SEO isn’t dead, but it sure is not the only solution that will propel business’s to internet marketing success. Not to mention, trying to fool Google in the long run is akin to playing chess against the top computer scientists in the world. Oh wait, the top computer science professors(you know the guys who wrote the textbooks), they all work for Google.
So, would you rather play on the same team as these balding-gray-haired geniuses, or fight against them? The answer to that surely rests upon whether your ego is in charge and/or your desire to “get rich quick”.
For those that are still with me and want to work with the Search Engines and Social Media, rather than against them, please read on.
5 Keys for a Robust Internet Marketing Strategy
1. Websites that Work
Having a website is great! Good job. So you have your site, and have staked your claim in the land of cyberspace. But, you are only taking your car out of 1st gear. Have you turned the website into a into lead generating, sale producing, customer pleasing BEAST?
To be competitive in 2014, you must take your website from being a stick in the mud and turn it into a giant castle with beaming searchlights, music and good times across the cyber-universe. Stock it with entertaining content, Google code and plant seeds around the web that will grow into traffic funnels back to your site.
High Functioning Websites have:
- On Page Optimization for Search Engines – pages must be “Google friendly” with XML maps, image labels, rich content and keywords selected properly. Read more here or request a complimentary analysis from us.
- Optimizion for Customers – You don’t want folks to “bounce” once they hit your site. Make it sticky with interesting content, ease of navigation and an organized layout. Provide value to people who come to your site. Web Surfers expect it and will give you their time before they give you their money.
- Contact Form, Lead Capture – Keeping in touch with your site visitors and snagging a sampling of customers who visit your site is crucial. Add a lead capture page or lead magnet to get contact information and familiarize yourself with the folks who are visiting. You can also use retargeting to advertise to people that have been to your site.
- Fresh Content – This is another key element and often comes in the form of a Blog. People are attracted to sites that are continually adding new information. How many of us go back and read our Facebook Stream from a month ago? Keep your website fresh to bolster repeat visitors.
2. Social Media Participation –
The keyword here is Participation. Think of it this way, would you rather spend 8hrs cold calling customers or log onto Facebook(or Linkedin/Pinterest etc.) and spend 15 minutes engaging and sharing some good information? I’m into doing more with less, and I hate cold calling so social media is the lesser of two evils.
So make social media part of your routine, like getting your coffee and brushing your teeth. Most people are generally involved in only one social network. So, at the bear minimum find where your customers are and be active there.
Just post something every day, even if it is about the weather. Once you get into the habit, go ahead and stock your posts with entertaining and useful information for people, specifically your customers. My take is that it’s ok to get personal. So, if you want to share about your weekend adventure, by all means go ahead. People buy from people, not businesses.
It’s also good to have many profiles on high ranking/pr sites like Yelp. Some business’s yelp page actually ranks higher than the business home page. It’s quite common actually. So do a search for your target keywords and see which social profiles rank high and claim your spot.
BTW, do not share anything without a photo.
3. Sales Process – The Funnel
“It’s more difficult than ever to attract and get that first purchase. It’s easier than ever to provide value and sell to existing customers.”
All business have a sales process, whether designed on the fly or built by an architect. On one end of the spectrum you have businesses with websites sitting around and waiting for people to stumble upon them and call. On the other side, you have websites and outreach processes that create strong relationships with, and give value to potential customers before they buy.
Here is a way to hit home runs online, generate huge leads and turbocharge sales: It’s called a Sales Funnel and it’s taking the internet by storm. Now this ain’t your grand-dad’s funnel. It’s a souped up version that leverages the internet to attract quality customers in droves. Due to it’s ability to transform businesses, the concept and strategy is a must have for great success online.
The steps of the Funnel are:
- Lead Magnet – Piece of information that is critical and can be consumed very fast.
- Tripwire – Provide high value for an extremely low cost.
- Core Offer – Present your core product
- Profit Maximizer – Upsells
- Return/Retention – Providing value in the form of free information, products and services to your existing customers.
4. SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Remember, it’s SEO, not SEF(Search Engine Fooling). SEO this is the most glamorous and deceiving part of internet marketing. Post a job on an outsourcing board and you’ll get hundreds of folks claiming they can do SEO to rank your site to Page #1. This may be true, but Google has caught on and is constantly updating it’s algorithms to weed out what they call “link schemes”. My take is that it is much better, especially in the long run, to work with Google. There is Yahoo and Bing, but most of the searching happens on Google. Ranking on the first page and #1 can create windfalls for companies, so it is worth putting energy and effort into. Having a basic understanding of how search engines, and customers search the web and index is crucial. On-page seo is a great first step. Next, off page work begins with backlinks from article submissions, web 2.0(social media), forums, blogs etc. The backlinks must be from relevant sites. If you have a site on truck accessories, it doesn’t do much good to have a link from a baking site.
SEO comes with a stiff warning. I’ve met folks whose sites got a 2 year penalty from google(called sandboxing) which deranks your site into never-never land. This happens when you participate in link schemes and add too many links, too fast to your site. It’s called spamming the internet, and Google is cracking down. So it pays and protects to build links properly(slow and organic as possible). And, remember that 60% of site ranking comes from having a plethora of relevant backlinks.
5. Advertising PPC SEM
“The advertisement should be of value to the consumer in and of itself”
There are some amazing opportunities in advertising right now, historically cheap and effective opportunities. Now that I have your attention, let’s explain how PPC works. Basically, you are buying traffic to your site. Sometimes you pay per click(PPC), others you pay per impression(PPM).
Google PPC is expensive depending on the niche. Criminal lawyers for example pay a premium of up to $150 per click! Y
ou can get much better deals on Google’s display network, or better yet Social Media Advertising and Youtube. I have recently conducted a campaign on youtube which yielded .07 cents per click.
Facebook is also affordable right now, typically valuing under $1/click. The amazing thing about Facebook advertising is that it is extremely targeted. If you want to target a guy who is college educated, has kids, drives a mercedes, has one harley in the garage and has an HTC smartphone, you can target him directly. It’s almost criminal. Actually, it’s better for the customer and business to have laser precision targeting and relevant ads…otherwise they become ignored.
Again, you must define your ideal customer and use advertising to reach out to them and provide value, right up front.