12 Absolute Digital “Must-Haves” For Doing Business Online
It’s no surprise that most businesses these days are finding massive success online. More independent brands, services, and products are entering the market every day. How do these brands find success online? Isn’t digital marketing super complicated and expensive?
In this article, I’m going to break down the foundations that you need to have in place to get the best results from your digital marketing campaigns. Most of these won’t cost you very much outside of maybe a subscription for a tool.
Let’s get started.
Your Website / Landing Page Experience
One of the most important aspects of online marketing is the website or landing page. This is where people are going to decide to take the next step or leave. Sure, you might have an email, ad, or social post that’s the actual first engagement. What I mean here is, that when someone lands on your website it’s the first true sign of intent. These people are more likely to become your customers. Each step towards the sale shows greater intent. This is where A+ copywriting and a great experience come into play.
A slow, clunky, or shallow landing page experience is going to lead to a “bounce”. A bounce is when a user comes to your site and takes little to no action. This can happen if the users can’t find the information they are looking for quickly enough. These quick tips will keep you focused on what’s important when it comes to your landing pages.
1. Cut Down Large Images
Reducing the sizes of your images can drastically improve your page load speed. This translates to a much better experience for your users which improves your results. You can find tools online called image compressors that make this super easy. The one I like to use is Optimizilla
2. Check Your Website on Mobile (Device Friendly)
This is something that is often overlooked. You want to view your website/landing pages on a mobile phone & desktop computer at the very least. The experience of the website can and will be dramatically different. What looks good on a desktop may not look good on a mobile device and vice versa. You will want to make sure you check this on as many devices as possible but sticking with Mobile and Desktop will get you the 80/20 you really need.
3. Clear Call To Action
Having a clear call to action may sound simple in itself but the execution of it is often overlooked. One big way to improve this is to look at your buttons. Make sure your images aren’t covering anything and have space between things so it’s easy to navigate. Make sure that the text is clear, concise, and directs users towards the steps you want them to complete.
4. Focus on 1 or 2 Step Actions
Remove distractions. When someone lands on your website you want to make sure you eliminate as many buttons as possible. The fewer options someone has the more likely they are to complete. If you are looking to book in sales calls make sure the focus of the page is to book in a sales call. You shouldn’t have any other options for someone if that’s your only goal. Focus on eliminating any potential pitfalls that may cause someone to “get lost” and not get to the finish line.
Email / SMS / Social
The communications side of your business. This is how you ”talk” to your audience. Communicating to your customer base when you have a new product, service, or offer is a great way to get easy sales. The larger your list the more you can get out of it in most cases. Leverage these channels and focus on growing them at all times.
Most businesses aren’t sending enough messages to their lists. The main excuse for this is they don’t want to annoy their customers so they don’t send enough messages. Segmenting out your list is going to help you know what messages to send to which people. This can also help you identify areas for cross-selling products to people who have product A but not product B.
5. Do you have an Email and/or SMS Opt-in?
Yes, this happens. That new landing page you built, that new product that you launched doesn’t have an opt-in. Make sure your forms are working so you can always be growing your list. Make sure all entry points have some type of email or SMS opt-in. This way you can continue to market to them even after they’ve left your site, all on autopilot.
6. Welcome Email / SMS Series
So now that you’ve got that email / SMS list actually growing are you doing anything with it? Growing your list is extremely important but now we need to make sure we’re using these leads. If you have emails coming in you want to make sure they don’t just become contacts. You want to have these leads receive some communications on the next steps you want them to take. These sequences can be short and simple. Even a single email going out with a limited-time use coupon is a great start to getting some traction.
7. Social Media Schedule / Content Calendar (Birthday / Holiday / Sales)
Get your hands on a super basic marketing calendar for your business and make life much easier. The main thing you want to do here is to plan what you can without going overboard. Automated birthday coupons or emails are a great way to reengage people. Having an idea of what sales you want to do in the month will help you better prepare. Have trouble finding ideas? Join a bunch of email lists from your competitors and see what they are sending out. No sense in reinventing the wheel. If you need ideas to move this forward. Every day is some type of holiday so with a bit of creativity you can make up sales and content in your niche that can be cohesive.
8. Automated Workflows / Sequences
Automated workflows and sequences sound can sound really complicated. The main point of these is to make life easier for us. Remember the more flows, sequences, and automation we can create the easier this all gets. Once you kick off some of the sequences you build on top of them or improve upon the content that’s already in place. Great ideas for flows are cross-selling, abandoned carts, and re-engagement emails. Simple flows can make a big difference in your business. Don’t get lost in the weeds trying to create the most complicated flows. Simple is always best especially starting out. You can always build on top of and add on to these flows in the future once you’re getting results.
Paid Advertising Channels
Paid traffic can be a massive boost to a business with a proven offer or product. Paid traffic has two main use cases. First, you can use paid advertising to amplify your existing marketing campaigns. Secondly, you can use it for cold traffic to drive in new leads and sales to your business. This source is great for generating traffic and clicks to our business. If you have something that works well-paid ads can help you generate a ton more business. The downside of paid traffic is you must keep paying to continue to receive it. Also, keep in mind that sales aren’t guaranteed so it’s easy to waste a ton of money here if you aren’t careful or know what you’re doing.
