Online Marketing Tips
Stay Ahead of Your Competition with Online Marketing
To stay ahead of competitors, it’s crucial for your business to utilize Internet marketing services along with a professional-looking website to help you get found online. To be successful, it’s important to know your target audience as well as the best ways to reach that audience.
Having a good looking website is great – however, it is of no use if people can’t find it. The best way to ensure that your business is easy to find online is to utilize the following marketing tools:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Local Search Marketing (LSM)
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Email Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
A Professional Online Image
The online presence of your business is part of your image and brand – so it must be professional.
After all, would you set up a storefront in a worn out building? Or sell outdated food or clothing items? Would you not put up a sign for your business?
No, you wouldn’t. And you shouldn’t let those types of things be part of your web site, either.
Your business online presence goes beyond your web site and is actually part of your reputation, both online and off. How you and your business are portrayed in places such as LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. are important to your business image. Be sure to stay professional and address all reviews online, including negative reviews.
Professional Business Website
First impressions matter: A web site gives your potential customers a first impression of your business. And those first impressions can mean the difference between getting the sale or client, or losing them.
A professional-looking web site lends credibility. Your web site should shine through with an up-to-date, responsive (mobile-friendly), professional look. If it doesn’t, you need to update your site.
Your web site should also function well, be inviting and make the visitor want to call or contact your business.
Keeping your web site running smoothly with regular maintenance is very important. Like houses need re-painting and repairs – and cars need an oil change and gas to run – web sites need maintenance to perform optimally. Ensuring that your site stays updated and maintained is just good business.
Having a blog is an easy, affordable way to improve your marketing, drive traffic to your web site and attract more customers. Following are a few ways a blog can boost your business.
- It improves search engine optimization (SEO) by providing new content on a regular basis.
- It allows you to connect with visitors to your site and develop relationships with potential or existing customers.
- It establishes your business as a leader by providing helpful and informative content to your customers.
- It helps to build your company’s brand and strengthen your image.
- It helps to generate leads and increase your customer base.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves techniques, strategies and tactics performed on your web site to help search engines find the site then display it in organic (non-paid) search results.
When creating or updating a web site, it’s important for the site to be search engine friendly.
SEO helps your web site be included in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) in places such as Google, Bing and other search engines.
- On site optimization is utilizing specific items to prepare your website to be found in search results.
- Off site optimization is using paid ads, directory listings, social media, etc. to bring visitors to your website.
Local Search Marketing (LSM)
LSM is your business listing in online directories, which is critical for local searches. It is important for your listing to be consistent across online directories.
The following listings are crucial for your business:
Consistent NAP: Search engines like to see consistent Name, Address and Phone (NAP) information on all of your business listings, including your website. For example, if your business name is ABC Piping & Supplies, LLC ensure it is listed as such and not as ABC Piping. If you have more than one phone number, be consistent and use the same number everywhere online. Same for your business address.
To check how your business fares with local listings, run this scan for your business.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
SMM is social and business interaction with clients, potential clients and friends. This marketing tool has exploded in growth in recent years and will only increase in the future.
Some of the most common platforms include:
More about Social Media Marketing >>
PPC is paid advertising that can help provide immediate presence in search results. An advertiser is charged a fee each time their ad is clicked.
PPC can be listed in:
- search engine results
- on web sites
- on / within videosis
Two platforms for PPC:
Note: PPC requires an ad spend budget. Every time your ad is clicked, you pay Google or Bing. The amount per click is determined by the auction price. PPC is more complex than other advertising and with the ad spend it is best to hire a professional to setup and manage PPC for you.
The vast majority of adults and businesses in the U.S. now have access to email – which makes it a powerful way to connect with people and promote your business.
Two email marketing platforms include:
A number of studies have shown that email is actually more effective than social media when it comes to acquiring new customers.
In addition, email marketing is easy and very cost effective when compared to traditional marketing. It’s also personal, easy to customize and action-oriented (people can be encouraged to reply, forward, sign up for something or even make a purchase).
All in all, email marketing is an excellent, inexpensive marketing tool for businesses of all types and sizes.
