You know that you need to have an Online presence and that you need an Online Strategy. But what do you need and where do you start? Firstly let’s talk Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which should be the drive behind your Online Strategy. Google has recently launched its brand new Hummingbird Search Algorithm. Basically what this means is when you type in your search Google takes into account all the millions of Websites around the globe, as well as other factors like your location, previous searches, preferences and a whole myriad more to come up with the search results.
Related article: How does Google’s new Hummingbird Search Algorithm affect you?
This new Search Algorithm allows users to search in a Conversational manner meaning that the more keywords in your search the better your results should be (or so Google claims). This means you need CONTENT, and lots of it! There is little point in getting a super duper Website designed and then you just leave it to get dusty, outdated and unseen. Your Website is not just an online business card. Your Website should be your active online agent working for you all the time!
With this in mind your approach should be Holistic with a strong focus on content. We have found this to be the most effective for our customers and content also drives Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as well as Lead Generation and Customer Acquisition, in other words getting people to your Website and buying/booking whatever you have to sell.
1. Search Engine Optimised Website
Firstly you need a Website that is user friendly, easy on the eye and Optimised for Search, with the correct keywords, links, etc. Add a Favicon so that people can easily recognise your Website.
Your Website page links need to be URL friendly. Headings and Page titles need to be optimised for search engines. You need the right Keyword selection, integrating popular search terms and image titles for SEO. To be found your business needs to be on Google places. Your Website needs to be registered with Google and Bing webmasters and you need XML Sitemaps. Then to track your Website traffic you need to register with Google Analytics.
Related article: You don’t have to be an SEO expert to get results – DIY SEO Guide
2. Social Media Marketing
You need to have a Social presence because Google takes into account how popular you are. There are hundreds of different Social Media channels and don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to be on everyone. Just like the most popular kid on the block doesn’t go to every party but only the selected ones, the ones that are popular and will make him even more popular. The ones we like for best growth, engagement and SEO are Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. Your Social Media profiles need to be optimised for Search just like your Website.
Research your Customer Personas/Audience/Prospective Clients and your Competitors. The best way to get a balanced approach is to use a Social Media Content Calendar, make sure you’re creating and posting content that your prospective clients can relate to and be attracted to. The goal is to attract the right personas, so look at ALL their interests to attract and then engage them.
Related article: How to get your Facebook Vanity or Custom URL
It is best to have your Blog on your Website as an integrated page. With social article sharing, facility for comments from readers and tracking so that you can see how many times your articles have been read and shared.
10 Reasons why you need a Blog
1. To Expand your visibility on the web (SEO) and to Generate Traffic. By using the right keywords a Blog forms a vital part of your Online Strategy.
2. According to HubSpot 60% of businesses who Blog acquire more customers.
3. Having Social Media profiles without having a Blog is like going to a Networking event without business cards. With Social Sharing a Blog is a great tool to send traffic back to your Website.
4. Your Blog will be shared and increase your Reach continually.
5. The best way to grow your email Database is with a Blog. Make sure you have an email sign-up form on your Blog.
6. Add a teaser of your Blog articles to your Newsletters, this makes for a better newsletter but also sends traffic back to your Website.
7. A Blog gives your Company a Voice.
8. Your Blog will generate new leads and Enquiries.
9. Use your Blog to create a strong influence and to become a thought leader – this will build trust with your followers and ensure you are top of mind.
10. A Blog can help you gain insight into what your followers are interested in and help you to be more strategic in your content.
Related article: Are you adding fresh Content to your Website regularly or are you losing ground with the Search Engines?
As part of your Online Marketing Campaign you need to have a Newsletter so that you can reach your Audience with a teaser and links to your latest Blog, Social Media, Website, etc. You can have news about your Company, Sales updates or Images included and make sure you have a Subscription form on your Website.
5. Pay per Click Advertising
The Blog articles you write, the content you create for your Social Media and everything else you do is Organic, and organic growth is slower. To boost your campaign you need to also have a Paid Advertising Campaign for Google Adwords and Facebook at least. If you have a limited budget it is ok, work within your means and allocate a small amount to your advertising campaign every month. This will speed up the growth of visitors to your Social Media and Website which in turn will benefit your organic growth as well.
6. Measure and Track
Nothing can improve if it doesn’t get measured. Set up your Google Analytics account on your Website and Blog and track your Growth. These are the basic things you should keep tabs on.
1. Overall Visitors – Tracking visitors for a specified period, or as a comparison to a previous period.
2. Visits by Traffic type
– Organic – via Search engines
– Direct – via a Link or typed your Web address
– Referral – from other Websites and Social Media
3. New Visitor vs. Returning visitor
4. Visits by Country and Duration
5. Visits from Source, e.g. Direct, Facebook, Google and Bing, your online listings, etc.
6. Page views by Page
In order to get the best results it is wise to include a bit of everything in your Strategy. Then as you get better and your results are improving you can focus more energy on the parts that bring you the best return.