Once a website has been built it needs traffic to be useful to your business and to get traffic the website needs to be promoted.
Initially not all of the traffic will be ‘the right type for your business’. If you are set up to get your Google Analytics report you will see that some visitors are just not going to become your customers. None the less in the beginning it is just important to get your website visited and as a result of the increased traffic – the visitors you do want will be more likely to find you. It’s all about popularity and for the search engines a steadily increasing flow of traffic to your website and especially return visitors = a site worth rating higher.
There are two approaches that are used to improve your rankings: SEO and Social Media Marketing.
While SEO panders predominately to the search engines, Social Media Marketing panders to the humans and as such (we feel) is a far more valuable tool to use to get your website noticed. This is the online version of gaining business and trust through referrals, word of mouth and recommendations. One approach (ours in this instance) is to do the necessary or basic on-site and off-site SEO and then switch focus to Social Media Marketing to engage the audience.
Google has about 200 criteria items that are used to qualify your website (the exact list is kept secret but most are obvious). Once the website has been tweaked for speed, has an xml sitemap, no dodgy coding, title tags, image tags etc are in place. the rest of SEO is concerned with building links (placing links to your website on other websites) and by enhancing keywords (i.e. making sure that your chosen keywords are mentioned in as many forms through-out your website). When it comes to websites with little text this can look and read forced. A blog is then the best way to add keywords to your website.
When it comes to LinkBuilding – There are companies that will “create 300 inbound links to your website”. Where are these links placed? Consider this – how many valuable sites are out there that you can add a website link to? Do you use any of them personally? Or often? Have you heard of them? – For the most part they are directories of one sort or another. If you have ever tried to list with a directory you will know that it is time consuming, sometimes frustrating and not always guaranteed. In fact some directories do not like SEO companies placing listings on behalf of their clients. Despite this there are some great tactics that really work such as registering with Google local business ( was maps now sites ) and with a few decent local directories such as hot frog. If an SEO company is really working hard they are qualifying sites to see if it is really worth placing a link ( lets face it there is a lot of link tomb-stoning going on where a link is placed on an obscure website and then left to die). They will also be creating content for you, finding forums to provide expert answers on your behalf, finding decent niche websites to link to, blogging and posting on social media sites.
In the end once you have placed your links, tweaked your website, it all comes down to content…
Social Media Marketing is all about creating content – writing articles and posts (short sentences) that are about your business, products and your industry. The objective is to create lots of content around your business on specific social media sites that point to your website. To be effective with this you need to give value to your audience. It is not OK to sell, sell, sell, sell as this will drive your audience away. It is OK to post a broad and wide range of content – latest products, company quirks, company news, industry news, product related stuff (i.e. recipes if you sell kitchenware), give-aways, images, graphics and graphs, etc. When you have decent content other websites and Internet users will want to use your information and link to your website, this takes time and needs to be seen as a marathon not a sprint (but it sure beats SEO LinkBuilding for fun! – having to source websites where you can place a link, image resizing because they are all different, tweaking the text because they are all different, inputting the text and contact details over and over and over…).
The blog should be used as the focal point for content publishing on your website and it is better if the blog is part of your website (not on a separate website) as the search engines will note the increase in traffic to your website and score you higher. It will still work if you are using Blogger, WordPress, etc but your ‘link juice’ won’t be as concentrated to your website. The best approach is the publish first on the blog and use the social media accounts such as Facebook and twitter to promote the blog articles. Obviously it is difficult and for most companies unnecessary to blog every day so the social media accounts are also used to post bits of content to keep the mentions about your business, products, industry ticking over. An active social media account is seen as a very good thing by the search engines.
When you look at the social media accounts like Facebook, twitter, etc. some of the followers you gain are not going to be useful to you or even relevant. The important thing here once again is popularity so when the ones you really want come along they just see the activity and join, view your website, read your blog and buy your products. Where the social media websites were once only really for individuals, they are now used as very effective tools to connect with individuals and companies on a business level in your industry.
For Internet users – gaining trust, brand recognition, shortening the buying cycle and establishing customer loyalty are achieved when you can bring a potential customer closer to your business through them reading your online content. Social Media is changing the online business world – it allows customers to get closer to companies they like and companies are becoming more than just the sum of their products. When it comes to websites it is no longer OK just to have one up there somewhere. When was the last time you checked yours? To be seen as a good company to do business with online users now expect to see that you are socially active, and your website is the gateway to your social media presence.
At The Marketing Company we have a few packages to give your social media a jump start and to keep your website climbing up the search engine rankings. Contact us now.
We do the work for you here so you don’t need to worry about having to write articles, getting used to these social media websites and finding content. Your input is obviously most welcome to keep us updated of new products and industry related happenings like trade shows you are attending or product launches. You can just forward any relevant emails and we will do the rest.