There is more to digital marketing than SEO. Everything on and around your website contributes to a well-rounded web presence. We divided the whole of digital marketing into 10 avenues, each of which are vital in its own way. Browse to see how you can improve the online presence of your company.
Boost Your Online Presence in 10 Ways
1. Research Yourself
To warm up, hold a brainstorming session with your team to answer these questions: Who are your clients? Who are your competitors? What makes you different? If you have trouble answering any of these questions, think about observations your clients have made. Test out your findings with this sentence: For [target market], [brand] is the company of choice for [category] because [support or reason to believe]. This is your value proposition, what your website should tell potential customers within seconds of arriving.
Now it’s time to see your company from a search engine’s perspective. Begin by logging into your free Google Analytics account and going to Behavior > Overview. Here, you will see your most popular pages, the average amount of time spent on each page, and your bounce rate (amongst many other things). Find the pages that are losing users and figure out what those pages need or if they’re even needed.
For a close look at your keyword rankings, we recommend SEMrush. Click Organic Research to see your organic traffic over time, and more vitally, your keyword rankings. Here, you can track changes to each keyword ranking over time, which is affected both by your own website content and your competition. You will also see which keywords are bringing in the most traffic (and which things you rank for that you don’t necessarily want to).
2. Perform Fresh Keyword Research
Now that you know what you’re ranking for, it’s time to see what other search terms customers use to find websites like yours. The best keyword research tool out there is the Google Ads Keyword Planner. Log into Google Ads, click Tools > Keyword Planner > Find new keywords. Type in up to 10 related keywords to find more suggestions and see projected search volume for each. Find the related keywords with the highest search volume and put them in your pocket for step 3.
3. Use SEO Best Practice
Grab your list of keywords with a high search volume. Then tastefully distribute them throughout your site. Devote certain pages to important topics, prominently featuring the keywords you found. Blogs are an excellent way to bring in traffic based on certain keywords. Make sure to mix them up – healthy page uses not just one but a rich mix of related terms. Important places for keywords:
- Blog title (catchy yet keyword-filled)
- Meta title (60 to 70 characters)
- H1 heading (one per page)
- H2 headings (use to taste)
- Alt text (practical, gloss-free image descriptions)
- Meta description tag (at least 150 characters)
- Page content (at least 250 words per page)
4. Format Your Website for Ease of Use
A beautiful website is a practical platform. Users know exactly where to click to buy something, contact the company, or get information on whatever they need. It doesn’t need to be flashy and original, though a little brand personality goes a long way.
Before worrying about anything else, you need a simple interface. We recommend using wordpress.org (not wordpress.com), though you may prefer SquareSpace or Shopify. We generally urge against hiring contractors to build websites from scratch as you will rely on contractors to update and fix your site until the end of time. On the other hand, pre-built CMS like WordPress, SquareSpace, Shopify, and like come with huge support communities and lots of handy plug-in tools.
Your website should have a simple top menu, urls with clear parent pages (example.com/blog/fishing-tips not example.com/about/docs/01-08-2019/fishing-tips), and a friendly call-to-action on the home page. The look of your site is important, but it’s crucial that customers are able to find their way around.
5. Get Local SEO Rolling
Set up a Google My Business account and make sure everything about your business is correct. Log in regularly to specify holiday hours, answer customer questions, and post announcements.
The majority of local SEO is research. Sign up on all the business directories in your area. Make sure to use identical spelling and punctuation for every listing, paying special attention to the format of the address.
The best thing about local SEO is that it’s one-and-done. You can always add your business to more listings, but there is no maintenance required (unless you change locations).
6. Capture Readers with a Blog
A blog that makes thorough use of keyword research, quality information, writing skill, and internal links can improve website traffic by 400%. Each blog should focus on a vital keyword and include a network of related keywords featured prominently in the text. That does it for the SEO foundation, but it takes a lot more than that to craft a successful blog.
