Internet Marketing Decoded

strategiesYou have your brochures designed and the magazine ads planned out. You even have the newspaper spread in front of you and the business cards are out for printing. Your storyboard for the quarterly promotions is being brought in by your trusted assistants as we speak. Everything is practically on its toes and just about to be deployed. But wait a minute. Hold on just for a sec; what about your internet marketing strategies?

Yes, what about The World Wide Web that everyone but you seems to be talking about? It is not mere a tool with limitless possibilities but a portal that can lead your business to immense success overnight. Creating and maintaining a successful business presence offline is the thing of the past because clearly online companies are becoming more practical now than ever before. Now hold on again for just a bit. That doesn’t mean at all that you should start ignoring your offline audience; no way my friend. It is striking the right balance between the two that matters the most and in fact, if you don’t succeed in either, you won’t be able to realize your business’s full potential.

We see online companies popping out like runner grass on wet land but truth be told; to sustain a successful business online is easier said than done. There is an overwhelming amount of information available over the Internet and as users have most of the control as to what exactly to view and what not to view, you are going to find that getting your product its due attention from potential customers can be a real challenge.

Over the years there are a few simple principles or you might say rules that I personally think apply to this digital era. Well, I could be missing out on a few points but then the world and the internet are constantly changing and you can’t really blame me for simply trying to explain things, right? So here goes nothing.

Knowing your market

Yep, your online or internet marketing strategy can never be successful unless you understand where your interest lies. Better yet, try to understand where the interest of the audience lies and then you can come up with things that are going to sell like hot cakes. Either way, you just have to have a clearly defined audience before you spend a dime on your marketing efforts. There’s absolutely no need to pay a fancy market research firm to figure out your target market. If you know your product well, you would know who or what parties will be most interested in it. It can be men, it can be women or children or youngsters. Their age group defines it and probably their gender or income for that matter. All you need to do is get a thorough profile of your relevant audience to target your ideal customers. You need to determine how and where to reach them which may take a little while but it’s going to be worth it.

Setting goals

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You have to have a destination or a level or a picture in mind that depicts your desired position in terms of success or number of customers or sales figure, etc. For any business to grow online the need to determine what they are looking to gain out of their marketing efforts becomes primary. So what exactly do you seek, is it increased awareness or web traffic? Is it a hike in annual revenue or probably multiple goals? But the practical thing is to keep track of what all you need to measure to ascertain your success. If and when you reach your initial goals, it is time to set new ones and move on to expand your horizons and continue to grow further and higher.

Working on a set budget

Having a target market was just the start and now it is time to talk money. Your entire internet marketing strategy stands on slippery mud if you don’t have the budget straightened out yet. You have to plan your budget according to your goals and audience. The unique thing about online marketing and promotion tactics is that you can be successful even if you have a tight purse string. There are a lot of platforms like YouTube or FaceBook that charge absolutely nothing to upload your content and you get unhindered exposure and limelight. However, it is not advised to religiously follow only the free forms of online marketing. You need to carefully scan through your options and choose the right marketing mix for your brand.

Talking about Brand

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Setting yourself apart from the crowd comes next and this is how you beat your competition. There are thousands, probably more companies that are trying to sell the same products on the Internet as you are. So, what makes you unique and stand apart from the rest of them? That is what you need to establish through a brand. Making your image and product begins with having your very own website. Try to buy a domain name that is also your company’s name. You may consider changing it if in any case you find people confusing you with another brand. This way you can make sure that your brand is viewed by relevant customers all over. Having a well functioning and professional website at one hand and a strong social media presence on the other can prove to be a profitable combination.

Search Engine Optimization

This comes in handy when someone (most preferably a potential customer) enters a word or a phrase into a search engine. It is usually something that they want to find information about and in case they want a product that you sell, then it is obvious you would want your name to pop out first and foremost in the search engine results page. But how do you make that happen? You do that by making your website more appealing to the leading search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing. You can do this by using keywords that are commonly searched by your potential clients. SEO can be complicated and time consuming but it is well worth your effort as it helps your site to be found more easily. So prepare your online tools and methodologies to garner the best results. Happy marketing!

