“I need a website.”
Most conversations with potential clients start this way.
There is so much more to marketing online than just ‘having a website.’
The days of ‘if you build it, they will come,’ are long over. If you want to successfully market yourself online, you need a digital marketing strategy, and your website should be one piece of that strategy.
Many see the value of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, whereby people are motivated to reach the highest level called self-actualization. We must also understand the importance in the hierarchy of web needs.
A fully optimized online marketing strategy includes all five levels.
Here’s a run down of the five levels of website needs.
You’ve got a site and it’s good enough that you’re not embarrassed to hand out your business card for fear that people might visit. It loads reasonably fast, has no, or few errors.
ReliableYour site has an up-to-date design, is mobile friendly and is built on a content management system that makes it easy to update and maintain. Google analytics is installed and you can view the basic traffic data.
UnderstoodYour site is optimized based on the needs and priorities of your *customers.* You’re adding regular quality content that is relevant to your audience and using that content to capture leads and build an email list you can convert to paying customers.
Once you understand this, it will be immediately obvious when you visit a site, whether it’s company focused or customer focused. Consider the following potential headers:
WELCOME TO OUR WEBSITE
WE RID YOUR HOME OF PESTS WITHIN 48 HOURS
One is clearly focused on their potential customer’s biggest pain and immediately telling the viewer how they will solve it.
Now that you have a clear message based on your audience’s needs, you can begin to leverage lead magnets, devise a content marketing strategy, leverage paid traffic and develop your social media strategy. A lead magnet offers your visitors something of value in return for permission to communicate with them (list building). Content marketing strategy is thinking not in terms of ‘needing a blog,’ but in terms of what valuable information can I share with my audience?
PerformanceNow you’re taking advantage of the foundation you’ve built to take your marketing to the next level. Everything is tested, measured and then refined to improve conversions. You have clear data and know the ROI your online marketing efforts bring.