Running a business is hard and comes with its challenges, amongst other things you always want to make sure you’re in the best position to attract new customers.
Internet Marketing is one such way where you can market your business to customers locally or half way through the globe. For a lot of people online marketing is setting up a Website & signing up for Facebook (although we strongly suggest doing these 2) there are a lot of things in the scope of Internet marketing, which small business owners need to look & adapt.
Marketing online is an ever-changing field, and if you’re not ahead of the game you’re behind. For that reason, it’s more important than ever to be forward thinking and proactive with your SEO strategies. As we stand at the start of a new year, there’s no better time to evaluate the state of your Internet Marketing Strategy.
Already sweating over the thought of starting an Internet marketing plan? Fortunately, it’s less complicated than you think. Here’s a simple guide to help you get started:
Define Your Internet Marketing Strategy Goals
All businesses should have an end business goal, start with one today if haven’t already. With a goal to work towards, it’ll be easier to evaluate if a certain effort is worth investing your time & money into. A clearly defined goal also gives you a benchmark to evaluate your success against, making it easier to track your growth, if you find that you are not making significant progress towards your goal, you’ll know that there are areas of improvement.
A digital marketer, for example, might set the following Achievable Goal: I want to find 50 new clients from my website by Dec 31st, 2016.
Creating a new goal will spark the following questions:
- How to optimize my website to increase conversions?
- Can I expand my online reach?
- How can I nurture potential customers and turn them into happy clients?
Identify Your Target Audience
Before starting on any marketing activity it is important to take some time out to identify your target audience, for example, a personal trainer might have 2 target audiences: people who are wanting to lose weight & people who want to gain muscle & body mass
To help you get the wheels rolling, here are some questions you can ask yourself to develop your target audience:
- What is your target audience demographics?
- What are their goals?
- Who influences their purchases?
- How do they want to communicate with your company?
- What Issue do you solve for them?
Start with a Responsive Website (It’s the First Thing people will notice)
It is vital to make a website mobile friendly (i.e. Responsive Website design), people want the best experience possible when they are on a website, so it’s sensible to create a functional cross-platform experience which in turn increases conversion rates.
- Flexible– Responsive website design sites are fluid meaning the content moves freely across all screen resolutions
- Cost effective– Single site conforms to all devices
- Google recommends responsive websites
- Responsive websites are easy to manage
- Increases sales& conversion rates
Don’t forget to Optimize the Website – SEO
While “If you build it they will come” is a great line from a film, it’s a terrible marketing plan
Getting qualified traffic amongst millions of websites is getting harder even in low competition niche markets, Search engine optimization helps to increase the number of visitors to a website by attaining high rank from organic search results in search engines like Google.
There are multiple factors which help a website rank higher on the SERP, there are onsite & offsite optimization techniques used to improve a website's visibility.
Search engines have algorithms and guidelines that we need to stick to in order to rank our website high in search results. The algorithms introduced by search engines amend on regular intervals so website optimization is an ongoing process. In addition to algorithms, there are certain guidelines for website content and structure that helps in the optimization process.
SEO helps your website in numerous ways:
- SEO gets more visibility for your website – Organically!
- Increases qualified web traffic
- Lower cost as compared to paid advertisements
- With SEO you can set Industry targeted Focus Keywords
Cyrus Shepard has written a very informative post on SEO Myths https://moz.com/blog/seo-myths
As we all know Content is King (Make it Fresh – Relevant – Engaging)
We’ve all heard the phrase “Content is King” but what exactly does that mean?
According to reports more than 70% content online is plagiarized, which in other words means if you can produce quality, original content for your websites/blogs Google will reward you for that.
You just need to follow these basic steps:
- Do your research before starting a topic based on your audience interests.
- Content should be engaging, It doesn’t matter how fresh the content is if it's not engaging your reader then point lost.
- Write content relevant to your niche, people follow your posts based on a specific writing style/industry always keep your readers in mind.
- Plagiarized content gets penalized by Google, Content get taken off SERP’s, Websites get shutdown
Increase you Brand’s Reach with Mobile Optimization
People are spending more & more time on their smartphones & tablets, but there are many businesses out there without mobile-optimized websites, which aren’t designed to take different screen sizes & load time into account. Mobile Optimization is the process of ensuring the people visiting your website on their mobiles have the same user experience as someone doing it on their computers, it takes a look at site design, site structure & page speed
The conversion path between desktop and mobile advertising may differ, for example, a customer might just want to search for your store directions on their way, or download an app, a lot of times shopping can start on a mobile phone to be continued later on a desktop.
Mobile Optimization can help in the following ways:
- Improves User Experience
- Faster Download Speed
- Improved Search/SEO performance
- Higher audience reach
- Location-based targeting
- Visual impact is more because of screen size
Use Social Media to your Advantage
Search & Social Media marketing are closely related, Social Media Marketing helps clients to target greater audience, boost their business and increase brand awareness.
Create a social media marketing plan and set up your goals, what are you hoping to accomplish through social media marketing? Who is your target audience? Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media?
Tips for Social Media Marketing Plan:
- Analyze Past Content to Improve Posts
- Create a Social Media Channel Plan
- Optimize Visual Content with Links
- Deliver Content Consistently
- Use Hashtags Strategically
Follow People visiting your website through RemarketingImagine a potential customer walks into your store, inquires about a particular product but then leaves without actually making a purchase, you know that there could be a potential sale & there is a possibility of that person buying a similar product from you or your competitor in the near future.
Can you send your sales staff after them? Reminding them of the product they saw in the store, even offering them a special deal on the same product? I guess not really without making the person feeling stalked! Sounds like an insane idea in the real world. Even if your sales staff doesn’t get beaten up for stalking, the cost alone would make it unfeasible. But that’s what Remarketing actually is in the online world
Retargeting is great for many reasons. For example:
- Reduced cost per impression
- Better conversion rates
- Improved ROI
- Precise targeting
- Cost effective branding
Every blogger needs One – Editorial Publishing Calendar
Before firing up Microsoft Word to write your next blog/article, take some time to create an editorial publishing calendar. Why? Because coming up with something to write about 3-5 times a week is a lot harder to do than you think, especially when you’re brainstorming on the spot.
With an editorial calendar that covers at least three months of content, you’ll give yourself an opportunity to work ahead of time and establish a regular publishing pace (which your readers will love and appreciate).
As you’re planning, be sure to note upcoming company or local events, webinars, holidays, and any other timely event that’s relevant to your business. In addition to scheduling ideas for your blog, you might also want to include content for social platforms, emails, and newsletters.
Measure your Performance – Review Analytics
We’ve overviewed a lot of great ways to boost your Internet marketing plan, but how will you know if it’s truly influencing business growth? To determine the ROI of your digital marketing efforts, set up analytics tracking to measure the effectiveness of your website, social presence, and general content. Pick a day each month to review your stats (add a calendar reminder if you must!). These statistics will be the vital signs for measuring the health of your digital marketing strategy.
Once you have your reports, use them to obtain insights on the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing efforts. You might notice underperforming areas that could use improvement or successful tactics that you should continue to support.
Remember, no tactic is ever finished — there will always be ways to improve and continue nurturing your online business relationships!