Internet Marketing Search Optimization Facebook Advertising Google AdWords Social Media
You have a great website, so what next? It’s time to bring in qualified traffic and start converting them into customers.
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is a set of techniques and strategies that when applied correctly will increase your website traffic. Unfortunately it is also very misunderstood by business owners and this has led to many companies exploiting the complexities, promising results that they cannot possibly guarantee and signing businesses up to fruitless service contracts.
“SEO Is Unpredictable”
Google controls the way people search online. They can (and do) regularly change the rules which means there are no guarantees but only recommended guidelines for enhancing your business’s search ranking. And these rules are never explicitly given by Google, they must be interpreted from clues given out by Google employees like Matt Cutts. There are two very good reasons Google keep changing their search algorithm. Firstly they must keep improving the results served up to keep on top of the competition. Secondly it weakens SEO experts “gaming” the system leaving their paid search service AdWords as the only way to guarantee being within the first page results.
“SEO Is Not A Silver Bullet”
SEO is often sold as the answer to a business’s poor performance online but in reality it is only part of an overall strategy involving many other factors. Marketing companies portray SEO as the answer so it can be offered for a higher fee but SEO only creates traffic. It is what happens to that traffic that is important, along with whether or not the traffic is relevant to your business. For a successful internet marketing strategy turning relevant traffic into customers is the crucial process. For this to occur a correctly conceived website with the right offer must meet the right traffic. The customer decision process online is a series of soft nudges towards an action, traffic creates the chance of a sale, but does not guarantee it.
“SEO Can Have Incredible Results For Small Business”
There are certain onsite SEO tricks and methods that can boost a small business massively in a short space of time. Because many website design companies don’t pay much attention to SEO the majority of small business websites lack basic SEO elements and are consequently invisible to their market. Many websites fail to specify basic details (regions/services etc.) that Google needs to rank your site in the relevant place.
Pay Per Click
AdWords is Google’s paid search placement service that allows you to bid on valuable keywords and have your business placed favourably in the returned search rankings. This form of marketing is often called “PPC.” The term “PPC” stands for “Pay Per Click” and means that you only pay once a person clicks on the advert taking them to your website.
The main benefit of AdWords is that it gives you almost complete control over how Google ranks your business. It gives small businesses the opportunity to move into markets and regions previously blocked by the larger companies with the bigger budgets. A recommended shortcut for a small business to massively increase its profits is a good AdWords campaign coupled with an excellent website designed to convert leads.
The advantages of pay per click:
Social Media Marketing
There’s an old marketing pillar that states that in order to connect with your customers you must first find out where they spend their time. Even though the majority of users browse social media for personal and emotive reasons there is also a large demographic that is strongly influenced by others via social media channels. Remember that the choice to engage in social media may not be yours to make as conversations regarding your business are likely to be taking place regardless, steering them is wise.
Although the approach is slightly different, traditional marketing strategies can work as well as new approaches designed for this new mass market medium. You will notice that successful social media companies have all devised a way of monetizing their service, because of this there is a distinct difference in approach between free marketing strategies and paid ones.
Facebook is currently king of the social media family, a massive user base means that the reach possible through Facebook is still second to none. Brand “tribes” have been created by the likes of Apple and other leading brands but for small business owners a free business page can also be used for customers to share and like pages. People are more likely to engage with businesses shared by trusted others. Facebook gives the business owner opportunities to keep customers up to date with the launch of new products and offers.
Facebook also has a paid marketing service where the business owner can advertise on potential customers feeds. These campaingns can be highly targeted by region and a range of demographics.
Instagram has come along way since being somewhere to display your family photos. As a visual channel it is ideal for showing off products and the quality of photography on show has rapidly increased in line with it’s marketing potential.
Following on Facebook’s coat tails Instagram now offers promoted posts and advertising opportunities that can spread your business presence to targetted audiences and allow you to display your advert on other pages. This allows you to market your business on the pages of highly popular users already catering to your target demographic.
Pinterest has been growing steadily and is now a powerful visual channel for displaying and spreading product information. With a high majority of its users female Pinterest is an ideal marketing channel for fashion, homewares and other female dominated markets. Users can pin things they like from other users creating a complex web of items often organised in virtual “mood boards” in the users dashboard.
Again, much like the other social media platforms discussed before Pinterest is monetized through a paid promotion service. This allows users to promote posts to other users not yet subscribed to their channels. With over 70 million users Pinterest can be an incredible marketing opportunity for businesses that have highly visual products.
The value of Twitter as a marketing medium is much debated. Whether it is worth you using it for your business depends on who you wish to target. Twitter tends to be popular with professionals and celebrities, and is often used to discuss real time news and events.
Larger companies can use Twitter to create brand hype, communicate with customers and announce new products and offers. Again Twitter has a promoted post facility allowing widespread dissemination of tweets to targetted demographics. Twitter should be considered for certain products and services which require “getting the message out there” to prospective customers you know are listening.