You know how important it is to have a strong online foundation to build your business these days. There are so many platforms on which you could engage – but you don’t necessary have the time, energy, or resources to do so.
This infographic is a great way of showing how all these avenues fit together, and, therefore, what you should prioritise.
The ‘Tree’ concept is powerful – we all know the stability and value of a tree which changes outwardly through the seasons, but is always a stable, fruitful, and growing being, serving all those who come near it with shade and fruit, and fresh air – but particularly serving it’s owners.
That’s Your Website
It is the stable trunk that is the start of the root system and the primary channel for growth. You need to put your best content on your self-hosted primary business domain, never on a free blogging platform or on a social media blog. You want to own the land, not be a share-cropper! If it’s free, you have no control over it.
However, you also need to build strong foundations …
That’s Your Core SEO and Analytics
This is where a lot of people who write their own website copy and even some web designers get it wrong. They load the copy onto your website, but miss out on the underlying SEO tags that make it easier for search engines to find and understand your business. That means that you have to pay more for traffic, and frequently end up with a lower conversion rate because you aren’t getting the right traffic.
You should never write for search engines – keyword density and black hat tricks are deader than the dodo – therefore accurate tagging at the back of every page and post and accurate descriptions are critical.
Analytics are important because they provide insights into how your readers are responding and help you decide what you need more of, and what you need less of.
A Cautionary Tale
Getting this right can change the economics of your business. Last year I quoted three very similar website projects within a few weeks of each other, all in the same industry. One asked me to write their copy, another asked me to write a few pages, and the third decided to write the whole website in-house. A few months later the first business was more than recouping the cost of their copy every week through their website sales and enquiries and spending very little on paid traffic; the second was attracting organic traffic to the pages I wrote and getting conversions on those pages, and getting very little return on the rest of the website; and the third was spending heavily on paid traffic (more than the cost of my services every month) and getting close to zero conversions.
And then you need branches, leaves, and fruit …
That’s Your Social Media Presence
If your website is the place for serious conversation, social media is the place for making connections, listening to your market and learning their problems and needs, and staying top of mind. The great thing about social media is that people can tune you out if they don’t think you are relevant, and they can engage further if they want to hear from you – hopefully that means they visit your website and get in touch with you.
Like any relationship, it won’t blossom overnight but if you put consistent effort in, you will reap the results. Evidence shows that those businesses which invest in providing valuable content consistently over 6 months or more, build foundations of trust and intellectual property that bear dividends for years. Sporadic efforts, and low-quality content don’t give the same results.
Most of the people who say “I tried content marketing and social media outreach and it doesn’t work in my business,” gave up after a few weeks, because it’s hard work thinking of new things to write, and it’s not their priority.
Put these together and you have a thriving, fruitful, growing business that is satisfying to work in (because you have great clients), makes a difference to others (because you do what they can’t do themselves), and supports your staff and their families.