Your digital presence starts with owning a piece of internet real estate.
You can register a domain through a registration company like GoDaddy. Make sure to include all your details when you complete the registration paperwork as this makes you the legal owner of that domain name.
Your domain name should reflect your business name, and you can even go so far as to register several other related names. This prevents anyone else from owning the name unless they buy it from you.
Luckily, some domain registration companies already offer website and email hosting packages, including website building services like Squarespace. These usually include technical support, as well as maintaining and updating your website and email.
For email hosting specifically, the author recommends using Google’s G Suite service or Microsoft’s Office 365 solution. G Suite has the advantage of being easily accessible, relatively cheap, and having great spam filters. On the other hand, Office 365 is a good option for businesses that already use other Microsoft software for their day-to-day admin.
You can hire a reputable designer or developer to build it, or create a simple site yourself with a platform like Squarespace or WordPress.
Business websites must be universally accessible and appeal to a target market.
Make it easy to navigate easily and find the information they’re looking for quickly. If you’re setting up the website yourself on a platform like Squarespace, look for a template that is mobile-friendly.
In addition to being relatable, content should be engaging. Avoid long texts and, instead, keep things short, catchy, and relevant to your audience. Use high-quality images to make your content stand out.
The right keywords and content will get you noticed and improve your site’s ranking.
Google search engine is motivated by keywords. These are terms used when searching for information. For instance, someone looking for a chair from Denmark might type “Scandinavian furniture” into a search engine.
When other websites link to yours, Google sees this as a stamp of approval and ranks your website higher. If that website happens to be popular, that’s even better. Think of the impact of someone sharing your link on Twitter versus a publication like CNN linking to your website. Google pays closer attention to the latter.
Google shows users which relevant businesses are close by. So, to reach people in your area create a Google My Business profile. All you need is your business address, contact details, working hours, and a few pictures. It’s easy as pie and it’s completely free!
For social media success, find platforms that resonate with your market and follow the rules of engagement. (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube)
Once you’ve identified one or two platforms that make sense for your business, the next thing to figure out is what to post on them.
The author suggests that 80 percent of your social media content should be, well, social. You can feature your employees, have interactive video chats, or share relevant content generated by your audience. The rest of your content should highlight your business. This can be links to your website, testimonials from customers, or promotional competitions. But remember that each platform has its own tone and format, so the content must be tweaked accordingly.
Effective email marketing means creating value for your audience and knowing when and how to hook them.
Email marketing doesn’t require much money or technology, and it allows businesses to communicate any information that serves their goals and needs. This can be news about products or services, industry insights, or special offers to entice customers.
Your email content should encourage people to perform these desired actions. For example, if you want people to buy the new product you’re announcing, consider offering them an exclusive discount.
Some subject lines will attract more readers than others, while sending an email at the wrong time could mean it never gets opened. You’ll only learn what works by testing different options. Luckily, email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp allow you to run A/B tests. This means sending two different versions of an email in order to see which one hits the mark.
To win at online advertising, offer people something they want and experiment to find the right platform.
Online advertising shares some basic principles with email marketing. That is, every ad campaign has to support your business goal, offer people something they value, and invite them to take action.
Whether you advertise through Google, Facebook, or another website, you’ll be charged in the same way. You’ll either pay based on the number of people the ad could reach, or on how many of them actually click on it. The more clicks and the bigger the audience, the more it will cost you.
Start by spending small amounts of money on various platforms. When you figure out which platform is working well for you, put more money behind it. It’s like going to a casino, you have to try a bit of everything to find the game you’re good at.
Keep an eye on the metrics that have a tangible impact on your business.
To understand how your website is performing, the author recommends connecting it to the Google Analytics tool. This provides insights on your audience size and demographics, and which of your website sections are the most popular. Plus you’ll learn whether visitors are finding your site through social media, a search engine, or another website.
Social media platforms have their own inbuilt reporting systems. Here you can find metrics like how many people your content is reaching, whether or not they’re engaging through comments and likes, and if they’re clicking your website links.
Look at your key metrics regularly, perhaps once a week, and benchmark the numbers against past performance or competing businesses. The idea is to learn what’s paying off and what isn’t, and then make the necessary adjustments. As your business grows and your goals change, you’ll have to try different marketing tactics and even identify new key metrics.
Your digital marketing efforts should always be based on your business needs and goals. Decide what you’re working toward and choose platforms and metrics that best align with this. Whether you opt for a website, social media, emails, or ads, your content should be valuable to your audience, and should encourage them to engage with the business.