The realm of online marketing calls for creativity, agility, and to take chances on methods that have little to no precedent. The ability to adopt a proactive-reactive style of communication with consumers represents both one of the challenges and the advantages in online marketing, placing pressure on companies to adapt if they wish to survive in the market of today.
No matter the nature of your business, it can stand to benefit from online marketing (assuming it’s legal business, of course). It is known that mere exposure is enough to breed familiarity and thus preference. Considering the approximate 3.2 billion people now using the internet, the potential growth to be had via online marketing is nearly limitless.
This guide will offer some pointers to make sure your online marketing effort is firing on all cylinders.
Utilize Search Engine Optimization
Otherwise known as simply “SEO”, search engine optimization refers to driving internet traffic to your site via knowledge of search engine algorithms. However, it must be stated that low-quality websites derive less benefit from investment in SEO according to research. In other words, simply manipulating search engine algorithms will not guarantee results if consumers’ valuation of your site is low.
Keyword use is one of the most prominent criteria of search engine optimization. Look over industry sources to see which words are used frequently versus which terms have less competition in searches. Page titles with keywords in them are a good way to help secure a higher ranking.
Within the code, meta tags are used by search engines to identify what your page’s content is about and place it accordingly. These tags are not visible on the page itself, but display as text descriptors within code.
However, while keyword use is important, there is also an art to it. At one point in time, a site’s search ranking could easily be manipulated by writing a certain word or phrase repeatedly, effectively driving traffic to an often irrelevant and useless site.
Today, however, using too many keywords, or “keyword stuffing” will actually penalize your site’s rank. This is because programmers at places like Google got wise to the tactic, and decided the content and quality of your site needs to matter more than the mere number of times a word or phrase is written.
Instead of trying to place your keywords and code according to what you think automated systems and bots are looking for, use keywords moderately and structure your enterprise with actual human consumers in mind. While the exact parameters of Google’s algorithms remain deeply classified information, the search engine is now generally sophisticated enough to reward those that are genuine and valuable.
Improve Your Social Media Presence
Social media is now widely recognized as a formidable force in marketing strategy. Many people spend hours on social media every day, which opens a window of opportunity for marketers to sufficiently harness the technology. Social media usership is expected to reach 3 billion by 2021. When you consider the viewership of the most recent Super Bowl maxing out at a comparably measly 103.4 million people, the potential of growing your brand awareness on social media becomes more clear.
One area often overlooked in regard to branding on social media is consistency. Inconsistency has been shown to harm brand image, emphasizing the importance of cohesion across your platforms. Make sure things like fonts, logos, and color schemes are in agreement on both your website and all of your social media accounts.
Creating an aesthetically-pleasing profile is a cornerstone in realms like Facebook marketing since attractive photos will ramp up likes. This then causes the site’s algorithms to work in your favor, promoting the content which it detects as valuable.
You also want to make sure that all areas of information input are filled out, as this will create a fuller, more professional looking profile. Another way you can present as more professional is by creating links to your main website and making sure all of your social media accounts are linked with each other. This makes for a user-friendly experience and raises the amount of your content they see.
Write Engaging Copy
To keep customers interested, you want the content on your pages to engage. This can be done by creating surveys or other opportunities for customers to provide feedback. This can easily be achieved on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, but you can also keep an ongoing blog if your business is more conducive to long-form writing.
The content you write should also be up-to-date and maintained with consistency. Generally, if a site is rarely tended to or has not been updated in a long time, it sticks out like a sore thumb. You want your social media and website to feel “alive”, as it shows that effort is being put forth. A consumer shouldn’t wonder if you’ll respond if they reach out with a comment or concern.
Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
According to one report, Americans check their phones around 80 times a day. Technology trends predict that mobile use will only continue to take precedence over more traditional means in coming years. Thus, you should take time to make sure your site’s loadout is crisp and clean across all main platforms – including Windows, OS X, Android, and iOS.