave a comment (which, of course, you will include a link to). Or you can ask them to complete a survey and ask for items that they may be struggling with, which perhaps the giveaway you provided didn’t answer. This is a great way to get specific information on exactly what problems your prospects are actually needing help with, and guess who is going to provide that help – that’s right YOU!
#7 List Building
In order to build your list and put your autoresponder to work, you have to get people to give you their email. How do you do that? Well, that seems to be the number one question from people just getting started. So here’s a quick outline:
- Know your ideal client- You absolutely need to know who you are targeting – so take the time to get clear and do your keyword research to find out what subjects they are searching for.
- Use surveys (find out what they need) – Surveys can be a great way to get specific information from potential clients. But you say – if I don’t have a list where do I send my surveys – Ahhh great question. You don’t send them yet – silly. You POST them, that’s right – you write a bit of content and post them on your social media sites, and share them. Or you do a quick video with a link to your survey in the description – then share it. Tell people you are working on a project or new content and could use a bit of help. People are generally pretty good about helping. C’mon most people like to share their opinion. A good survey site to use: Wufoo (http://www.wufoo.com) and it’s FREE – YAY!
- Always give more than expected – Always add more value, everyone likes a freebie. Giving value helps to solidify the relationship – so just do it!
- Use a Lead Magnet (discounts, free guides, free sessions, cheat sheets).
- Follow-Up – Yep here it is AGAIN – FOLLOW UP, it’s very, very important – *see above.
Have an idea for a business? A passion you’re ready to bring to life? Or are you trying to escape the nine-to-five rut? Check out this free training video series designed to jumpstart your business.