When choosing a domain name for your web site, look for one that is short and contains no dashes. The domain name does not need to contain keywords (although in the past this was important).
Domains are annual subscriptions for the use of the domain/name. It is important to not let it lapse, otherwise your web site will no longer be up.
Some of the places to purchase domain names include:
Web hosting is required for your web site. This consists of space on a web server where your web site resides. There are many web hosts to choose from – however, at Kalaco we like to support local businesses and use the local web hosts below:
Along with these web hosts being local (Lafayette), both provide many features that you may need to purchase separately from other web hosts. Some of these features include:
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for site security (see below)
- Site security
- Daily site backups
- Implements WordPress database updates along with plug-in updates
- Web hosting requires subscriptions for the web space, and are usually charged monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or annually.
Website Security – Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
An SSL is needed for your web site. This is what puts the “s” in the “https” within your web address – which confirms the presence of security on your web site.
As mentioned in the Web Hosting section, both web hosts listed there included a SSL as part of their hosting fee.
Always use a professional graphic designer to create your business logo. This will help provide credibility for your business – and doing otherwise can make you look amateurish.
You may save money by using your nephew or sister who dabbles in design for your logo – however, will it represent a professional look for your business? In most cases, definitely not.
Use a professionally taken headshot for your profile photos used on social media, web sites or printed materials. Using anything else will usually give a bad impression of yourself and your business.
Specifically, you should avoid selfies, photos taken in a mirror, in the bathroom, drink in hand, etc. – any of which will not portray you in a professional light.
Use Great Copy for your Marketing
When it comes to online marketing, content is king. Content does more than provide information about your products and services. It can also tell your business story, what you do, the benefits or your business and so much more.
It is important to maintain fresh, updated copy on your site for optimal benefits in your web site showing up in search results. Search engines love new content – so make the effort to keep adding new copy to your site on a regular basis.
Use Quality Photographs in all of your Marketing
High quality photographs are essential in marketing your business. They provide a visual appeal for your business web site and can help tell your story.
On social media, relevant photographs bring attention to your posts that can help your followers engage with your business.
To ensure you have quality, relevant photographs to use in your online (and offline) marketing, consider hiring a professional photographer. It is worth it to help your business succeed.
Utilize Videos in Your Marketing
Consider having a video created for your business. Videos help with visitor engagement and can be used on your website, social media and for commercials. When done right, videos are well worth the cost and can be a powerful marketing tool.
The following tools are key in developing and maintaining an effective online marketing strategy:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Reputation management programs
- Social media manager programs
- Additional tools
Tip: when utilizing the various services through Google, have all services under the same account:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google Ads
- Google My Business
Internet marketing is becoming increasingly prevalent. However, you should also utilize offline (traditional) marketing tools such as business cards, brochures, flyers, promotional items, etc. to help promote your business. These methods still play an important role in reaching your entire target audience.
You should also make sure that a professional logo and headshot are used for your offline materials. These things are important for your brand and the overall image of your business and yourself.
Your Marketing Should Not be an Afterthought
Marketing your business online should not be an afterthought – it should be a business investment. A web site, along with Internet marketing, should be included in your startup and ongoing business budgets.
Your web site and Internet marketing are important tools to help your business succeed. It is as critical as having phone service, Internet service, inventory and all the other necessities of doing business.
And don’t forget to market your business offline as well – as it’s important to reach your target audience through multiple media platforms.
To be taken seriously in business, it’s vital that you be professional in every way.
- Don’t let your business succumb to lost sales due to lack of a professional business image.
- Don’t sit idle and do little or nothing to stay ahead of your competitors; they aren’t sitting idle.
- Present a professional image on all your online networking profiles.
- Plan and budget for a professional web site with Internet marketing to help your business succeed.
Remember … Support Local Businesses
Support your business, your family and your community by supporting local businesses!
Think you can’t afford a professional web site with Internet marketing?
In today’s marketplace, the truth is you can’t afford not to if you want your business to succeed.
Give the marketing experts at Kalaco Solutions a call at (337) 366-0479 for professional web design and Internet marketing services. We can even provide you with assistance on doing it yourself.
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