There are a ton of paid traffic channels out there such as Google, Facebook, and TikTok. If you have a solid plan of action and know your numbers paid traffic is a powerful tool. Here are my tips on how to get started and get more from your paid traffic campaigns.
9. Understanding What Your Numbers (Ad Metrics) mean (CPA / CPL / CAC)
Knowing your numbers is the most important part of paid ads. If you know your numbers you can scale to the moon, generate free business, or even in some cases get paid to generate new business.
If you can generate leads for $5 per lead and based on knowing that out of every 10 leads you can close 2 deals worth $500. You can pay $50 in ad spend for $1000 in sales. Now, this is leaving out a ton of other factors. Having the basic premise you can see how much you can afford to spend on ads if your numbers hold.
You can do the same thing with front-end products. Say you sell a $47 product and it costs you $20 to generate the sale. You pay $20 for $47 + Contact. Many businesses will have a loss leader where they lose money to acquire customers and make it back on the backend. If you sold the $47 product but it costs $50 per sale you are paying $3 per lead factoring in the liquidation. If you know your numbers can make profits hand over fist in paid.
10. Have Multiple Capture Points and Conversions
When Driving paid traffic to your business you will want to make sure you’ve got a way to capture that traffic for future marketing efforts. A capture point is a form, opt-in, or field that allows a potential customer to put in their information. You can offer a discount code, free product/service, or information as a part of this as well.
Let’s say you are paying to drive traffic from Facebook to a landing page that doesn’t have any capture on it. The page itself is for a product and the users can either add it to the cart for purchase or leave. In this example, you will have either sales or no sales and that’s it. Hopefully, you make enough to cover the product cost, ads, and your time.
Now let’s take the same example and say that you have a popup on-site. This popup only shows when someone goes to leave the site. They get offered a limited-time discount code to save 10% if they put in their email before they leave. They do it and leave.
You can now have automated emails going out to that person reminding them that the coupon they just got expires in the next 24 hours. This will squeeze them for the sale and convert more of those leads into buyers. This is a great way to build a list of new buyers. You will also see a percentage of them repeat buy in the future.
11. Dedicated Landing Pages for Specific Products and Services
Having dedicated pages for products and services sounds like something everyone should know. Many companies drive traffic to their home page instead of to the specific products or services their ads are talking about. The problem is the people clicking through and coming to your site they won’t find what they are looking for. Raise your conversion rates by making specific pages for your products and services. The more specific each page can be to a particular product or service the better it will do.
12. Create Ads Natively
Creating ads natively is just a fancy way of saying to create ads within each platform. The main reason you want to do this is so you can see the nuance between each and even within the placements. These small details can make or break your ads. There are a ton of auto-posting tools that you can use to push content from one place to another. Usually, these are terrible as they don’t account for the small details on each platform and can look slightly off. If the ads themselves look off or out of place they won’t work.
BONUS: Final Thoughts
The world of digital marketing is pretty huge and there are so many ways to grow a business online. Here are a few more tips that can help any business in pretty much any capacity
Measurement & Data
Measure what matters. Measure the things you want to see improve and get serious about your numbers. This is probably by far the most often overlooked side of marketing. There are more numbers in marketing than one might think. Paid ads, lead generation, conversion rates, opt-in page rates, open rates, etc, it’s all math. Get comfortable with excel, numbers, and your calculator so you can be quick to identify where your marketing is weak and needs help. If you follow the data you will find the answer every time.
Split testing is the best way to get better results in your campaigns. The thing about split testing is you will need to already have a consistent result before you use this. There are 3 main problems when it comes to split testing that we see. The first is people who are not split testing at all. Not split testing at all eliminates the opportunity to generate better results than what you are currently getting. Secondly, Split testing without proper measurement might get you a better result but you will have no idea what truly made the difference. The third are people that infinitely split test. They get results one week and none the next. They have no idea what works, what doesn’t, and where their business even comes from.
The best way to split test something is to take a single working asset. Let’s say a landing page that’s driving leads for us via a free PDF that captures the lead’s information. We’re getting leads for $5 each and we’re not split testing the ads or landing page yet. A bad example here would be to split-test new ad ideas and a new change to the landing page. The reason behind this is that with so many changes going on we won’t have any idea what specifically impacted our results. You want to choose a single variable like the headline on the landing page, and split test that alone over a period of time to measure the impacts of that change. If possible it can become the new control and you can try another split test to see if you can improve.
Try New Things
Try apps, tools, people (targeting/audiences), channels, creatives, and anything else you can think of. This is what’s going to help you get results. Early on, trying new things can open up new opportunities. Be open to trying new things or dedicating up to 10% of your marketing budget per month to trying out new things. Keep in mind that the “New Things” aspect of your focus shouldn’t be more than 10% once you’ve got something working. Don’t end up going overboard and/or falling prey to shiny object syndrome.
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