Do you ever think about what it would take to beat your competition?
When you start a business you want to win. You know that your competition wants you beat. In 1995 it was enough to have a website. In 2005 it was enough to have a well-optimized website with your keywords in the right places. Today, you have to hustle.
Step 1 – Realize what’s happening.
Most businesses are clueless. I repeat, clueless. Here is a quick test.
Answer the following questions:
- How many visitors does your site get in a month?
- Do you know your bounce rate? Do you even know what bounce rate means?
- How many more visitors are you getting this month compared to last month?
- What are the most important keywords for you? How do you rank for those keywords?
- Where does your traffic come from?
You can’t improve your online situation without understanding what’s happening now.
During this step, you get a baseline understanding of what’s going on with your web presence.
There are some great tools you can use to get an idea of what’s going on with your website:
Alexa – Alexa Traffic Rank is not everything, but it gives you a quick snapshot of your site’s popularity. Like in golf, the lower your score the better. Google has an Alexa Traffic Rank of 1, Facebook has 2, and Twitter 9. If your Alexa Traffic Rank is in the millions, your website doesn’t exist to the world. If you can get your Alexa Traffic Rank under 100,000 you are doing better than most websites in the world. You can install the Alexa extension in your Chrome or Firefox browser for free.
Google Analytics (GA) – In simple terms, GA gives you a snapshot of your website traffic. Your GA numbers will tell you how many visitors come to your site: where they come from, how much time they spend there, your bounce rate, and much more.
Step 2 – Identify your target keywords.
If someone wakes you up at 2 AM, you should be able to rattle off your most important keywords. If you are a web designer, your keywords are not web designer. Unless you have a million dollars a month marketing budget. You have to target more specific keywords. Where are your clients located? Are you a web designer in San Diego or Los Angeles? Are you specializing in Biotech websites or responsive websites?
Your keywords describe:
- What you do.
- Who are your customers?
- What is your specialty?
- Where do you do business?
There are many great keyword tools are available. The Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a free tool.
It is also important to remember to think about your keywords in human terms. Don’t think of your keywords in terms of putting words next to one another. Instead, think of how those keywords are used in our everyday language. Using the web designer example, think of your keyword how someone would talk about their website needs such as “I need a new design for my website“.
Step 3 – Create content around your target keywords.
Your content is what really sets you apart from your competition. Most businesses ignore content marketing, so if you make an effort you will be ahead of most. Content can take many forms. It is much more than a text post.
You can create:
- case studies
- white papers
- and whatever you can think of.
The key here is quality and creativity. Stay away from vanilla content. Remember the websites you have visited with great content. Think about how you can create excellent content for your own business.
Step 4 – Promote your content.
Content without promotion is a waste of time and money. Make your content easy to share on social media channels.
There are many great plugins like Share Buttons by AddToAny that make sharing easy.
If you have a podcast list it on iTunes and Stitcher.
If you make presentations, list them on Slideshare.
Send email updates to your list every time you create something new.
Promotion to content creation is like sales to products. One can’t succeed without the other.
Step 5 – Rinse and repeat.
Keep at it. It takes a long-term commitment to differential yourself from your online competition.
Those that succeed have tremendous staying power.
Most will lose interest before they succeed. It is easy to get excited, but it’s difficult to stick with it.