Online Marketing and the New Rules of SEO

Over the past few years, Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short) has changed significantly.  No longer, can you just rely upon choosing the right keywords, include those keywords in your content a few times and add a few links. To be ranked consistently today requires a mufti-faceted approach to SEO.  While SEO is by no means dead, you must be extremely conscious of a wide range of factors that help to determine where you rank online.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing Online: The beginnings, Your Website

Do I need a website?

You have to get in the game in order to win the game.  If you’re looking to grow your business, a website is must.  Designing a website as well and using sound SEO strategies can help to grow your business immensely compared to not having one at all.  With the majority of consumers looking online for products and services, having a web presence is extremely important to being noticed.

Benefits of a Website

There are a number of benefits that businesses can experience from having a web site.

  • Platform to share your message – By having a website, you are able to share your message to the world.  Having a professional website will instantly show customers that you are a reputable force in your industry.
  • Reach customers all over the world – Years ago, businesses were often restricted by their location.  In today’s digital economy, companies can have customers all over the world by having a robust website.
  • Support platform – Another benefit of a website is that it can act as a great way to handle support requests.  Offering an online form for feedback allows you to handle customer requests without having them bombard your email box.  With a website you can funnel customer requests to the right person, every time.

 What Makes a Successful Website?

A successful website does not have to cost an arm and a leg to be successful.  A simple website that is aesthetically pleasing, and showcases your products or services should be enough to help you grow your business.  From an SEO perspective, it is important to continuously update your web site with vibrant content as well as to share your content across multiple platforms to show the search engines that you are an authority in your industry.

Branding

What is a Brand?

A brand is your corporate identity.  Your brand often includes your logo, and web site, but it can also include much more, it’s the essence of what you do.  Your employees are also an extension of your brand and if you are not treating your employees fairly, they will become frustrated with your customers, which in turn will affect your brand.

As you update or launch your brand online, take some time to understand your brand and to determine your target market.  Marketing to an incorrect market can do little to grow your business online.

Why is Shaping a Brand Important?

Shaping your brand allows you to determine how you would like for your potential customers to view your company.  Shaping your brand involves finding a target market and catering everything that you do to that market.

If your market is a young, hip audience, then your logo should reflect this demographic.  Effectively shaping your brand will allow you to grow your audience and increase your online traffic as well.

Consistent Branding is Important

When launching a website, your brand should be consistent across all platforms.  If you are using different types of marketing, chances are that each of these marketing methods will encourage potential customers to visit your website.   If these various marketing materials do not match the look and feel of your website, your customers will instantly be confused.

Social Media, Is it Friend or Foe?

Social Media is gaining in popularity and importance by the day.  It is imperative as a business that you utilize at least the top 3 Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+).  The search engines look at your social media profiles to determine whether you are a true authority in your arena.  Posting consistent and fresh content to your Social Media profiles will dramatically increase the chances that you will be ranked higher in the various search engines.

It is also important to have an updated LinkedIn profiles as well.  An updated profile can help to build credibility for both yourself and your brand.  Customers will look you up on LinkedIn to determine if you really are a provider of the goods and services that you claim to offer.

Importance of Video Marketing

When customers are visiting your web site, they often like to see who is behind the “computer”.  By utilizing video content, you can show your customers who you are, which can help to attach a more personalized touch to what you are offering.  Videos help to build rapport and offer another way to improve your search engine rankings.

Google gives significant weight to website owners that regularly upload YouTube videos, and video marketing should be an important part of any effective SEO strategy.  With today’s smartphones, creating a video is as easy as pressing a button on your phone and uploading it to YouTube.

Ongoing Promotion

Become an authority in your industry is a lifelong process.  Designing a flashy web site and not doing anything else, is not enough to gain the attention of new customers or to gain the attention of the large search engines.  Being successful online is about consistently creating content that shows your current and potential customers that you are an expert in your field.

By building trust with your customers, you can continue to grow your business long into the future.  Having an online presence through a web site as well as a presence on the major Social Media platforms is a great way to begin to build that trust that is so important to being successful online.

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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