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Our 101 Steps to Digital Marketing (Part 5)

Offsite Marketing

Offsite marketing refers to the process of building relationships with third-party sources that will “market” your company themselves by providing links back to your website.

  1. Determine your target audience.

As with almost every other aspect of a digital marketing campaign, offsite marketing must be guided with an understanding of your company’s target audience. Who you’re appealing to should definitely influence the types of sites you seek out; always stick with sources you know receive substantial traffic from members of your target audience.

 

  1. Open Site Explorer: which inbound links are most valuable?

Open Site Explorer is an analytical tool that allows you to identify all of the online content that has a link back to one of your web pages. This can help you determine who is linking to your site, which site pages are garnering the most offsite links, and how you fair against your competitors.

 

  1. Determine which links you’ll seek out.

After analyzing the data generated from Open Site Explorer, decide which specific link sources or general categories of link sources are most valuable. You’ll also want to find out which sources are linking to your competitor and whether or not you could get them to link to you as well.

 

  1. Links from nonprofit/educational sites are important.

Who generates an inbound link for your company matters. Google is more likely to see your site as an authority if you have links from reputable sources like nonprofits or educational institutions, rather than from low-traffic, independent blogs.

 

  1. Don’t accumulate too many links, too quickly.

It’s important to be measured in your search for inbound links because acquiring too many links, too quickly, puts you at risk of being penalized by Google.

 

  1. Look for opportunities to request inbound links.

Offsite marketing is an ongoing process, which means that companies should never cease looking for opportunities to request inbound links from others; the inbound links you have today aren’t guaranteed to hold up one week or one month down the road. Therefore, the challenge of continuously attracting inbound links is continuous.

  1. Optimize your SERP image.

Add Google rich snippets to your SERP link to make it more attractive; Google’s SERP rich snippet tool will allow you to customize page titles and Meta descriptions, and add valuable micro-data (more detailed information) about your company. For example, with a rich snippet, your business could feature a positive customer review or its hours of operation, which can help attract more clicks.

 

  1. Issue press releases regularly.

You know that press releases are central to online public relations, but they can be just as integral to your offsite marketing efforts. A press release issued through a partnering distribution affiliate will afford opportunities for your company announcement and name to appear on various third-party sites online, which is essentially a form of offsite marketing in itself.

 

  1. Reach out to editors.

Offsite marketing will depend in part upon your company’s ability to forge and sustain relationships with actual people. Reach out to editors that run digital publications on which it would make sense to link to your site or write a guest blog. The better connected you are, the more opportunities you have for creating links.

 

  1. Include your domain name/site name in anchor texts.

Placing your domain name or site name within anchor texts that appear in the content of third-party sources is an important part of brand recognition.

 

Mobile Marketing

Mobile users are a rapidly growing sector of the digital marketing audience, which means that the experience of the mobile user is incredibly important. Already, mobile searches have outpaced desktop searches, which means that if you’re not in the mobile game by now (or aren’t making plans to enter), you’re missing out.
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  1. Achieve responsive web design.

To ensure that users have access to websites that are well-designed, optimally formatted, and easily navigable on a mobile device, companies need responsive web design. A responsive website allows content to be seamlessly re-organized to fit any mobile device.

 

  1. Become “mobile-friendly.”

Google now indicates on search engine results pages which websites meet its criteria for being mobile-friendly. Earning this distinction can have a big impact on the amount of traffic your site receives from mobile users, and is based on criteria such as text that doesn’t require zoom to read, no horizontal scrolling, and easily clickable links.

  1. Tailor mobile advertisements to a mobile audience.

Though similar in many ways to traditional web advertisements, the clickable mobile ad should be more concise, feature a more prominent call to action and include only one message. Mobile ads don’t afford as much space as desktop ads, so the key is to make them short and sweet (but still appealing).

 

  1. Track your conversions.

When setting up a mobile marketing campaign, you’ll want to implement either a unique identifier matching tool or a device fingerprinting tool to ensure accurate attribution; these tools will make it possible to attribute a conversion to your mobile advertisement and, in turn, help your company assess an ad’s effectiveness.

 

  1. Leverage location-based advertising.

Mobile advertisements can now specifically target mobile users who either live or happen to be within proximity of your storefront. These users can be identified based on their searches (whether or not they frequently search for terms with your location), or from things like Foursquare check-ins. The benefit of geo targeting mobile users is that your advertising dollars can be spent on appealing to those who are already in the area, and who are therefore more likely to actually visit your store.

 

 

Reputation Management

Though many assume that reputation management is only for companies that have a poor online reputation, reputation management is actually valuable to any company. The reality is that if your company doesn’t take charge of its online reputation, somebody else likely will.

 

  1. Analyze your online reputation.

First, determine what your company’s online reputation actually is. This involves looking for your company on various search engines using a range of keywords, such as your company’s location, products, or brands. Review the results that appear on at least the first and second pages and create an organized spreadsheet of the sites that generate negative listings, as well as those that generate neutral or positive listings.

 

  1. Develop a game plan.

Determine what aspects of reputation management will be achievable for your company. Keep in mind that a reputation overhaul won’t happen overnight; start by targeting the negative listings that appear on the results pages for some of your most commonly-searched keywords, or that appear within a page’s top 10 results.

 

  1. Claim your name.

As mentioned, if you don’t take charge of your reputation, somebody else will. You need to claim your company’s name on all online platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (really, every social media site) and local listings like Google Business. Claiming your name on these platforms is not only beneficial for SEO purposes, but guarantees that nobody else can create an account with your name to distribute irrelevant or unauthorized content.

 

  1. Generate more positive content.

You can’t force negative listings to disappear, but you can force them down a results page by replacing them with links to more positive content. If you’re already engaging in a full-fledged digital marketing campaign that generates fresh blog articles, inbound links, and social media posts, you should be well on your way to improving your standings. However, you may need to bolster your efforts by adding new web pages or creating additional pages and sites.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid of the customer review.

Though the thought of encouraging customers to leave reviews of your product or service can be daunting, it’s important to let customers write reviews. First, it shows that your company values your customers’ experience. Second, it creates a platform on which satisfied customers can do your marketing for you. Research has shown that people are more likely to purchase a product when it’s been endorsed by other customers. There’s always the possibility that someone will leave a negative review; however, you now have the ability to address these comments and demonstrate that your company sincerely apologizes for the customer’s experience, while explaining how you’ll prevent it from happening in the future.

 

 

The Final Steps

 

  1. Be vigilant.

Digital marketing is an ongoing endeavor that has no end point; even when goals are met, you’ll still need to be fully invested in strategies that ensure you can sustain your position as a top company in your industry.

 

  1. Be adaptive.

Effective digital marketing isn’t just about staying the course; it’s also about recognizing when it’s time to shift direction. There will always be new platforms, strategies, and algorithms emerging that can dramatically change the marketing game, which means you’ll want to be perceptive of these changes to maintain a competitive edge.

 

Find more information about digital marketing campaigns and learn how a professional marketing firm like WebiMax can give your company an advantage!

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