Are you missing one of the 3 cornerstones of a profitable website? Here’s how to stop bleeding money and get your “house” in order.
by Rhonda Bradley May 3, 2017
Have you put a lot of time and money into a website that still isn’t doing much to sell your product or service? Are you beginning to think that profiting from your website is all hype?
Is someone telling you to spend more money on advertising that isn’t working in the first place?
I’ve got good news for you. Thanks to the intense amount of data recorded and analyzed over the past couple years, we now know of a well-rounded site structure that has proven to increase sales and customer engagement.
Would you invite people to your home for dinner if the bathroom wasn’t working?
Heck no. Why not? Because your visitors would cringe! They would have bad memories from the evening, and you can be sure they would talk about it with their friends.
Your community might remain friendly and encouraging, but no one will accept your dinner invitations in the future if your house isn’t in order today.
Websites are the same way.
You must have the basics in place before inviting people to visit. Then you’ll be able to give your guests a great experience — and invite them back while the good memories are still fresh.
This article is written for business owners, companies, and corporations who want to better understand the basics of building a website that profits. These “inbound marketing” cornerstones apply to all online websites that are hoping to profit from services or products.
01: Email Marketing
Are you posting to social media but ignoring your email list? If so, prepare for a little pang of regret. Did you know that
Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring a new customer than Facebook or Twitter*
Email should be the first – not the last! – step on your marketing list. Here’s what you need to get started:
1. Find an email marketing service provider. You’ll need a service that signs up your subscribers and allows you to send email updates or newsletters to them. Mailchimp email marketing platform and Benchmark email marketing services are two reliable providers that allow you to get started for free.
2. Build the basics with a welcome email series and signup form. Create a list within your account, a subscription form to put on your site, and your welcome series emails. Any decent email service provider will offer tutorials that walk you through these steps.
a) Confirmation page
b) Thank you page
c) Welcome email
d) Signup form
Place the subscription form on your website so visitors can sign up. Once a visitor becomes a subscriber, you’ll refer to them (internally) as a lead.
Nurture Your leads by sending regular email updates or newsletters. Try to communicate with your visitors at least once a week to let them know what’s new. You can link to your own blog articles, offer special savings and coupons, or share tips and tricks.
02: Inline & Graphic CTAs
So you’ve got some traffic coming to your site. Great! Now what will you do with it? This is why CTA’s are crucial to your success.
You’ve guided visitors toward your website and now it’s time to guide them along the sales process.
“CTA” is a common marketing term that means “Call to Action.” A call to action is a line of text or a graphic that encourages your site visitors to take a specific action (usually to signup for your email list).
WHAT IS AN INLINE CTA?
An inline CTA is a simple line of text that’s linked to your email signup form (or a landing page). Here’s an example of a simple inline CTA:
WHAT IS A GRAPHIC CTA?
A graphic CTA is normally placed at the end of your blog post or article. It serves the same purpose as an inline CTA. Here’s an example:
03: Build a Blog with consistent, high-quality content
The statistics are overwhelming.
According to Demand Metrics, “78% of consumers perceive a relationship between themselves and a company that publishes custom content” and
82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content*
Yet an overwhelming amount of businesses fail to bring in leads and sales from blogging. Many eventually give up and stop blogging altogether. Why is that? Here is a list of the most common reasons blogs fails to increase profits.
1. Inconsistent blogging Commit to blogging on a steady schedule. Whether you blog once a day or once a month, try to stick to a pattern so your readers know what to expect.
2. Infrequent blogging Frequency today is somewhat controversial, but the fact is that sites with more frequent updates get more attention. My suggestion for new blogs is 2 short (500 – 700 words) + 1 long post (1600 words) per week.
3. Duplicate content Please don’t consider rewriting or copying portions from other articles on the web. Today’s readers are smarter than that, and it also makes Google ignore you.
Instead, offer your visitors something they can’t get anywhere else and they’ll keep coming back for more.
4. Poor quality Gone are the days of writing up quick posts with bad grammar and poor structure. You’ll lose Google love (yes, their bots can tell how well you write) and customer interest if your articles aren’t written well.
5. Keyword stuffing Repeating your keywords over and over feels cheap to the reader. It also gets you ranked lower in the search engines.
There’s more you can do to improve the quality and success of your blog, and that’s why businesses often hire professionals to help.
For example, a solid copywriter who’s well-trained offers more than words on a page. She/he will also follow SEO, web, and blogging “best practices,” which include;
- user formatting,
- meta information
- alt titles and tags
- proper keyword placement
- header placement
- image placement
- excellent grammar
- readability scores that match your buyer persona
There’s a lot going on “behind the scenes.” This is why
62% of companies outsource their content marketing.*
What can you do if you’re a new business and don’t have the funding to hire professionals to help you?
Get training. A great place to start is Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing course. But beware, training is time-consuming and requires ongoing, daily training & practice – long after the course ends.
Marketing in 2017 is complex and competitive. Trying to DIY your way to success will take a significant amount of time away from your business.
Is Blogging worth it? You bet!
“Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.*” It’s important to the success of your website. But if you don’t take it all the way, then you may not see results.
Now you’ve learned the basics of building a profitable website.
When talking to a marketing firm, consultant, or writer — remember the 3 basics:
- Email subscription process
- Inline & graphic CTA’s
- Consistent unique and well-written blog posts
Put these into place before you spend another dollar on advertising or social media. And run away from anyone that tries to sell you a bridge in Tahiti. Or advertising before you have your website basics in order.
To learn more about successful websites, blogs, and Inbound Marketing, be sure to subscribe to my updates before you go!
Overwhelmed? Most successful websites outsource part or all of their copywriting. This lets them focus on the products and services they do best — with the confidence of knowing they’ve got a writer who is doing what she does best.
Rhonda Bradley – copywriter for hire. Getting started is simple – just click here
* email is 40 times more effective — stat from infusionsoft.com
Statistics & data for this article, where not otherwise noted, have been provided by Demand Metrics.