In today's digital age, where the average amount of time spent on the Web is about 6.5 hours per day, it's essential for small and medium-sized businesses to have an online presence. Beyond an online presence, it's necessary to have a good marketing technique and, more specifically, a clear and well-defined web strategy. Although the vast majority of their target audience is online, many companies are reluctant to invest in the long term. While only 35% of companies claim to be well positioned in search engines, only 65% of SMEs take action to improve their natural referencing, which is free. A good web strategy can allow you to reach your target where it is, and today, it's mostly on the Web! In this article, you will see all the details that will allow you to establish a strategy to help you reach your goals.
What is a web strategy?
A web strategy is a short, medium and long term strategic plan that determines the actions to be taken in order to create, develop and optimize the online presence of a company through Web marketing channels. The objective of this strategy is to help you reach your target customers, but also other objectives that could help you grow. By having an online presence (website, blog, social networks, etc.) without clear and defined guidelines, you will lose opportunities that could be beneficial to you.
Why is it important for SMEs to establish a web strategy?
The web or marketing strategy can not only help you achieve your business objectives, but also measure the effectiveness of your actions in order to optimize them. As a small business, your main challenges are to reach your target by proving that your offer meets their needs and by differentiating yourself from your competitors. The best way to meet these challenges is to establish an effective marketing strategy, which will allow you to define your target and the positioning of your company on its market in order to adapt and present your offer in a way that is in line with your target's expectations. A good web strategy can help you reach almost any goal, seize opportunities that are currently ignored and face your competition. Some SMEs are reluctant to adopt this strategy because they believe it's an expensive process. However, there are many free tools you can take advantage of. It is possible to improve your SEO, drive traffic to your website and gain followers on social networks for free.
What are the web marketing channels?
Digital channels are mediums for transmitting information, which are conducive to developing a company's digital communication strategies. Here are 3 of the most used digital marketing channels:
1. Referencing (SEO and SEA)
Referencing is an online marketing technique that includes the different techniques used to ensure that a company's website appears in the best possible position in the search engine results. SEO (search engine optimization), or natural referencing, is a free technique that consists of using keywords adapted to your target in order for your company to appear first when your target performs a search related to your field. SEA (search engine advertising) is a type of paid referencing that places advertisements in the paid part of search engines to allow a company to be positioned in a visible way on the most searched terms. Referencing is one of the best marketing techniques you can use to give your business visibility.
2. Social networks
Nowadays, a person spends an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes a day on social media and messaging applications. It is therefore very important for your company to be present on these channels. However, it's important to choose the right platforms according to your business and your target. For example, LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram are not all aimed at the same age group and are not all used to share the same type of content. You need to establish a communication strategy before you start using social networks in order to determine your target, your skills, the type of content you want to post, etc.
3. Email marketing
More than just sending out newsletters, email marketing is the systematic and structured use of emails to initiate, maintain and consolidate a relationship between a company and its customers. This marketing strategy is often very effective, in part because it is a personal communication medium. By writing a message in a friendly tone, adopting the customer's point of view, needs and priorities, you will more easily establish a bond of trust with your target. A study conducted in the United States shows that email is the preferred medium for 72.2% of Americans to receive information from companies. Other studies have also shown that the return on investment of email marketing is about 122%, four times higher than social media.
The steps of a web strategy:
Define a business strategy
Your web strategy must be complementary to your business strategy. To define your business strategy, you must:
1. Define objectives
- Establish short, medium and long-term goals (reducing your acquisition costs or increasing your revenue, your number of recurring customers or the lifetime value of your customers) to determine which marketing channels are most relevant to you, and how you will use them.
2. Identify competitors
- Take the time to evaluate your competitors to see where you stand in relation to them.
- Search for your competitors on the Web and social networks.
- Evaluate aspects of their web strategy to avoid making the same mistakes as them.
- Understand your competitors' positioning in order to stand out.
3. Define the target audience
- Clearly establish your target audience as well as its challenges and needs in order to adapt your web strategy and your entire online presence to this target.
- Create personas - fictional characters designed to represent the online behaviors of a group of users - to better understand the needs of your target audience and create a more personal relationship with them.
Establish an optimized online presence
1. Think about the content in terms of search engines
- Use the natural referencing technique (SEO) to create your content based on keywords that will better position your business in search results.
2. Tailor the content to the target audience
- Think about your target audience when writing your content in order to attract the attention of potential customers and get them to buy your product or service.
3. Be accessible anywhere and at anytime
- Adapt your website so that it's easily accessible on a cell phone or tablet.
- Create accounts for your business on social networks and post frequently to build a relationship with your community.
- Create a blog on your website to publish new content when you no longer need to add new pages to your site.
4. Choose the right channels
- Track your content across channels: content that doesn't generate engagement on one channel may perform differently on another. This will save you time and improve the visibility of your content.
Generate traffic and convert qualified leads
1. Leverage web marketing channels
- Use natural (SEO) and paid (SEA) referencing techniques, social media and email marketing to increase traffic to your website and build a relationship with your target audience.
2. Distribute the content
- Decline your content in as many forms as possible (blog, social networks, newsletter, Youtube channel, etc.) and distribute it effectively on the relevant platforms.
Analyze the results and adapt the strategy
1. Use analytical tools
- Use tools like Google Analytics or Google Data Studio to calculate the evolution of traffic on your website, the pages consulted, the conversions generated, etc. You can then adapt your content or vary the platforms to better reach your target.
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