Like most business owners, you are probably distracted and overwhelmed by the possibilities of doing business online. It is true that the online world is a game changing tool for collecting leads, attracting customers, growing a business, finding staff, providing awesome customer service and building communities.
So here are five steps you can take immediately to get the needle moving in the right direction.
1. Get Specific
For those of you who are not familiar with SMART goals, the acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable,
Realistic and Time-bound. SMART goals are part of an idea that has been around for decades and has helped businesses and individuals increase productivity and stay focused.
The reason SMART goals are back in favor is because the Internet allows us to measure and track most of what we do. In this section, we’re going to focus on getting specific about our goals because that is usually the hardest part of the process!
Who’s your favorite client?
Ask yourself this question: If you could have 10 new clients today, but they all had to be a clone of one of your existing clients, who would the existing client be?
The best way to find that existing client is to identify who:
- Is the most profitable
- Gives you the least amount of grief
- Is a joy to work with
- Refers you new business
- Pays on time
Once you have identified this client, ask yourself what:
- Industry do they work in?
- Is the size of the business?
- Kind of products and services do they offer?
- Are their business aspirations?
- Value do YOU offer in the relationship?
Visit your website and read all of the pages, view all of the images and work your way through the site as if you were your number one client. Imagine that someone built this website specifically for you.
Now ask yourself these questions:
- Does the language used on the website resonate with you?
- Are the images engaging to look at?
- Is the information relevant and interesting?
Build your website for your number one client and nobody else. Usually, this is difficult to execute because we are afraid of potentially losing other clients. However, if we have identified who our number one client is, doesn’t it make sense to then focus on just attracting more of them?
Actionable: List all of the changes to the text and images you need to make on your website so that it appeals to your number one client.
2. Get Action
Most websites fail to achieve a measurable goal for the business because they fail to ask the user to take action. If the goal of your website is to encourage potential new clients to pick up the phone or email you with an inquiry, then you need to be explicit about asking them to take that action.
Have you ever been in a clothing boutique when the shop assistant asked you if you’d like to join their VIP club to receive a discount? Some of us join; most of us don’t. But when was the last time you walked into a clothing boutique and asked them if you could join their VIP club? Never.
The point is: if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
If you visit our website at smallbusinessdeacon.com you will see a form at the bottom of our page encouraging visitors to start a conversation about working with us. This simple action allows us to collect email addresses from potential new clients every day.
Actionable: Identify the action you want your website visitors to take and make sure it is clear and obvious on every page throughout your site.
3. Get Found
It’s no secret that millions of people are using Google every day to search for information and answers to their questions.
But it doesn’t take black magic or superpowers to have clients find your website on Google. The first thing you need to ensure is that you are in the Google index. This is like making sure your card is in the library index so when someone searches for your type of book I can find you.
Type the following into the Google search engine to see if your website is in the Google index! :
Obviously replace “yourdomainname” with your actual website address. E.g. if I want to make sure my website is in the Google index I would type this into Google: site:smallbusinessdeacon.com
If your website is not in the Google index, you will need to open an account with Google Webmaster tools and submit your website to Google.
Actionable: To have customers find you, make sure you are in the Google index. If need be, instruct your web developer to submit your site to Google for you.
4. Get Shared
This is the part that requires actual work. Now, you probably hear it all the time, but you have to create engaging content to get shared on social media. Let us explain this in real world terms that you can understand.
Have you ever been at a party and found yourself quoting someone else from a conversation you had a few days ago? Have you ever been at a party and overheard somebody else quoting something you said earlier in the evening? The same principle applies to getting shared on social media. People share things on social media based on how it is going to make them look to their peers. So, if nobody is sharing your content on social media, then you need to create different content.
Ask yourself what your number one client would share with their peers, and then create it.
Types of content can include a blog post, a free report, a video interview, a podcast or a free e-book just like this one you are reading. The key is to make it as useful as possible to number one client and make it easy for them to share.
Actionable: Create one piece of content and share it with your number one client via LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.
5. Get Better
The only way to improve your online activities over time is to measure what you are doing. Luckily, Google provide us with an amazing free tool to track how visitors are behaving on our website. Therefore, Google analytics should be installed on every page on your website. You should be reading your Google analytics reports once a week to understand how your audience are responding to you.
Actionable: Install Google Analytics on your website and access the reports to read every week.
The Bottom Line
The Internet provides business owners with huge opportunities to connect with new clients and better service our existing clients. Also, it provides us with an enormous amount of information, white noise and distraction. The aim of this short blog was to cut through the clutter and give you some actionable steps. Hopefully, this will make a real difference to how your website is performing for your business.