You may have heard the phrase ‘grow your website’ but what does it actually mean? If you have been in business for a while then you are most likely to be very familiar with the need to ‘grow your business’. The problem you face though is that you don’t know how to get started, you feel overwhelmed, suffering from analysis paralysis which makes you feel ‘stuck’.
If you feel like that, then I can relate. I was stuck too. So, where did I even begin to start? I recommend that the place to get started is to be ‘helpful’. Share what you know. Don’t make the assumption that people know what you do, what your processes are or what your expectations are. You have to tell them, educate them and help them move forward.
With this in mind, growing your website runs in parallel alongside growing your business and your own self. By using your website as the vehicle to be your ‘hub’, your website becomes a fountain of helpful knowledge and you gain credibility in your field of expertise.
This is the approach I use when working with my clients. I help them to draw out their knowledge and expertise and present it in a way which is super helpful, knowledgeable but definitely not in a show-off kind of way.
What Does it Mean to ‘Grow Your Website’?
Let’s look at how I would start the growing journey by using your website to be the platform to be the ‘hub’ I referred to earlier. This is by no means an exhaustive list but these are the focus points I work together with clients and over time and consistency will give growth in 3 ways: your website, your business and yourself. I will cover: –
- Create and publish content consistently
- Create lead magnets and developing sales funnels
- Keep your message on track
- Continued development of services and products
- Automate processes in your business to create nurture and consistency
- Increase traffic to, and conversions on, your website
There’s No Overnight Success Strategy
Of course, what is important to say at this stage is that this growth phase is a long-term view. There will be benefits that will come but only over time with consistent effort and implementation.
There is no quick-fix, no overnight success, so if you’re looking for instant gratification, then this approach is not for you.
Create and Publish Content Consistently
Creating the right content and being consistent with it is fundamental to your website growth. The content you create needs to be able to answer the questions that prospective clients have and are looking for answers to. If you are creating the kind of content that addresses and answers the right questions for your ideal audience, then you can actively help to inform them through their buying process. The truth is that no-one wants to be sold to. What people want is the right information to make informed choices.
People you educate through your content may become your clients in time but there will be others who won’t. That’s a good thing as not all potential clients are the right clients.
Publishing the right type of content will mean that by the time a potential client gets in touch they are likely to be very certain of their buying decision. According to Google’s ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ by the time someone makes contact with you as a business, 70% of their buying decision has been made.
In fact, if you’re in the car industry, Google recently published their research findings that indicate that 92% of car buyers research online before they buy. That’s serious proof of the power of research on the internet.
What are the Benefits of Content Creation?
There are many benefits to content creation but here’s my top 3:
1. Creating the right content is a valuable way to educate your audience. It will educate others in the process too but let’s concentrate on those who you are specifically looking to help. So you need to understand that content creation is about educating others to help them make the right buying decision for them.
The benefit to you is by educating others you increase your own knowledge which adds to your own credibility and expertise.
2. It builds trust and credibility for your business. Publishing content which is transparent and openly engaging and answers questions your target audience are looking for directly “elevates you as a trusted source in your field”, writes Marcus Sheridan in his book ‘You Ask They Answer’. Marcus’s Content Success Formula and The Big 5 approach to content marketing are proven methods that get results and generate leads through buyer research.
3. It means you don’t have to answer the same questions over and over. By creating content that addresses frequently asked questions, content can then be repurposed and used throughout your business to nurture and educate your clients.
Create Lead Magnets and Sales Funnels
Let’s talk about selling what we do. Ultimately that’s why we are all in business. But a lead magnet or sales funnel does not have to be salesy. Of course, we ultimately want the sale and we want to work with new clients but we don’t have to sell our soul to do so.
Sales funnels and lead magnets are the opposite of what they infer when they are approached with a human touch. Here’s a quick definition of what they are: –
Simply put, a lead magnet is a way of giving valuable and helpful information in exchange for an email address. A lead magnet, such as a downloadable PDF, contains helpful information that potential customers can download from you and in return they join your mailing list. (With all permissions and the GDPR box ticked of course).
This is a salesy way of describing the customer journey where someone travels from the initial stage of being aware of you to becoming a loyal client and a raving fan. There are different stages someone would go through as part of the ‘funnel’ but not everyone gets to the state of loyal raving no.1 fan. On that journey though, they will pass through a series of information sequences which educates and helps them reach the outcomes they truly are looking to gain. The outcomes they desire is where you come in to act as their guide.
