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6 Ways Experts Grow Their Businesses Online

You’re confident in the value your company provides to your customers, but there’s one problem: your potential customers haven’t gotten the message. Your numbers have stalled and growth is nonexistent. You need strategies that not only boost growth but share your brand’s value with potential customers, keeping your marketing tactics in line with your overall business vision.

There are countless ways to grow your business online, and they can have a big impact on hitting your business goals. According to Hubspot, “nearly 80 percent of companies not meeting their revenue goals attract 10,000 monthly website visitors or less.” On top of that, 51 percent of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search on their smartphone. Having an intentional plan to increase website traffic and make the most of your online presence is key to growing your business in this digital age.

Both website optimization and inbound marketing play a role in growing your business online. It makes sense that your website and the content on that website go hand-in-hand; using best practices in one will automatically help improve the other.

We uncovered six online growth tactics that use website optimization and inbound marketing to send your business’ numbers in the right direction. These proven strategies will allow you to communicate your value to potential customers while increasing growth and achieving your company goals over the long term.

Website Optimization

Your website is your brand’s digital home, and it needs to be optimized for both SEO and design if you want it to convert leads and contribute to business growth. Use these tips to create a website that connects with customers in ways that count.

1. Choose strategic keywords

Search engine optimization is essential to meeting customers where they’re at and showing that you have the know-how to solve their problems. It’s not enough to appear somewhere in search results—you need to be at the top. The top three organic search results receive 61 percent of clicks, and less than 10 percent of searchers click forward to page two, according to ProtoFuse. Choosing the right keywords is a strong first step in overall SEO success.

Moz recommends starting with a list of your organization’s high-level goals so you can create a strategic plan for how SEO will help you achieve them. Next, you’ll want to choose keywords or phrases to focus on for your site content. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) recommends you choose keywords based on popularity, competition, and relevance to your business and its goals. If you invest time up-front to generate focused, well-researched keywords, you’ll be able to easily incorporate strategic keywords into your site content going forward.

Leveraging the right keywords can propel your content to the top of search results, which is one of the best ways to provide value to your customers before they’ve even hired you.

2. Make your site mobile friendly

One-third of people use their smartphone as their primary device to access the internet, according to Hubspot, and smartphone use is expected to more than double by 2020. If your site isn’t optimized to provide a smooth experience for mobile users, Google could penalize your search ranking, and your visitors will be more likely to abandon your site in favor of something that’s easier to view on mobile.

You should integrate a responsive site design if you’re not already using one, but in the meantime, these quick fixes will get your site one step closer to being mobile friendly. Use Google’s mobile speed test tool to determine if your site is too slow—according to Mobify, 71 percent of mobile users expect sites to load almost as quickly or faster on their mobile device than their other computers. You should also consider removing pop-ups for mobile users. They can be disruptive to smartphone users, which is why Google now penalizes sites that show intrusive pop-ups on smartphones.

Your website should be a space that rolls out the welcome mat and showcases the value you can offer potential customers. Implementing these tips will ensure you’re not turning them off with a site that functions poorly on mobile devices.

3. Make a good impression with growth-driven web design

Growth-driven design (GDD) is a user-centric approach that’s turning traditional web design models upside down. Rather than taking six months to a year to overhaul your website, GDD makes consistent improvements to your website based on real-time analytics. Knowing what’s working and what isn’t is vitally important in the digital space. A Missouri S&T study reveals that website visitors form a first impression within two-tenths of a second. That can result in a lot of lost customers if your website isn’t up to standards.

Relevant content is one of the best ways to deliver value to your customers.

Sites utilizing GDD average twice as much engagement as a traditionally designed site, generating an average of  $48,000 in revenue. That’s quite an increase compared to $18,500 in revenue generated by engagement on a traditionally designed website. Even better? The average GDD site is launched in just 60 days, compared to 108 days for a traditionally designed site, according to the State of GDD 2017 Report. Growth-driven design isn’t something you can DIY, so choosing a GDD-certified agency is the best way to get started.

GDD isn’t just about improving your site analytics, it’s about using real-time data to create the best possible online experience for your customers. They’ll appreciate having your high-value content presented in an appealing, easy-to-use design.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing uses content strategy and social media to create a personalized experience that connects with potential clients. Relevant content that delivers exactly what customers need combined with an optimized website is a recipe for online business growth.

4. Create relevant, value-driven content

Content—whether it’s a written blog post, a well-designed infographic, or an informative video—is the key to connecting with potential customers and building a trustworthy brand. 96 percent of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders, and 47 percent of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep, according to Hubspot. Content creation is an ongoing task in the inbound marketing process, but it has the potential to yield huge ROI in return.

The CMI recommends developing a content strategy that takes into consideration your brand message, your audience personas, and your business goals. Although blog posts are a pillar of any content strategy, consider branching into other types of content. Only 29 percent of users thoroughly consume blogs, compared to 55 percent of those who watch videos.

Relevant content is one of the best ways to deliver value to your customers, no matter which phase of the sales funnel they’re in. Take the time to uncover how your target customers consume information, then tailor relevant content directly to them.

5. Build your list and send lead-generating emails

Email marketing is considered by some to be the gold standard of online marketing. When you have a potential customer’s email address (with permission to use it, of course), you have direct access to their inbox. Building your list takes time, but it’s definitely a worthwhile investment. According to Econsultancy, two-thirds of marketers shared that email delivers an “excellent” or “good” ROI, and Hubspot reports that 86 percent of consumers would like to see emails at least monthly from companies they do business with.

Start growing your list by creating a free lead magnet to attract potential customers in exchange for their email address. Then, send personalized emails that are segmented based on your customers’ needs—segmented and targeted emails generate 58 percent of all revenue, according to Hubspot. End your emails with a call-to-action button—not an HTML link—to encourage engagement. Campaign Monitor achieved a 28 percent increase in click-throughs when they switched from an HTML link to a call-to-action button, so this strategy can help move your subscribers through your lead generation funnel.

Email marketing is more personal than other forms of content marketing since it places you directly in your leads’ inbox. This marketing strategy can allow you to deliver a valuable lead magnet and foster meaningful engagement with customers.

6. Engage on social media

Social media platforms provide the perfect place to engage with your customers and connect them with all that value-driven content you’ve worked so hard to create. Consumers want to engage with transparent brands that are accessible on social media. Hootsuite saw a 2.5-times increase in the volume of people tweeting to brands and service accounts over the last two years.

A strong social media strategy will obviously include a plan for sharing your own content, but you also need to monitor social platforms for mentions of your brand and respond with personalized messages. Not only will this increase customers’ trust in your brand, it will strengthen your lead generation and boost your SEO efforts. 66 percent of marketers reported seeing lead generation benefits from social media with as little as six hours per week, and of those, at least 61 percent also saw improvements in search engine rankings.

Social media isn’t going away. It’s worth taking time to engage and share value-driven content.

Ready to Watch Your Business Grow?

It takes hard work to grow your business online, but the payoff of introducing new customers to your value-driven brand is worth it. Now that you’re equipped with these expert strategies for online business growth, learn more about how you can leverage them to work together in Partnering Inbound Marketing and Growth-Driven Design to Drive Site Performance.

Ashley Brooks
Ashley Brooks
Ashley Brooks is a content marketer and editor on a mission to help businesses cultivate genuine relationships with their audience. She’s all about well-chosen words that forge connections and smart strategies that make business blogging easier. You can always find her with an iced mocha in hand and a book in her purse (just in case).