In today’s business world, it’s becoming more apparent that traditional marketing schemes have lost their touch and are being overtaken by newer and less costly online techniques. The need to research and stay up to date on the next phase of internet marketing is great, and this article will attempt to show you the basics of how to effectively begin preparing the groundwork for your company’s marketing scheme. From keywords, to social media, to closing leads you’ll learn some of the important things you need to know.
The first and most important component of internet marketing is the keyword. A keyword is simply a word (or words) that can be used to effectively locate, identify, and relate content. As a result, search engines are a large part of the framework that makes internet marking tick.
As the world of marketing changes, the so the importance of getting your business found online has increased. This is why it’s so important to build a strategy for keyword research. The way keywords work is people who search for them are most likely to be driven to content that ranks higher for the search that they’ve entered. So basically Business A, which shows up on page 1 of a search engine has a much better chance of being found than Business B on page 13.
The key however is the business of keywords can sometimes be a slightly tricky one. While some keywords may be easy to find and greatly searched, as a small business you might not be able to afford high rankings for established words dominated by bigger corporations. Because of this you must build a strategy that incorporates words that are more relevant to your business, and less competitive.
After you’ve chosen a group of 3-5 words that you’re ready to build a strategy around, the task is now to optimize your content so that consumers will be drawn to your business. The goal of optimization is to get as close the first result or first page of any search. This process is called search engine optimization. SEO is an ever evolving process, so there really isn’t one technique written in stone. Stay up to date with the latest information and trends on the subject to increase your performance.
Two important components of SEO are on-page SEO and off-page SEO. The first deals with content on your website that can be modified which better showcases itself to search engine platforms. Off-page SEO deals with reported information about your site which engines get from other websites. This isn’t as easy to improve, and carries a bit more importance than on-page SEO.
There are nine things that will greatly help improve your on-page SEO performance: page titles, Meta description and data, headings, cascading style sheets, images, domain info, MOZ rank, Google crawl date, and URL structure. Page titles need to contain relevant keywords, be precise and not drag out, and contain your brand name if you’re a small business. They are the first thing visitors may have with your company, so spend time perfecting each page title. Meta data, while not an integral part of SEO, is a very important description listed on search engines which give a summary of the site. Headings are similar to page titles, but carry more weight than regular text and should contain important keywords.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) deal with the back-end layout of your site, so it’s important to use them in order that HTML, which contains powerful keywords, won’t be watered down with more code. Images have a similar importance in that while they aren’t specifically searched by engines, the text associated with them and the file names is, and should be formatted accordingly.
Other things like your domain name (how long you’ve been registered as a website), MOZ rank (a metric of your online presence), Google crawl date (how often Google reviews your site), and the way your URL is put together will greatly affect your overall search engine optimization. However, on-page attributes only make up for 25% of SEO, while off-page inbound links make up the other 75%. Improve off-page SEO by simply creating captivating content that authoritative sites will want to link to.
Creating a blog to increase your online marketing presence is the next step in the process. The increased importance of the blogosphere has made it easier and more accessible for businesses to keep fresh content and presence available to customers. Using popular platforms like WordPress and Hubspot makes the process even easier as it eliminates the need for great knowledge of the back-end of a website.
Blogs work great as an extension of your company because newly refreshed content makes them a great target for search engines and overall internet traffic. However, the blog has to actually be good. Posts should be compelling and well written, with an adequate incorporation of multimedia to make it really shine. Also, link key information and landing points within your website, and offer a way to usher prospective leads into your closing process.
The content your blog focuses on can come from a wide array of options, but it’s vital that the overall goal is education and lead generation. Attract visitors to learn more about your industry and then draw them in by illustrating how your business meets those needs. As you do this, incorporate CTA’s, or call-to-actions, such as subscribing to your blog or downloading content. This should lead to more in-depth resources like e-books and webinars.
Social media is becoming one of the biggest avenues through which a company can reach prospective customers. Try to expand everywhere, but it’s most important to establish a presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Monitor your social media progression with marketing analysis tools like Google Alerts and Hubspot. After you’ve created pages on these websites, build up your followers and reel them into your company right where they are. Incorporating these pages along with your blog will lead you to the next step, which is transforming your visitors into viable leads.
The most important goal in the entire online marketing process is to generate customers from all of your efforts. So if your SEO optimization, blogging, and social media presence isn’t leading to sales, then you need to reevaluate. There are three steps to converting a visitor to a lead. First you must present a compelling offer that draws them in and collects key information. Next you must interact with them through shrewdly located CTA’s which lead to other content associated with your business. Lastly, corral the visitors through these links to a landing page, which is simply a place where leads can fill out a form and be cataloged. Keeping track of your progress and conversion data will inform you on how to modify your strategy. From then on it will be your job to nurture these leads with effective email marketing techniques.
Mobile platforms are ever increasing as a proven pathway to reaching customers, so if your business isn’t formatted to accommodate them, you’ll be missing out. Notebooks, tablets, and smartphones need to be taking advantage by utilizing key redirection methods and proper CSS customization. From there you’ll incorporate many of the same elements used in your blogs and website such as CTA’s and media adaptation.
Analyzing and refining your entire online marketing process will be a central part of improving your online media presence. Make sure you set identifiable goals that will measure how you’re progressing, while working out the kinks and evaluating yourself as you go. Keep an eye on important factors such as your traffic, leads, customers, keyword performance, repeat visitors, and channel effectiveness. By paying attention to all of these categories you will be well on your way to creating a viable online marketing existence for your business.
By Candy Lowe