The Top Search Engine Optimization Techniques For an Effective Internet Marketing Strategy

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization is a term often heard when it comes to implementing an internet marketing plan. Search engine optimization – otherwise known as SEO, is extremely important to know in order to get your website ranked in the search engines.

You know when you do a Google search and there are certain websites or terms that appear on the first page? Chances are, those websites and businesses know all about search engine optimization and are targeting specific keywords and following Google’s latest algorithm and rules that will allow them to appear higher than their competition in the search engines.

There are several factors that contribute to having a successful SEO strategy; we will list the following below.

On-Site SEO

On-site SEO relates to search engine factors that can be controlled directly on and from your website. There are many things to keep in mind when setting up your website and business and having a good strategy for on-site SEO is a must. Here are some things to look out for.

Website Theme

Your website should have a theme that is compatible with SEO and will allow the site to be seen in Google when someone searches for your products or services.

There are many website templates that will do this for you as well as plugins that will help you along the way if you’re a beginner with SEO. A good place to start is to use a WordPress based template and install the Yoast plugin. The Yoast plugin will help walk you through the correct SEO steps you need to take in order to get the most benefits from your website and content.

Titles

The tiles on your website should be between 10-70 characters long, be unique, and contain your most important keywords.

Description

Your website description will allow your website to be found organically in the search engine and encourage viewers to click on your website. It should be between 70-160 characters long and also contain your most important keywords. Organic search rankings means anything that appears in the search results because of relevant content on your website; it includes everything except for paid ads,

When you do a search in Google, or another search engine, you will see other websites titles and descriptions. That’s where they get displayed and why it’s important to have your keywords and an informative description to make viewers want to visit your site.

Tags and Keywords

When posting new content, it’s beneficial to make sure that your keywords (also called tags) are properly placed once in the title, once at the beginning of your content, once in the middle to the end of the content and once again in the tag or keyword section of your website.

XML Sitemap

A sitemap is a little more technical to understand but your web programmer and some plugins (Google XML sitemap) will help walk you through how to make sure your site has one. If you implement a sitemap to your website, it will help to automatically index your site when there’s new content and make your content available for all search engines to index and crawl your site.

Crawling: Google has little bots (also called spiders or web crawlers) that search all website links and make sure that they have relevant content and they are working correctly. After crawling the site for links, they bring that data back to Google’s servers.

Indexing: After crawling the search engines, Google collects pages to create an index based on location, keywords and relevant information.

Robots Txt File

It’s important to have a robots.txt file on your website because it will allow you to restrict or permit the search engines to crawl your website. Your web programmer or certain plugins (WP Robots Txt) can help guide you on how to set this up.

Google Analytics

Installing Google analytics on your website will allow you to discover what types of visitors are going to your website, how long they are staying, which types of content are the most popular and what channel sources they are coming from. It’s very important to have analytics and review your reports weekly so you can see if your marketing strategy is working, and what holes need to be fixed or revised with related to your SEO techniques. 

Off-Site SEO

Now that we’ve taken care of the most popular on-site SEO techniques, we can look at what’s involved with the off-site SEO techniques. These techniques involve everything else related to SEO that are not directly involved with your websites template or setup.

Backlinks

Backlinks are other links that point back to your website from other websites. They, in essence, prove to Google that your site is worth looking at. Having quality backlinks is more important than the quantity of backlinks and it’s extremely important for your marketing strategy to have a plan to create good, consistent and relevant backlinks.

Many sites had their rankings drop suddenly because of Google’s new algorithm (Panda 4.0) update in 2014, which related to poor quality backlinks.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is important for an effective marketing strategy and your SEO plan because it will allow your content to be socially shared amongst many different social networking sites.

