It’s no secret that Internet marketing is an integral component of the success of any business. In fact, in today’s digital age no company can expect to succeed without an effective marketing strategy that is geared toward an online audience. In theory, the basics of Internet marketing appear fairly straightforward but, in reality, the continually-changing and highly competitive landscape of this field can leave you uncertain of ways to make substantial gains. So what’s the secret to ensuring that your business attracts optimal online traffic?
Secret # 1: Pay Attention to All the Parts
Simple as it may sound, the only bonafide strategy for staying competitive in online marketing is to know and attend to every aspect (and there are plenty) of the campaign. Internet marketing is an interdependent strategy: the sum of its parts is greater than the strength of any one individual tactic. This is why a website can incorporate keywords into content but fail to see any meaningful improvements in traffic or ranking – it isn’t enough to use just one approach without the simultaneous pursuit of others.
In the realm of Internet marketing, quality content often reigns supreme. If you don't post relevant, insightful information on a frequent basis, your viewership will inevitably decline as customers turn to other sources for the information they seek. Blogging is one of the best means by which your company can add fresh content to its webpage and attract users, as long as posts are concise, clear, and contain information that is interesting or useful. You can imbed keywords into your blog content, as well as links back to the company's webpage or other sources. The blog posts should include information that helps present your business as an authority in its industry—a characteristic highly-favored by Google.
Secret #3: Use Web Statistics to Drive Your Marketing Strategy
As they say, sometimes knowing where to start is half the battle. When planning an Internet marketing strategy, one of the first steps that your business takes should be to acquire and analyze web statistics, and you should continue to do so afterwards. Use website analysis tools to determine key metrics, current ranking for targeted keywords, how your business currently measures up against its competitors, and more. This information should shape the direction of every other aspect of your marketing strategy.
Secret #4: How to Generate Leads
Lead generation involves targeting consumer leads to generate interest in your site’s product or service, through both direct and indirect tactics like e-mail marketing, local marketing, article marketing, press releases, online media pitches, and guest blogs. However, lead generation is only effective if your company swiftly follows up on the inquiries that they receive.
Secret #5: How to Market Your Business Locally Online
Marketing to a local audience online is critical, particularly if your business has a physical storefront. You can engage in this targeted marketing through local search apps and listings that include the crucial NAP (name, address, and place) information, and create webpages for each of your individual locations. The business should also market locally with a Google + Local Business page, a Yelp Profile, and more. A general rule of thumb is to create at least 50 local profiles.
Secret #6: Google is Always Evolving
Search engines like Google continuously change their search algorithms, so successful Internet marketers must keep a watchful eye on these changes to determine when an SEO campaign needs adjustment. While Google makes hundreds of minor changes over the course of the year, which typically don’t affect the majority of sites in any significant way, major changes will usually necessitate a massive overhaul of SEO tactics for those who want to remain competitive. Old school tricks to get ranked may suddenly get your website delisted. Your company needs to not only keep track of any new standards set forth by Google or other search engines, but also try to anticipate what they might change next.
An SEO campaign is one of the more important ways that your company can enhance its Internet marketing. SEO (search engine optimization) focuses on improving the website’s traffic and rankings through both on-site and off-site tactics. While search engine algorithms rapidly evolve, altering SEO campaigns along the way, there are some traditional tactics that continue to yield results. These include the following:
- Keyword research
- Relevant SEO copywriting
- Meta tag optimization
- Local SEO
- Strategic brand building through referral links from other sites
SEO campaigns also depend on the creation of XML sitemaps. These useful tools list information on every URL within a website to ensure that search engines don’t overlook any content while crawling a page. Fill out your custom website analysis to see if you submitted an XML Sitemap.
Secret #8: Why Social Media is More Important than You May Think
A strong social media presence on sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram is also crucial for marketing. To build a brand and attract new viewers, your company must be highly visible, relevant, and engaging. You should frequently update your social media profiles with quality, shareable content and make a concerted effort to connect with customers. You can expand your audience by sharing interesting articles, blogs, and pictures.
Secret #9: Responsive Desktop to Mobile Web Design
Web design is another key component of successful Internet marketing. Web aesthetic is one of the most influential factors in determining whether or not a user will remain on your website; if a landing page has inaccessible or confusing navigation tools, there will be little chance of making a sale. However, proper web design always affords an optimal user experience. The structure and design of your website also determines the foundation of its optimization, which is another reason that proper design is key. In addition, as mobile devices continue to grab increasing shares of web traffic (approximately 30 %, as of 2014) it’s crucial that your website is designed to be easily navigable on both a laptop and smartphone/tablet.
Secret #10: Why Link Building Matters
Link building incorporates meaningful links into pages within your website to enhance user experience and demonstrate relationships between pages. This helps search engines to determine rankings and possibly discover new pages. It also pays to link out to other pages that your potential customers will find useful, as well as to (most importantly) generate quality, authoritative content that will earn links from other sites.
While every Internet marketing strategy is somewhat unique, in general, a company that actively attends to SEO, social media, web design, and lead generation (and all of the components of each) is sure to reap the rewards of this dedicated approach to marketing. See how you stack up with an instant website competitor analysis.
Do you have a specific Internet marketing question? Ask one of our online marketing experts here!