Turn Your Website into a Marketing Magnet

Generally your company’s website really has only one purpose — to sell. And that means you need to attract as many potential customers as possible while maintaining your current clientele.

In reality, people are always searching for your business — or at least, the types of products and/or services it offers. They type what they are looking for into a search engine and scan the results. Research has shown that at least two-thirds choose a business listed on the first page of the results. If your company’s website isn’t among the first they see, it risks losing sales.

To achieve top rankings, your organization needs a search engine optimization (SEO) marketing strategy that takes advantage of two techniques: Targeted keywords and focused content.

Keywords are the terms and phrases those search engines use to categorize websites. Using multiple, accurate, targeted keywords increases the chances of achieving high rankings in a searcher’s result.

The second critical element is content. Whether you write blogs or articles, or are active in social networking, the material should be rich in keywords and focused on customers. Below is a checklist of 15 content ideas that represent just some of the topics that can help you and your employees add zest to the company’s online presence, put a bang in its SEO and persuade customers that your enterprise should be their top choice.

You can determine the best keywords for your business using online tools, but you may get better results by working with a consultant. Professionals know, for example, that the term SEO gets better rankings than search engine optimization and that the phrase home business gets nearly 16 times more monthly search volume than home Internet business. They will also advise you where to place keywords on the site to make them more effective at boosting search engine rankings.

Content Ideas

Share the future. Write about your business’s strategy and let customers know what innovations it is planning and how they will benefit.

Showcase customer testimonials. Potential and current customers are likely to have more trust in what their peers say than in the copy your marketing department pushes out.

Tell customer stories. Write about how a customer helped someone, won an award or performed a public service — and the role your products or services played in the process.

Tout your publicity. When your organization is mentioned on another site, in a blog, on a social networking page or in a newspaper or magazine, talk about it and provide a link to the original item.

Flash the news. Let your customers know what’s happening in your industry, how your business is adapting and what the changes mean for them.

Provide answers. Customers and sales prospects have questions. Considering that they will find the answers somewhere, it might as well be on your organization’s site. Add an FAQ page answering the most common questions your enterprise has encountered.

Ask for advice. If your business needs a solution, ask for suggestions. If you are interested in finding out what customers want, ask them. Many readers like to feel they have had a hand in shaping your enterprise.

Join discussions. If you see an article or blog by an industry expert, write a response. You can agree and expand on the idea or respectfully disagree and express your perspective. This will demonstrate your leadership and knowledge. Be sure to include a link from your site to the original article or blog. In your comment, include a link back to your site, blog or social network page.

Highlight issues. Discuss legal, compliance and other issues, and describe how your company is dealing with them.

Embed video. Create a video about your company — or its products or staff -— and put it on your site. Even a video about a company outing can put a face to your business. You can also provide links to other business or industry-related videos. Be sure to use keywords in the dialogue, the title, the description of the video and the reason you are linking to it.

Provide a tour. A virtual or video tour of your offices or headquarters can make your website more personal and inviting.

Guide people to other online locations. Let customers know where else on the Internet they can find your company and its executives. Be sure that each location links to all the others.

Spotlight uniqueness. Describe something your company offers that no one else does, or a unique product feature, and explain why everyone should have it.

Flash your green thumb. Tell the world what your company does that is environmentally responsible and share tips with your readers and visitors.