The pace of doing business has only gotten faster over the years, and part of keeping up with the times is investing in new technologies and marketing strategies. Businesses today have to diversify their marketing tactics if they plan to stand any chance against their competition.
Along with traditional marketing methods, i.e. billboards, commercials, print ads, etc., businesses have been using various online marketing methods to make their presence known. In this post, we’ll go over the three most effective techniques used in internet marketing today, and show you how they can help you gain greater recognition and grow your business.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making pages on your website easier for search engines to read and understand, something we call “search engine friendliness.” Let’s explain what we mean by this.
Major search engines, such as Google and Bing, “crawl” the internet in search of web pages to sort and store in their database. When we say “crawl,” we basically mean taking very descriptive notes. These “crawlers” or “spiders” are looking for information that can help them determine what a certain web page or site is about. It then stores, or indexes, the notes it’s gathered into a giant database. So what’s the end result of all this crawling and indexing?
Well, whenever a search is performed on a search engine, it takes the search term used to conduct the search and cross references it with the web pages in its database. Then, with lightning speed, it displays results that it thinks will be the most helpful and relevant to what the searcher is asking. The goal of SEO is to get web pages to appear at the top of the result page for the search terms, or keywords, they rank for.
For a business owner, a successfully optimized website will show up at the top of the results page for keywords relating to its services, products, and location. These results are known as “organic results,” meaning they are not paid or sponsored links. They have truly arrived at their ranking as determined by the search engine’s crawling and indexing method. What this boils down to is that websites that appear at the top of the results for competitive keywords will bring in more traffic, which almost always means more business.
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a form of online advertising that allows you to run ads on the internet that you pay for when a user clicks on them. One of the most popular places to conduct PPC campaigns is on Google AdWords. These are ads that appear at the top and on the side of the Google results page.
To set up an AdWords campaign, you begin by performing keyword research. This allows you to see all the possible keywords out there that are relevant to what you’re advertising. Every keyword will have a different cost-per-click, competition rating, and search volume. Knowing which keywords to run your campaign on is not always easy and is why many companies hire a PPC expert to manage the campaign.
One of the advantages of PPC is that you only pay for the ad when a user actually clicks on your link and arrives at your site. You can also be very specific about what keywords you want to be included in your campaign and what locations you want to run them in. If you’re a plumber working in Buford, GA for instance, one of your keywords might be “buford plumber.” You would then target the ad so that it would only appear to people searching in Buford, GA.
PPC can also be performed on social media website such as Facebook. Social ads have different restrictions, but are typically cheaper and offer even greater targetability.
Email marketing is another effective method of internet advertising that primarily helps keep you on the minds of your customers. Sending out monthly newsletters, occasional sale notices, or interesting blog posts to your contact base helps to remind them of your services. Email marketing, however, can be a bit of a balancing act. Sending to many emails will likely annoy your customers, causing them to unsubscribe from your newsletter. Sending too few, on the other hand, may have you getting lost in the pile that is some people’s inbox.
This is why it’s important that email campaigns are run with respect to your contacts. Make sure that what you send them are things they will actually find value in. Otherwise, your emails will become as loathed as the typical spam scam.
So the next time you’re reevaluating your marketing strategy, consider these three internet marketing methods. They could be what takes your business to a new level of relevance and help separate you from the competition.