In the early days of the internet, the process of online marketing was mainly the struggle to get to the top of a search engine results page. While that is still a primary motivation, there are many other ways to successfully market a brand online.
Here are some of the methods any business that wants to learn how to stand out online in 2018 can utilize.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the term used to describe the process of getting internet content recognized by search engines in a way that a brand will be placed high on a results page. The process involves designing web pages and other internet content to highlight specific keywords and phrases. SEO can be very expensive but is a long term marketing play, if your website holds high value in the eyes of large search engines, most notably google, you can get clicks from potential customers for years.
For example, there are nearly 50,000 practicing lawyers in the Washington, DC region. Getting to the top of the local search engine list involves local SEO citation building. Ranking above all your local competition is a massive advantage, especially if you are all competing in one local market. Nationwide companies also need to put massive effort into ranking pages, if a company has millions of potential customers then ranking for a term even off the first page is a worthy investment. If people are doing deep and specific searches for services like small business loan research, ranking on page 2, 3, or 4 is still a huge edge over a company that has no web presence.
Maintain a Blog
Most business websites grow stale because they only list static information. Products, people, and locations are common on business websites. These types of pages give customers no incentive to return. Having an active blog does.
Here are just a few benefits:
-A blog allows a business to stay engaged with people interested in their product or brand.
-Improves SEO by frequently updating the search engines. This lets them know that the site is active and a source for real information. This is one of the criteria used when calculating the list order.
-Blogs, press releases, and other writing provide a business with content that may be linked to from social media sites.
-A particularly interesting blog post may be picked up by an industry group or other content providers who will provide a link to the post or provide attribution to the company.
Have a Social Media Plan
Many businesses fail to utilize the wide variety of social media platforms available. They may have a Facebook page and possibly a Twitter account but they don’t extend beyond that to other platforms.
Someone needs to be designated as responsible for all social media. That person should create a schedule of when content will be pushed out. Most businesses probably have customers and prospective customers on most social media platforms.
Email is a viable option for any marketing effort. Use social media outlets to encourage people to sign up for email newsletters, promotions, and articles. People do not like spam so they should only receive well-written email only after they opt-in. Use email as an opportunity to keep the business fresh in their mind.
Regardless of which methods are implemented, the most important part of a marketing campaign is to engage and respond quickly to comments and questions. People appreciate the size and scope of the internet and are grateful when a business gets back to them. Designing a strategy to be practical to maintain and accessible by the greatest number of people will result in new and happy customers. When done right, online marketing can benefit any company in any industry.