Marketing expert John Jantsch, author of the popular blog Duct Tape Marketing, recently shared with Entrepreneur his insights on how to create a comprehensive and compelling web presence. In a webinar hosted by Laura Lorber, Entrepreneur.com's executive online editor, Jantsch voiced his thoughts on the seven stages of a web presence: search engine optimization, e-mail marketing, social media, online advertising, mobile and analytics.
Here are three of the key strategies he discussed.
1. Think about your content carefully.
Plan ahead and approach content creation in a purposeful way. Choose eight to 10 topics that you believe will most engage your readers and tailor your content to them. Then, create an editorial calendar with a list of upcoming topics, and be faithful to it.
Jantsch recommends using WordPress as a content management system; he says that not only is it intuitive and comes with an entire community of developers and designers constantly improving it, WordPress pages are also more SEO-friendly than static websites. Jantsch recommends using the following WordPress plugins to boost SEO appeal.
- Contextual Related Posts: This plugin automatically places five to six related stories below a post. This allows readers to easily access related content and makes your content easier to find by search engines.
- Sociable: This plugin allows you to seamlessly integrate social media into posts. It has buttons that display how much your content is being shared on social networks, including Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
- WordPress SEO: This plugin allows you to maximize SEO by reminding you to insert images and meta descriptions, and analyzing your headlines for length and keyword usage.
2. Become a smarter listener.
To stay relevant and interesting to your customers online, it's important to know what they want. Jantsch says it's essential to listen to your customers and to journalists, influencers, competitors, blogs and general industry chatter. Here are his tips on how to find them.
- Create Twitter lists to see what your customers are saying about your product or industry, and to monitor what your competitors are up to.
- Create Google Alerts for journalists who write frequently about your industry.
- Use Alltop to peruse the content of some of the most influential people blogging about your industry.
- Sign up for Quora to understand what questions are being asked by your customers and competitors. This will help keep you informed and might point to an unmet need in the market.
- Use Google Reader to manage your blog subscriptions.
Organizing the way you listen will make sure you know what's happening in your space -- and help you craft your own message.
3. Make your email marketing more valuable.
E-mail remains effective at reaching a large number of current and potential customers. It could be used in a myriad of ways, from informing your customers about a new product, to offering ongoing training and industry news. Every email should be valuable. Jantsch recommends the following strategies to get the most out of your e-mail marketing efforts.
- Use an E-mail Service Provider (ESP): If you're sending more than 10 emails, an ESP is essential. It allows you to be more creative with presentation and also allow for automatic responses and tracking. Jantsch recommends Aweber, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, Constant Contact and Vertical Response.
- Have a consistent communications tool: To be truly effective in e-mail marketing, you need to have something that you can send out regularly, such as a weekly newsletter.
- Build e-mail campaigns around events: Send out e-mails when you have something to offer, such as a new product, service or compelling content.