Is Your Messaging Right?
When you embark on the journey of content, creating lead magnets and sales funnels, then you also educate yourself. Your own expertise grows and your aims and ambitions change over time.
As these changes evolve then so will your messaging, who you are, who you serve and what you stand for.
A website that was created 12 months ago, should not stand still as you are developing and changing, so making sure that your messaging is reviewed, up to date and relevant is crucial. The types of clients that you want to attract will most probably have changed too, so your messaging needs to support that change and grow with you.
Remember that ‘working on your website’ is never finished (I hear you groan…). If you think your website is finished once it’s been launched then this article’s purpose is to teach you to think again.
Developing New Products and Services
As your business changes so will your services or products. Your website will need to reflect these changes often with further web development and inclusion of moving parts and functionality. This progression is a slow process, new products and services are not developed overnight. So working on growing your website will help roll out these changes as part of that evolution in manageable phases.
Of course, you will have ongoing ideas for your products and services and how they progress but require the technical delivery so working in partnership with your web developer or designer will help you move forward with these challenges. A good web designer will be a good business sounding board too. What You Need to Know to Choose The Right Web Designer
Automation of Processes and Services
Used in the right way automation is an incredible thing. There are so many options available digitally for us to use to help with repetitive tasks and processes. Automation can help us to be consistent in our delivery too. It means our clients get the same great experience each time they go through a certain process. This does not mean that processes overtake human connection, quite the opposite, but it allows the experience to be consistent in what we give.
We can use automation throughout our sales funnel in a nurturing and educational way. It means that we can deliver consistency within the funnel but then we also add the human touch too by having conversations and more focused contact. Automation can help us educate whilst not having to have one to one delivery each and every single time as that would stunt the growth of our business and we would not be able to serve more clients.
Planning ahead for processes is key. If you are consistently producing content over time and you get busier with clients you need to think ahead about how you are going to be able to manage and support the new business you take on board. If you don’t have great processes in place, then you could fall at the first hurdle.
Resource: Yva Yorston from Content Boost talks about planning ahead with processes and how you can manage your content production in her podcast interview with Chris Marr from The Content Marketing Academy ‘Attracting better quality customers with educational content marketing.’ Listen Here
Resource: If you really want to get your head around using automation and how the buyer’s brain works then I recommend you read Automation Ninja’s Head Ninja Kenda Macdonald’s recently published and highly recommended book ‘Hack the Buyer Brain’
Increase Traffic to Your Website and Increase Conversions
Whoa! This is a huge topic to cover and I am only going to scratch the surface a little in the context of growing your website through the points I have covered above. By implementing a content strategy, implementing ways to attract potential clients to you, being engaged with them, helping them and educating them will, over time, inevitably increase your traffic and conversions.
Resource: Relentlessly Helpful Technical Copywriter, John Espirian talks to Chris Marr in the podcast episode ‘Using content marketing to become known for one thing’ and talks about how when he started he was lucky to get 2,000 visitors to his website each year before focusing on content marketing. In the last few years, with exactly the same consistency of content production, he has seen his website traffic double year on year to over 100,000 visits per year currently. Listen Here
By sharing helpful content you’ve written, in a non-spammy way, because you are ‘helpful’ rather than ‘selling’ to people will naturally drive people to want to engage with you and your content. Having helpful conversations whilst networking or through social media will encourage people to keep you in mind to look for helpful content from you should they find themselves with the problem that you can solve for them.
Of course, writing and publishing content with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) practices in place will help visibility and people being able to find the questions that you have answered.
Grow Your Website – A Summary
This article set out to answer the question ‘What Does it Mean to ‘Grow Your Website?’ With a focus on content marketing, you can clearly see the alignment to not only the growth of your business but the growth of you personally as you evolve and change with time, so it makes sense that your website has to grow with you.
Your website is never a ‘set and forget’. It’s ever evolving. It should be the hub of your content with your ideal audience at the core, delivering transparent helpful content that engages and converts.
The good news is that you don’t have to do this alone, nor should you. Working in partnership with the right people behind you will help you move forward. If you want to find out more about content marketing and you are on the same wavelength as me, then I recommend you dip into the resources at The Content Marketing Academy.
If you want to become ‘unstuck’ and help your website grow then we can work together. It’s hard to do this all by yourself but by Growing Your Website and having a plan gives you the impetus to move forward. Working together I can help you get what’s in your head, out of your head and get the best out of you and your website. Want to find out more? Let’s have a conversation.