It’s important that you choose high PR (page rank) social bookmarking sites so that your content is compatible with the new algorithm changes. Bad backlinks can get your site penalized and if that happens, it will be a long recovery process.

Some of the top social bookmarking sites include, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Digg and Tumblr. When you share your content to these sites, it will have a better chance of getting shared and read amongst others, which will, in turn drive more traffic to your website.

Web 2.0 Properties

Having your website product and services listed on other websites is a great way to get traffic back to your site, show up multiple times in Google and give your site a high quality backlink. This is important for your SEO strategy because the more web properties your website links to and from, the better your rankings will be because your site will be seen as an authority website.

Some of the most popular web 2.0 properties include: Hubspot, Blogger, Squidoo, and WordPress.com

Infographics

Infographics are another great way to display your products and services in a fun and creative way. They work really well for SEO purposes because they can show up in the image results when someone does a Google search. You can use these infographics for social media, your blog pages and on photo sharing sites.

Videos

Similar to infographics, videos are a great and captivating way to show your products and services in a matter of seconds. Videos work really well for SEO purposes because they get shared and liked often on popular sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. By getting your videos shared, you will get more views and more interest in your business.

Videos also rank really well in the search engines. If you post a relevant and great quality video full of wonderful and helpful information, your video can show up on page 1 of Google in a matter of days! In order to make sure your videos are properly optimized (SEO friendly), you will need to do the proper keyword research necessary so that you are using competitive keywords that get searched a lot by the public. You will need to insert these keywords in the title, tags/keyword section of the video upload site, and make sure the keywords appear at least once in the video description box.

Images

Like infographics, images get shared a lot and can be seen in the images section of search engines when a viewer searches for a certain keyword. When using images on your blog or website, make sure that you have your keywords in the alt tags, title and description.

Try to keep the images relevant with relevant keywords. For Example: It wouldn’t make sense to promote a dog walking company and then have an image of someone holding an umbrella with keywords that say ‘dog walking company Philadelphia’. Make sure your images are congruent and relevant to your content in order to get the best chance of appearing in the search engines.

Ads

Paid ads on Google or Facebook can also help your site rankings and overall SEO strategy. By using paid ads, you will be able to target the right traffic, and have viewers visit your website. By having more visitors to your website (and keeping their attention for an extended period of time) you will be able to reduce your bounce rate and capture more eyes.

When Google sees that your site has more visitors, it will start to give your website more credibility and authority (better rankings) in the search engines.

Social Media

Popular social media sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are great for search engine optimization. When you post something to your fans and followers, you will get more visits, likes and shares to those posts- which will help you get more visits to your content and website. As we’ve mentioned before, the more quality traffic you get, the more your site will be viewed as an authority site, and rank well online.

A good strategy for social media to follow is to use your status updates to promote your site 25% of the time, and offer helpful advice 75% of the time.

If you are too pushy or ‘salesy’ then your followers will unfollow you because you are not offering enough helpful advice that benefits them.

Content Creation

One of the most important strategies for SEO is to implement a content creation plan. Content creation involves anything with relevant information that can get shared in the search engines. The most popular types of content are, landing pages, website pages, blog posts, articles and press releases.

When you are posting helpful and beneficial content for your viewers, your viewers will want to come back to your site for even more information, start loving your brand and then be more inclined to buy your products and services.

Search engines love new, fresh and consistent content. By posting something new once each week that has great keywords and informative content, your site will start to rank better.

When using the proper keywords, it’s sometimes easier and quicker to get an article or page ranked than an entire website. Websites will take between 2-8 months to get ranked and one article could take 24 hours (depending on the quality, keywords and amount of visits you get).

Content Sharing

Along with content creation and social bookmarking (mentioned above) content sharing is also an important part of your search engine optimization strategy.

