This is the continuation of A Digital Marketing Strategy is the Key to your Online Business Success. Now let’s go into the 3 Digital Marketing tactics that can help greatly boost your business’ online success.
SEO with Keywords
It has become the job of search engines (like Google and Bing) to categorized all the websites in the world according to their purposes or what they are providing. They do this by creating super sophisticated algorithms that try and figure out what a website might be about and then match that to the billions of search requests that we make (aka Googling).
One of the main techniques these search engines use is match keywords found on websites to keywords we type when we make a search request.
Imagine a city where every business is located in a particular part of town, depending on what kind of business it is. All restaurants would be in the Restaurant District, all toy stores in the Toys District, all shoe store in the Shoes District, and so on.
This is kind of what search engines do for the internet. Everything gets categorized according to keywords. And it is the purpose of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get your business ranking high on search results. Using the right keywords on your website can mean between being situated on a nice busy street, or in a back alley somewhere.
But SEO has its limits. What if you’re selling niche products that it doesn’t occur to anyone to ever do a search for? What if you’re in an industry that’s full of competitors with established brands and stores? The first page of a Google search result only holds links to around 10 web pages! That’s web pages, not websites; as a very popular and busy blog could have multiple articles that meet a user’s keywords.
Blogging and Social Media
Blogging is the next step after keywords in getting noticed online. Google loves new content, and it rewards websites that update their content, by giving their search rankings a bump.
It makes sense if you think about it. How would anyone know your store is open if you don’t turn on the lights inside?
Blogging also has the benefit of increasing your business’ reputation with potential clients and within your industry. The more articles you write and release on a regular basis, the more your search rankings on Google will go up and people will visit your site. As more people visit your website, your search ranking will also go up. This is where social media can step in.
Social media is the ‘word of mouth’ of the 21st century. As more people visit your website, for its informative articles, some of them will want to share articles with their friends. You should provide social media links on every article you write, to make it easy for your visitors to share them on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites your visitors likely use. You can even provide these social media links on your product pages.
Of course simply relying on visitors to share your links to your website can have extremely mixed results. Some people only share news or political articles. Others only share funny cat videos they find on YouTube. While many more people rarely, if ever, share articles online at all.
Instead of only relying on your website’s visitors for your Social Media Marketing, you can create social media profiles just for your business. All those blog articles on your website you can re-post or share them yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Instagram, or any other appropriate social media sites.
But again, like SEO, blogging and social media marketing have its limits. What if no one shares your articles? What if no one is following you on social media? On Facebook for example, if you share a post, only people who have Friended you will likely notice that post. Anyone else will only find your post if they are looking for it.
Search Engine Marketing (ads)
When you’ve reached the limits of what SEO and social media can do for your business, it’s time to spend some money…I’m talking about paying for ads.
In Search Engine Marketing (SEM) you buying ads space on search engines. The idea is that everyone relies on Googling to find what they are looking for online. Even sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube can fit in the category of search engines, as people also use them to find content. In fact, any large site where people are searching for things can be included in the search engine marketing strategy (Yelp, Google Maps, popular blogs).
Unlike the other marketing strategies I discussed above, in Search Engine Marketing, costs cannot be avoided. You might be able to write your own blog articles and re-post them on Twitter and Facebook, at no extra cost to yourself. Or give your web designer some good SEO keywords to add in the site’s metadata. But buying ads space will cost you money.
Fortunately, there are some amazing free tools and techniques that can make every dollar you spend count. The top search engines and social media sites will give you tools to target very specific demographics. Sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to target your ads at potential customers by a number of criteria, like age ranges, or gender. LinkedIn allows you to target by job titles or industries. Google allows you to target ads by the keywords their users enter. They pretty much all allow you to target according to geographic location and time of day.
Buying ad space online is very similar to buying ads space for a billboard or on TV. While the prices of online ads space can vary a lot, depending on which site you’re going with, the cost is still significantly lower than traditional media.
You can start experimenting today with as little as $100 a month. Running an ad on Facebook or Google, just a few days a week, for an hour or two. Analyze your results and tweak your strategy. When you start seeing positive results, increase your marketing budget.
The internet is a huge place, and it’s only getting bigger. Simple SEO strategies that worked a decade ago just won’t cut it anymore. Digital Marketing is the most crucial part of getting your website noticed and your business products or services selling.
At Julian Design Studio, we use WordPress themes to make for you an attractive, simple website. We use WooCommerce as the E-commerce solution to power your store. We’ll add effective keywords and link your site to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to boost your SEO. We can set your business up with a Search Engine Marketing campaign that works with your budget and gets you results.