Online marketing is fast becoming an effective means for driving business growth. It is an avenue for businesses to create brand awareness, improve website traffic, generate leads and ultimately increase sales revenue.
It is increasingly becoming clear that 21st century businesses, small or big, will need to integrate some form of internet marketing strategies into their overall marketing efforts if they are to be competitive in the marketplace. This places a responsibility on every business, especially small business owners to learn at least the basics of marketing on the internet.
For starters, I have put together this list adapted from Hubspot’s online marketing criteria for measuring your marketing efforts. They are grouped into blogging, social media and SEO.
Blogging is a very powerful marketing tool. It affords you the opportunity to create quality content that engages your website audience. It also is an effective means for beefing up search engine optimization.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Set up a blog: plan your posts on a weekly basis by creating a calendar;
- Set up an RSS feed: feedburner can help you do this and there are others as well. If you are using WordPress development framework, rss feed is automatically created. Go to www.yourdomain.com/feed/ to access your blog feed;
- Include social media buttons on your blog: this will allow users to easily share your content;
- Include email subscription form to the blog;
- Be consistent with your posts. Do not post for a few weeks and slack for three months. This will give a bad impression to your visitors. Do not abandon them!
Social media is big and any business who is seeking to create brand awareness should do this. Millions of people flock to the internet every month to engage with friends, family and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Linkedin. Tap into this huge resource to leverage your online marketing strategy.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Set up a Twitter account;
- Set up a Facebook account;
- Set up a Linkedin account, if you are B2B focused;
- Link your social media accounts to your homepage;
- Schedule time for regular posting or sharing of relevant content.
Do not try to do all at once. This area is very time consuming, so focus on which social media platforms is most appropriate for your business. Facebook and Twitter are usually recommended for starters.
Search Engine Optimization has been proven to be the most effective internet marketing avenue for lead generation. According to iMedia Connection, about 78% of all internet users (2.4 billion) go online to perform service/product searches on Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. About 59% of all B2B leads are generated through SEO, according to data from Marketing Charts.
Here is what you can do:
- Write quality, unique and relevant content for your pages;
- Write unique and relevant meta descriptions;
- Use your main keywords (services/products) in your page titles;
- Use relevant keywords in your headings and alt tags;
To conclude, I will also add that given the pervasiveness of mobile technology, ensure that your business website is responsive and adaptable to different devices, that is, smart phones, tablets and notebooks. Communicate this with your developer and see how he or she can help you get this started.
Alternatively, there are third-party tools online to help you get this sorted out. An example that comes to mind immediately is responsinator.