Most people assume that all you need to be successful online is a snazzy website, believing that the Internet will magically send them qualified buyers.
And they’d be wrong. Sure, a website can help you to connect with qualified buyers… it can even help you to close the sale. But a website alone won’t guarantee you success online even if you spend a small fortune creating it.To understand why, you need to understand a little bit about how search engines work:
- First, they catalog the entire web, creating a database of all of the web pages in existence, which is currently over 8 billion (that is billion, with a b)
- Next, they match search queries to the known web pages and look for a match.
When there are multiple matches, the search engine cannot display all of them simultaneously so it ranks the available matches in some type of order. Most search engines use a combination of two criteria:
Relevancy is how close the web page matches the search criteria: is the search term in the title of the page? Any of the headlines? How often does it appear in the text?
Authority is a measure of the trustworthiness of the source. This authority is determined by looking at two measures: how many other reliable websites link to this content and how much traffic is the content already receiving.
As you can see from these criteria, if you put up a brand new website, even with superb content, you are still not going to outrank the existing web pages simply because you are too new to prove your authority on the subject (little traffic and no links).
While this sounds like a tough situation to rectify, there is a relatively easy solution that benefits your business directly while also benefiting your search rankings: offline marketing.
Offline marketing allows you to obtain both a short-term benefit (more sales) and long-term benefit (increased traffic increases authority which leads to more traffic).
Here are some offline marketing tools that you can use to help increase your success online:
Before the advent of the Internet, direct mail was the main route to reach new customers. As more businesses have switched to marketing online, the number of sales flyers in your mailbox has dropped; with fewer companies using direct mail, it becomes easier to stand out and get your marketing message read by your intended audience. About 75% of people read the direct mail they receive, and about 60% will actually make a purchase as a result of receiving such mail. The Post Office has even made this easier for every small business to afford by launching a new service: Every Door Direct Mail.
Speaking engagements are a great way for potential customers to experience you first hand and makes it easy for them to take the next step with you. Create a stunning flyer to hand out in the back of the room that clearly showcases what you do in more detail and invites people to visit your website. Printed posters and flyers are more affordable to produce than you think.
Well-placed advertising should continue to have a place in your marketing tool-kit. Look for local or niche-specific publications to get the most return on your investment and include an irresistible call to action that drives people to check out your website.
One-on-one conversation is one of the best ways to get your business card directly into the hands of prospective clients. Follow these tips to get the most out of every networking event you attend.
You should consider your website a part of your marketing team, not a stand-alone player with sole responsibility for your business success. Help your website better do its job by investing some time and effort in building your marketing message, including online and offline tools.