Long gone are the days that you could simply copy your company brochure to your website, sit back and expect to reap the rewards of climbing to the top of Google.
In the ever-so-overpopulated online space, you have to do more than just have a website that serves the basic needs.
So, today we’re looking at what it takes to have (and run) a successful website campaign (or at least the 30,000 view of what it takes).
So, who is this for/ when should you use it?
- If you’re about to launch a website for the first time
- If you’re about to do a website redesign or in the process
- If you’re considering adding a new product, service, market, trying to attract a new audience, etc.
- If you have a website, but would like to see better performance (better Google rankings)
In other words, I think we can all take a look at this blueprint and ask “What can we do better to improve our website campaign?”
Here are 9 Steps to a Successful Website Campaign
Click image to make it larger. Click here for a printable version.
To make this easy for you, here’s a link to a downloadable easy to print size version of the 9-step blueprint.
Step 1: Create a Strategy
I think that most businesses sit down and strategize about their websites and what they want to offer, highlight, etc., on the site. Still, some miss the mark by not genuinely taking the time to identify their buyer personas and how they will connect with each persona on the site and throughout the website.
Create a Strategy:
- Research & survey prospects / clients.
- Take time to define your buyer personas. You can find a complete guide to buyer personas here. Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customer. Buyer personas go by many names; you may have heard them called customer avatar, ICA (ideal customer avatar), customer persona, buyer profile, target customer, etc.
- Who is your target?
- What do they want?
- What can you offer them?
- Identify the process when they land on your website.
Step 2: Conduct a Website Audit
During this stage, conduct a website content audit. For more details, sift through Google Analytics or another analytics system to get a more detailed look at what visitors are doing on your website (links to analytics programs are provided in step 8). This method gives a complete insight into any website, overall traffic, and individual pages. The goal is to detect any weak points in your campaign.
Conduct a Website Audit:
- Do visitors have enough information?
- Is your contact information easily visible?
- Does your website include social share integration?
- Clear CTAs (call to action)?
- Lead magnets?
- Email Opt-ins?
- Resources Section?
- Customer Testimonials / Success Stories?
- Trust elements / social proof?
- Good quality images that aren’t stock photos?
- Page Fold – Place your essential elements above the fold.
Step 3: Keyword Research
Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high-return activities in SEO. Here are the steps to get you started.
SEO Keyword Research:
- List your top keywords. Think like your customers. Include product names.
- Research with tools like:
3. Include long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific and less common.
4. Focus on niche words.
5. Consider location-based search words.
6. Consider voice search / mobile – When using voice search people use longer queries and natural language.
Step 4: Improve Your On-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
While hiring the right SEO expert can do wonders for a company’s website ranking, so can following some basic fundamental best practices when it comes to SEO. If you’re using WordPress, you can use a plugin like Yoast SEO to help you with some of the items outlined below. Just (please, please, please) remember just because you have a plugin installed on your website doesn’t mean it’s doing the work for you. If you’re using an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO, you still want to go page-by-page and post-by-post and fill out items like page meta descriptions.
Improve Your On-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimization):
- Map out which keywords and topics you will target for each page of your website.
- Create a unique page title for every page using targeted keywords – the ideal length is 50–60 characters.
- Create a unique meta description for every page with the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) in mind – use no more than 160 characters.
- Use header tags (H1, H2, H3, H4) that include keywords.
- Include a sitemap. – If you’re using Yoast SEO, make sure you actually turn this on. It’s not automatic.
- Use a clean, SEO-friendly URL structure, ideally with keywords.
- Use internal links to aid with navigation.
- Include quality external links to authority sites where appropriate.
- Fix any broken links.
- Make sure your website does not include flash animation or nested frames.
- Minimize page load speed. See how Google thinks your website loads with Google PageSpeed Insights > https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
- Apply a canonical tag to avoid duplicate content.
- Use 301 redirects when deleting pages or launching a new site.
- Use an SEO crawling tool to ensure your site is free of 404 errors.
- Optimize image file names and use unique ALT tag descriptions.
Step 5: Create Contagious Content
If you’re looking for a great article on content, jump over to our Content Marketing Planning Template. It’s structured to help you think through the dimensions of different content based on how your audience might think and what you’re trying to achieve as a business.
Create Contagious Content:
- Make a list of the top 10 problems your clients/customers face.
- Brainstorm ways to answer these questions in the form of:
- Pro Tips
- Product Review
- Cheat Sheet
- Event (live or online)
- Press Release
- Case Study
- Trend Report
- White Paper
- Community Forum
- From here, brainstorm ideas/titles.
- Create a 12-month Content Plan (break it down as needed for your business – daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, & annually).
- Start writing, publishing, and sharing content! The goal is to create educational, enlightening, and entertaining content. If you feel overwhelmed, outsource all or part of the content creation process.
Step 6: Build Your Online Tribe to Drive Traffic to Your Website
Now that you’ve created some amazing content, it’s time to share it with your online tribe. Keep in mind being on social media should be about being “social,” not just about boosting your own company. So while it’s key to share information through your social channels, make sure you’re not making it all about “you.”
Build Your Online Tribe to Drive Traffic to Your Website:
- Create Company social media profiles on sites like your Google Business Profile listing, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Yelp, etc.
- Share your blog posts and website via your social media outlets.
- Create a video and upload it to YouTube.
- Guest blog post.
- Write and submit articles to online news sites.
- Send out a press release.
- Join in conversations on LinkedIn Groups.
- Add social share functionality to your website and blog.
Step 7: Nurture Your Email List
The people on your email list have already to said that they want to hear from you. Now it’s time to deliver.
Nurture Your Email List:
- Set up email signups on your website.
- Offer gated materials like eBooks as bonuses (or other items mentioned in step #5).
- Continually drive traffic to your website with segmented campaigns.
- Always be helping and educating your list by moving them through your funnel towards the sale.
Step 8: Analyze and Optimize Results
Setting up analytics on your website will help you measure, monitor, and understand website traffic.
Analyze and Optimize Results:
- Setup Google Analytics account and connect it to your website.
- Setup Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). GWT is a free toolset provided by Google that helps you first understand what’s going on with your website.
- You can set up Clicky (similar to Google Analytics – but simpler to use).
- Set up Google Alerts for your business name and other alerts.
- Monitor website statistics regularly.
- Always be testing, tweaking, and improving your website.
Step 9: Repeat
It’s a process…
- Count your sales, leads, conversions, & profits, then
- Repeat from Step 1!