Online marketing can be a tricky subject at the best of times. To improve your online marketing results for your bricks and mortar business evaluate your efforts against the best online marketing practices that follow.
When used correctly the web can be a very powerful method to market your products and services. How many of the following 10 methods are you using?
1. Optimize Your Content
There’s a saying in online marketing that ‘Content is King’ so you need to make sure that your content is not only useful but also fully optimized. This means including key phrases in the titles and articles to encourage the search engines to rank the site higher for those terms. Use the Google Keywords Tool to discover the industry-relevant search terms that generate the most traffic.
2. PPC Advertising
Organic SEO tactics do take a while before you’ll see any increase in your site’s rankings. If you want fast results use PPC (pay-per-click) advertising to market your business online. Your ad(s) will appear for your chosen keywords within minutes of activating your campaign. Google’s Adwords program is a great place to start.
3. Build an Email Subscriber List and Send out Newsletters
Sending out your own email newsletters is one of the fastest and easiest ways to build a relationship with your clients and prospects. Keep your subscribers updated with tips, business news, your latest offers, new products and services, invitations, etc. Done right email marketing could be a golden goose for your business.
4. Add a Blog to Your Website
One of the key issues that many business owners face is keeping their website updated with fresh content to ensure it stays relevant. Writing and posting regular articles to your blog provides the opportunity to write informative and interesting information about your business and or industry without messing with the main content, ensuring the website stays relevant and useful.
5. Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Google may have already created a ‘Google My Business’ listing for your business. It’s up to you to confirm your business is listed and claim the listing. Google My Business pages are listed in the map results when you do a local search. Have you claimed and optimized your free listing? By claiming your page you ensure that you have full control of how your business presents itself. You do so by adding photos, videos, listing business hours and contact info as well as relevant content. Think of it as a second online property that helps promote your business.
6. Social Media
Social media is an excellent tool for marketing online. The many services available provide an instant and direct link with your clients and prospects. Make sure you have active accounts on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
7. SEO – Search Engine Optimization
You likely have lots of competitors. The savvy ones understand that their website needs to be on page one for their targeted keywords, as 90 to 95% of the population rarely goes past page one of the search results.
There are only 10 organic search listings available on page one. You want to make sure that your website appears in one of those coveted 10 spots. Page one is where 90 to 95% of your prospects are looking for the products and services you sell. Page two, three and beyond is no-mans land. That’s where SEO comes in. Search engine optimization helps in getting your website to rank higher in the search results, with the goal of getting to page one where your prospects are.
8. Have a Great Website
When a user arrives on your website they will be looking for something professional that delivers the information they are looking for. Make sure your site is up to the standards of your industry and isn’t a chore for users to navigate.
9. Ensure Your Website is Optimized for Mobile
For many business sectors, more than 50% of online searches are now done on smartphones and tablets. Have you checked if your website is optimized for mobile? If not, you’re losing out on a lot of potential business. If your website looks like a postage stamp on your smartphone and you have to zoom and scroll to ready the content, it’s time to upgrade. Pronto!
10. Pay Attention to Online Reviews
Websites where users can read reviews about a company’s services, such as Yelp, have become the new word of mouth. Many people will look to see what other people are saying about your business before making a commitment, so make sure you provide excellent service that encourages people to talk positively about you. Monitor what people are saying about your business online. Ignoring bad and mediocre reviews and comments will hurt your business.
How do your online marketing efforts compare to the list above? The topics covered are important and apply equally. Online marketing is getting more complex, but the rewards in attracting your best prospects far outweigh the time and investment required. Relying on a website that hasn’t been touched in years, is not how to market your business online in today’s competitive world.