After each new post or article you create, you should use a social pinger to ‘ping’ it to the search engines. Using the right pinging service, you can send your link to multiple sites that will help the search engines crawl your content faster.

Some good Ping sites are: pingoat.net/# and http://www.pingmyurl.com/

After you ping your content, you should social bookmark it to the top 10 sites, and then share it with your social media following.

When trying to figure out the perfect search engine optimization techniques, it all comes down to:

  • Doing the proper keyword research
  • Posting consistent, relevant and informative content with those keywords
  • Getting your content circulated through multiple forms in the search engines by sharing it with your following and through other means online.

Getting your site ranked online using search engine optimization techniques can at times be frustrating and at other times, extremely rewarding and beneficial for your business. It’s best to stay in the loop and up to date on your Internet marketing information.

Some ways you can do this are to subscribe to popular Internet marketing, SEO and social media blogs. Signing up to a program that helps guide you to be an Internet marketing guru can also help you learn the best strategies to help your business be successful online.

Remember that it’s important to follow all of the rules and post content that is genuinely helpful and beneficial for your audience. If you focus on how you can help your clients, rather than, how can you make money off of your clients, you will see much better results when it comes to your content getting ranked in the search engines.

 

Search Engine Optimization

The Ins and Outs of Search Engine Optimization

The words search engine optimization might seem a little bit technical at first but learning the ins and outs of search engine optimization or, SEO for short is an essential part to know in order to have a complete and successful Internet marketing strategy.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

When you search for something in Google, websites will show up from page 1 all the way up to page 100+. If you’re a business owner, you will want your business to show up on page 1 and take up as much real estate on that page as possible. Search engine optimization is also often referred to as Search Engine Positioning, or SEP for short.

The websites that show up on page 1 of Google and other search engines did not get ranked well on the first pages by accident. Chances are, those website owners have a strong knowledge of SEO and have access on the latest trends and tips that can help them get their websites ranked online.

Getting your website ranked online isn’t that simple. It strongly depends on the keywords you use, your competition and your other marketing methods used in your Internet marketing strategy.

Some SEO Basics

Some of the most important things you can do to help your site get ranked well using SEO techniques include having an on-site SEO plan and an Off-site SEO plan.

An on-site SEO plan would consist of making sure that your website, images, titles, and descriptions are keyword loaded and search engine friendly. You will need to do some keyword research in order to see which keywords will work the best based on your competition, niche, and target market. Once you have those keywords, you will want to place them in your websites title and description and use them when you upload your images and tag them.

Some more advanced on-site SEO strategies include, implementing a sitemap, robots.txt file, Google analytics and webmaster tools as well as choosing a website theme that is SEO friendly.

Some off-site SEO things you can do for your website will relate to everything that can be done without changing your website directly. A great off-site SEO plan would consist of creating backlinks through directory submissions, creating blog posts, press releases and articles, creating and sharing video content, using social media, and social bookmarking your content.

One of the best ways to optimize your site and make it search engine friendly is to use a combination of both on-site and off-site SEO techniques as well as have a strong plan for relevant and consistent content creation, sharing and optimization.

How Long Does it Take to Get Ranked?

Most businesses want to get ranked fast and will use software or other black-hat shortcut techniques that could end up being harmful and get their website banned from the search engines.

There are a number of factors that will determine how long it will take to get your site ranked including; the date of the domain and website, the domain name, on-site and off-site SEO factors, website theme, competition, malware, keywords used, business address and phone number consistency as well as the number and quality of backlinks.

It could take between 2 -12 months to get your site ranked on page 1 of Google depending on these factors. It will not happen quickly and it’s very important that you stay on top of the latest search engine optimization rules and algorithms so you can be in the know if it comes time to change something quickly on your site.

If search engine optimization is too much for you to manage, that’s okay, there are lots of helpful tips and resources that you can use to help guide you along the way to becoming more knowledgeable with SEO techniques. Check out our page here for more information on how we can help. (insert call-to-action link)