With over millions of websites vying for page views and no uniform law that regulates the entire virtual space, it’s a jungle out there on the Internet.
If you want your online business to survive this cutthroat environment, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll learn everything you’ll need to know about how to avoid getting lost in the shuffle, and maybe even pick up a thing or two about getting ahead of the competition.
Commonly referred to SEO, this process is all about making your business’ website rank higher in search engine results page for certain keywords.
Why do you want this to happen?
When people want to find out about something, they go online and type whatever it is they’re searching for on Google, or maybe Yahoo, Bing, and a host of other search engines. Most of the time, they usually just click on the first link. Rarely do they ever even go past the third page of results.
SEO helps you get to the top with a couple of methods called on-page, off-page, and site-wide optimization.
On-page optimization deals with the code on each page of your website. You should be cleaning up your title, description, keywords, and heading tags to be concise so they look better to search engines. You also want to be mindful of your content’s word count and the number of keywords it has so that it isn’t a chore to read while still maintaining quality.
Off-page optimization deals with everything you need to do outside your website for it to rank higher. Get your website registered in every big search engine’s local listings and in relevant directories. Start reaching out to other websites in the same industry as yours to get them to link back to you. Quality inbound links are one of the major factors in getting you to rank high.
Site-wide optimization deals with the overall code for your website as well as the research you’ll need to be constantly doing to keep your website ranking high. Create HTML and XML sitemaps to submit to search engines so they can crawl and index each page of your website easier. Come up with a keyword and linking strategy so you know which keywords work and which websites bring you good traffic, etc. Use analytics tools to track your website’s performance so you know which methods work and which don’t.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you probably know about Facebook, Twitter, and their ilk. With millions of people making social media important parts of their lives, it can be a very powerful marketing tool to quickly reach a whole lot of potential customers instantly.
However, you can’t just create social media accounts for your company and expect to rake in the cash right after.
First of all, you’ll need to set clear and definite goals that line up with your company’s objectives. A few that connects well with just about any business are achieving trust in customers through helpful and fun engagement, and looking for leads based on those built relationships. You just have to make sure you send a consistent message from Facebook to Twitter to everything else.
Being able to listen and understand the concerns of your audience as well as what your competitors are doing results in offering a better product or service. You want to watch out for every mention of your brand, as well as the relevant niches in your industry, across as many social media channels as possible so you can swoop right in and provide answers to problems.
Knowing just how well the platforms you’re utilizing is critical, so you’ll need metrics in the form of different tools to leverage. You’ve got a variety of software both downloadable and web-based to choose from, so pick the ones that will tell you if you’re reaching the goals you’ve set earlier. Raw data might be misleading, so get an analyst to make sure you’re reading it right.
This form of marketing relies on delivering the best kind of content in a consistent and captivating way. It might sound extremely broad, but here’s how you narrow it down to do it successfully.
Naturally, it starts with creating awesome content that speaks to the audience you’re targeting. It’s important that it’s the audience that truly matters, so don’t go around simply peddling your products. You have to show that you know exactly what they’re lacking and that you’re there to fulfill their needs.
Presentation also matters, so the site should be attention-grabbing. This includes the domain name showing your company name to avoid any confusion.
Getting your visitors to actually make a purchase means having a call-to-action or CTA that points them to a well-designed product page.
It’s an old strategy dating back to the early days of online businesses, but the fact that companies still do it means it works. It’s one way of directly communicating with your audience which has been used as a basis for social media marketing.
From establishing goals to defining your target audience and listening to what they want, the fundamental ideas remain the same. You also have to keep in mind how you’re going to be approaching your overall email marketing strategy.
Are you using a more personal way of communicating with people or do you need to be more professional with your tone? Do you have a proper balance of persuasive and informative content leading to links with good landing pages? These are just some of the issues you need to address.
You can also make use of various tools to make email creation and sending through different lists of prospects and leads much less of a hassle.
Getting people interested enough to visit your website is one thing, but persuading those people to actually entertain and then commit to a sale is on a different level.
As mentioned earlier, it’s all about the CTA. It’s your way of directing your visitors to do exactly what you want them to do.
You’re going to have to include CTAs throughout your website, from above the fold in your homepage to the bottom of every blog post. As for what they say, they must be able to urge the readers through easy-to-follow commands explaining why they need to do what you’re saying.
Of course, these CTAs have to lead them to straightforward landing pages so they can act on your orders without getting confused as to what they have to do. Having a related picture and a bullet-point list of benefits would make it easier for people to digest the whole process easier.
Once you’ve accomplished getting a person to complete an action, such as making a purchase, you’ve made a conversion. Knowing how well you are at converting visitors is just a matter of simple math: Number of conversions divided by total number of visitors.
Conversion rate optimization is basically understanding why you’re conversion rate is how it is currently and taking the necessary steps to make it better.
Considering the amount of money you’ll be making by increasing the number of people doing as they’re told (whether it’s buying something, attending events, downloading a tool, or subscribing to a mailing list), you can start pouring in more resources to improving all your other marketing campaigns.
Tracking all your online marketing efforts requires software with a lot of flexibility through multiple features that covers every major factor. Google Analytics is one such software, and the good thing about is that it’s free.
Using analytics programs opens your eyes to whatever problems your website might have, as well as what you’re doing right so you know what to keep doing and what to change.
You’ll see everything from the number of people getting to your website from various social media platforms to your landing pages’ bounce rates. This would then lead you to focus your efforts on the channels where your strengths lie and to maybe reorganize your layouts for clearer landing pages.
Another good thing about such tools is that they also point out potential blind spots that your company is actually performing well on but you don’t realize right away. Consequently, you get more business opportunities through the various conversions, or for a more general term as coined by Avinash Kaushik, the “outcomes” your website is accomplishing.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with utilizing a paid search marketing campaign. You can turn prospects into actual leads hard and fast knowing each one is definitely looking to spend some money. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is one such way to go.
Whether you’re using Google AdWords or advertisements on Facebook, you just have to make sure they’re calibrated to the right settings and each campaign you’re running is organized in a structured manner.
Tracking results also applies to this area by analyzing changes in your keyword relevancy, knowing how well specific ads are doing based on time, and seeing your visitor’s click-through path that eventually leads to conversions.
Hopefully, this guide has illuminated to you the major marketing concepts by giving you an easy-to-digest primer to all the complexities involved in the wide wild world of online marketing.