Online marketing starts with assets.
An asset, simply defined, is a valuable thing. When it comes to your website, your assets are the key pages that answer a question or address a need that your target client or customer has. Nearly all online marketing tactics are designed to send people to a web page. But if there is nothing valuable on that web page there is no point sending people to it. In other words, make those web pages—your website assets—as valuable as possible.
Website assets are online marketing fuel. The more valuable your website assets, the more effective your online marketing can be.
So, focus on your assets.
Full disclosure: as a web developer a large part of what I do is help my clients develop their website assets.
Know Your Assets
Understanding your website assets will point the way for your marketing strategy. Start by identifying your key website assets. Again, these are the key pages that answer a question or address a need that your target client or customer has. For example, here is an example of a fictional business with its ideal client profile and key website assets.
A Small-Business Law Firm
Entrepreneurs who are starting a small business or in the early stages of starting a small business and need legal help or general business advice.
They may get a referral through the local community of entrepreneurs or find the firm’s website when searching the internet for information about starting a business.
Key Website Assets
- The home page, with general information about the firm, the clients it serves, and its approach to client service.
- Profile pages for the members of the firm.
- A “How to Start a Business in [Your State]” page, including sub-pages with business plan templates, information about entity types, a small business loan calculator, pitch deck examples, etc.
As you can see, those website assets are the pages that potential clients want to visit, which presents an opportunity for the firm to convert those visitors to clients.
When you start thinking about your website in terms of assets, you will probably identify opportunities to reorganize and consolidate your pages, as well as some missing pages you need to create. That’s great, and you should put that work on your to-do list! But you can start with the pages you already have.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about each of your website assets.
Evaluating Your Website Assets
- How do people find this page?
- What do visitors find valuable about this page? (And what could you do to increase that value?)
- How closely do those visitors match your ideal client profile?
- Do people who visit the page take the next step toward becoming a customer or client? (And what could you do to increase this conversion rate?)
- Assuming your response to #4 is yes, how can you get more people to visit this page?
Considering these questions will help you make the most of your assets and your marketing budget, either on your own or in collaboration with a marketing agency.
Home page and profile pages. Since they function similarly, by attracting people who are specifically looking for the name of the firm or its members, it makes sense to consider the home page and profile pages together.
- Visitors mostly find these pages by searching for the name of the firm or its members after getting a word-of-mouth referral.
- Either they want to contact the firm or an attorney, or they want to validate the referral before hiring the firm. If this firm is typical, these pages could probably be improved by making them feel more like an introduction than just a dry bio.
- Since most visitors are “warm” leads with a personal referral, they are probably close to the ideal client profile.
- Let’s assume the pages have calls-to-action so that visitors are able to take the next step toward hiring the firm. Of course, the pages can probably be improved for better conversion.
- So it’s definitely worth getting more well-targeted visitors to those pages, and the best way to do it is probably networking in order to generate more word-of-mouth referrals, and potentially earning media appearances on podcasts, local news, etc.
How-to-start-a-business pages. The firm’s how-to-start-a-business pages are a different kind of asset, in part because there is probably a lot of competition for the organic search traffic. The value is high, but it’s going to take some effort to get people to those pages.
- Visitors probably find these pages by searching for terms similar to the names of those pages, like “how to start a business” or “small business loan calculator”.
- They find the pages valuable because they value the information, resources, and tools on them. Of course, these can always be improved to deliver better value.
- Since people starting a small business are the firm’s target clients, they definitely fit the ideal client profile.
- Assuming the pages have a clear call to action visitors are probably taking the next step toward becoming a client. Since visitors to these pages are more likely to be “cold” leads, they should have calls to action designed to capture and nurture those leads.
- Getting more (well-targeted) visitors to these pages should definitely result in more clients. And there are lots of opportunities like search engine optimization, inbound marketing campaigns, paid advertising, and more.
Develop a Strategy
Based on your responses to those questions, you should have uncovered some opportunities to get better results from your website assets. For the example business, there are at least two likely courses of action:
- Increase word-of-mouth marketing through networking and media outreach to podcasts, local news, etc. A PR agency could help with this.
- Use SEO tactics and paid advertising to increase traffic to the how-to-start-a-business pages. An online marketing agency could help with this.
And of course, regularly revisit your websites assets to see if you can increase their value. Search engines try to deliver the best results for a search query. So the first step in making sure your asset is the top result is to make sure it is the most valuable result.
Just like anything else, if you start with garbage pages, you’ll get garbage results. (Garbage in, garbage out.) But if you focus on and develop your assets, you or your marketing agency can focus on ensuring those assets reach as many people as possible—resulting in more clients or customers for your business.
Once you’ve covered your assets, here are some resources to help you take your online marketing to the next level.
- Yoast’s SEO Academy free SEO basics course.
- Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO and other materials.
- HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Certification course.
- For lawyers (if my example resonated with you), check out Lawyerist’s legal marketing overview.
And if you need help developing the assets on your website, let’s talk. I’d love to help!