Internet marketing strategies can get complex
fast, so it helps to take a few steps back to ensure all of the most vital
components are in order.
Otherwise, you might get too focused on the
details to see that your online marketing funnel as a whole is broken. Or, you
might miss out on a key digital marketing practice that would be essential for
earning you new leads and converting those leads to customers.
Of course, every business is different and has
different needs. Some businesses may be in an industry where finding new leads
through social media is nearly impossible, for instance.
Regardless of business variables like these,
there are five internet marketing essentials all businesses should account for as part of their overall
strategy. Even if you confidently decide that you don’t need one of them, you
should at least consider the benefits it brings other businesses that you might
be giving up.
A Mobile Friendly Business Website Optimized for Conversions and Easy Information
Your business website is the absolute foundation
of your internet marketing strategy. You may think that your business model can
do without a website because of all the services offered by platforms like
Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
The fact of the matter is that your website backs
all of these other elements up. Your website is also one of the only internet
marketing environments where you have complete control. Google or Facebook
could decide to delete your business profile tomorrow with nary a warning, and
you’d have to fight with them to find out why they did it and how to get it
Your business website also acts as a cornerstone
that reinforces all of your marketing channels. If you want someone to discover
your local business through a voice search, for instance, having detailed
information about your hours, services, and products increases the chances that
the searcher’s voice assistant pulls up accurate information.
Most businesses also think of their website as
the final point of conversion. You can create landing pages that people arrive at from your
email marketing or social media campaigns. Since these pages are nearly 100%
customizable, you get to control the impressions of your business the visitor
gets and influence their desire to convert.
an Effective Website:
- Think carefully about how to make
navigation intuitive. Google mentions site layout and your navigation hierarchy
above keyword use in their own SEO guide.
- Express your brand but don’t make
your website noisy or cluttered. Usability requires a layout that’s easy to
interpret visually and that doesn’t cause eye strain or mental fatigue.
- Treat your home page like a
landing page. Think about the absolute most important information a customer
would want to know first then fill in details and support your claims
efficiently with a few pieces of social
proof as evidence.
A Strategy for Ranking Your Website on Search Engines (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the marketing
practice of engineering your website content to increase your website’s chances
of appearing near the top of search results.
According to a recent study, the number one
search ranking position earns around twice as many clicks as the number two.
Once you reach position six, you start receiving clicks from less than 3% of
the people who see your search result listing.
Put even more bluntly: People will have a really hard time finding your business if you aren’t
ranked near the top of search results.
To rank more highly, you need a large volume of
content and a well-made site. You can see if your current website has any red
flags by using the Fetch as Google tool and then by using Google’s
mobile friendly and page load speed tool.
Over half (63%) of your website visitors are likely to be
mobile device users, so a good mobile experience for users is
important to Google and therefore important for your ranking.
Once you have your overall site in order,
download Google search console, Google Analytics and Bing
Webmaster Tools. These platforms will help you analyze your site and
track metrics for stats like website visitors, how long they spend on certain
pages, and other valuable decision-making data.
Only after these technical details have been
dealt with should you start to worry about content and keywords. Your goal for
using keywords is to signal to search engines and to audiences that your
content is relevant to what they’re looking for. So if you’re a hardware store
in Sacramento, your website should say phrases like “hardware store in
Sacramento” or “Sacramento hardware store,” and related phrases, at least a few
times on each major page.
Don’t overdo it! Spamming keywords is more likely
to lead to a search penalty, pushing you further down the ranks. Write naturally
and try to help guide people rather than trick search engines.
A Social Media Presence
People spend a lot of their online time within
social media apps. Businesses able to cultivate a community on these apps – or
at the very least have a searchable presence – stand a better chance of being
discovered by potential customers.
Just as important, many people may look on social
media platforms to research your business. They may want to read reviews, look
at other people’s comments, or see something like your hours without having to
leave their favorite social spaces.
Social media can also strengthen the backbone of
your content marketing campaigns. Every article you write can be shared on
social media, and you could also use social platforms to broadcast promotions,
contests, or announcements.
When using social media as a marketing tool, we
strongly suggest that you lead people who click on your links to a specialized
landing page. This strategy ensures they won’t get lost or forget where they
were navigating after the click.
Social Media Marketing Tips:
- Post on a regular schedule a few
times a month so that people will come to depend on your content.
- Sign up for messenger alerts since
a third of people now say they prefer to contact
businesses through social media rather than a phone call.
- Interact with your followers and
engage them when possible. For instance, you can ask a related question when
posting new blog content to encourage responses.
- Set goals for social media marketing
beyond likes and follows. For instance, track how many people click on your
links to promotions or content.
An Active Blog
Business blogs are a vital component of your SEO
strategy. Search engines like to index fresh content, so if you’re home page was
last updated in 2010, they may rank your site lower than a more recent one.
On the other hand, if you have an active blog
that publishes weekly, you can send recurring signals to search engines that
your content is current and relevant.
Avoid thinking about your blog as another
advertising channel. Instead, it should be a helpful resource for visitors.
Blog about topics that introduce them to important industry concepts. Or, give
them a convenient list of tips. Always offer value, but follow your blog posts
up with a strong call to action.
Email marketing offers your business a reliable
channel to stay in touch with customers and leads.
For instance, if you offer a really helpful and
informative e-book, the typical person might download it and never think about
your brand again. But if you ask them for their email to send it to them
directly, you can also have the chance to follow up with a drip campaign that
nurtures their interest in becoming a paying customer.
Using email campaigns can encourage a past
customer to make repeat purchases. By sending them exclusive offers tailored to
their interests and their purchase history, you can develop a relationship and
- Receiving too many promotions and
messages is the #1 reason people unsubscribe. Try to limit your campaign emails
to one to two times a month, not counting contacts like order confirmations.
- Think carefully about your subject
lines. A good subject line can dramatically raise your open rate, while a bad
one could get you flagged quickly as spam.
- Make your emails brief and to the
point. If you have something more in-depth to say, direct them to a landing
- Try to make emails feel personal,
as if they’re sent from a specific business employee, not a faceless company
Nice to Have: Video Marketing
Video marketing requires a larger budget than
most small businesses care to muster, but the results truly do speak for
themselves. 81% of people say that they were convinced to purchase
something after watching a brand’s video. Also, 95% of people say
they have watched an explainer video to learn more about a business, product,
Your video marketing strategy can start small
with live Q&A sessions, short recaps of your most popular blog posts, or a
quick explainer video of your most important products/services. You don’t need
a million dollar budget to make an impact! You just need to focus on meeting
your audience’s needs in a format that few people can resist.
Combine All of These Internet
Marketing Essentials Into a Complete Package
Focus on strengthening each of the above
components individually and then strategize for ways to tie them all together
into one strong, effective package.
These days, people flock between more media channels than ever. By having a strong website, an engaging social media presence, an SEO ranking strategy, and a method for communicating effectively through email, you can catch people on any and all of the channels they inhabit.