A blog’s true value is determined by the reader. It must be informative, unique, and easy to get through if not entertaining. People only read and share blogs that are valuable to them. They are also more likely to explore the rest of the website when the blog resonates with them. A useful graphic or a pleasant image can do a lot to add value to a blog. A blog must also have a clear format and purpose. Most blogs are best kept brief, between 250 and 1,000 words, though others can be longer if they capture the interest of the reader.
A valuable blog can be utilized to bring more traffic to your website. Place at least one internal link to draw readers to another portion of your site. It could be a blog on a follow-up topic or perhaps a product or service this particular audience may benefit from. Also include a relevant external link, perhaps to an informational website or a partner company. You can use your blog to trade backlinks for social media shoutouts with fellow companies, even feature guest posts on topics other companies specialize in. Remember the modern reader can sense an advertisement from a mile away. Make sure the links you provide are relevant and valuable just like the blog, itself.
7. Build an Organic Social Media Presence
Once your website is on its feet, it’s time to spread your wings. Modern social media sites are free to use, and are a great way to interact with customers. Each social media website has a different target audience and culture.
Facebook is a place to inform and entertain with a mix of text, pictures, and videos. If you have an event coming up, Facebook is the place to host the invite. Twitter is perfect for dropping quick announcements and interacting with people directly. Instagram is the domain of photos and art. Share your stories that are best told through pictures. Pinterest is also a visual platform, but from a collector’s perspective. Post relatable, aesthetically pleasing things here. Finally, LinkedIn is the place to interact with other businesses and potential hires.
When you post to social media, think about your voice and message as a company. Are you down-to-business, or do you show customers your wacky side? Do you have a certain aesthetic or color scheme? Social media is the place to establish a brand identity.
8. Advertise on Social Media
Not every social media site is built for paid posts, but Facebook and LinkedIn are excellent advertising platforms. An unpaid, or organic, post will mostly be seen by your current following. Sponsored posts, however, appear for any audience of your choosing. On LinkedIn, target posts and private messages by job title, industry, and region. On Facebook, post by demographic to capture your precise target audience.
If an organic post is performing well, sponsor it to get the word out even more. Try new things each time, and note what makes them successful. If a post seems to drive the audience away, note why and make changes. Offer something of value in each post: information, entertainment, temptation, encouragement, anything that vibes with your audience.
9. Create an SEM Campaign
SEM, or search engine marketing, is advertising that appears on search engines, particularly Google and Bing. Building a campaign can be time-consuming. Rather than integrating keywords into your website like in SEO, SEM requires brainstorming, researching, and organizing each keyword a customer may use in an online search, and designing ads to appear when these keywords are searched. See why we recommend partnering with an agency for your SEM campaign.
10. Bring Your Network Online
As social creatures, we value recommendations from people we trust. That means customers are more likely to work with you if referred by a familiar business, vendor, or individual. Drawing on your business alliances online is beneficial to everyone involved.
Start by brainstorming everyone you work with either directly or indirectly. List other businesses as well as loyal customers and friends in the field. Add them on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and keep in contact about exciting new changes.
On the web, publicity and SEO walk hand-in-hand. Guest blog for each other’s sites. Link to each other’s pages. Celebrate each other’s successes on social media. Review each other’s services. Most businesses will be eager to exchange online publicity because it costs them nothing and benefits both parties.
Never be afraid to ask for customer reviews. Your Yelp, Facebook, and Google My Business pages flourish when the reviews pour in. In fact, the star rating of a business can make or break a sale. See Review Tracker’s statistics online reviews.
11. Bonus: Review Your Hard Work
Nothing works perfectly the first time. Perseverance is the willingness to look over old efforts, spot errors, make adjustments, and pivot to new strategies as necessary. Use Google Analytics to see how things have changed. Take time with your team to review your digital marketing status at least once a month and discuss new strategies.
Building your online presence demands planning and upkeep, but it’s worth every minute. The choice is which avenues to pursue on your own and which to delegate to a professional digital marketing team. Chat with us to set your next marketing goals and start making things happen.