As traditional marketing methods become more ineffective and costly, many business owners and marketers are asking how they can best capitalize on marketing their business on the web. For some marketers, an effective internet marketing strategy, was not thought out before they jumped at the opportunity to market their businesses online and unfortunately, without regrouping and building the fundamentals the powerful business results that a strategy can afford won’t ever be realized by them.
Don’t let this be the case for your business.
I have 8 steps to share with you (4 Steps today) that will help you to build the fundamentals and implement a successful strategy needed for internet marketing regardless of what niche your business is in and regardless of the size of your business:
Step #1 – Establish Your Initial Keyword Strategy
Keywords are the basic backbone of the Internet and the starting point. The way consumers find businesses online through search engines has become routine and a habit, and you can optimize your website around the keywords that are relevant to your business and which keywords consumers will likely find your business from.
Your chances of getting found by people searching using those keywords will drive more qualified traffic to your website. You’ll want to determine the popularity and competitiveness of certain keywords and then test and analyze how well they perform (how effective they are at leading visitors to your website).
So how do you determine which keywords will maximize your potential to draw in targeted leads, from search engines, to your site?
The ongoing process of keyword research, if you commit, will give you valuable insight into product demand and industry trends. The more comprehensive your keyword research efforts, the better you will be able to organically grow traffic, which in turn, will save you from spending money to generate traffic to your website through pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns such as Google Adwords.
There are 3 steps involved in creating a keyword strategy:
Step 1 – Create a List of 3-5 Keywords Relevant to Your Business
The rule of thumb here is that large companies are searched by their brand name and small and mid-sized businesses are typically searched by phrases core to what product they sell or service they offer.
Step 2 – Choose Keywords Based on Their Difficulty and Relevance
Keep in mind that the greater the volume of searches on a keyword, the more competitive it is and for small and mid-sized businesses, you want to choose less competitive keywords, more specifically related to your business so you can rank higher. The Google Keyword Tool will help you determine keyword competitiveness. Watch a video on how to choose the right keywords.
Try different keywords to see which ones work best for you.
Step 3 - Optimize Your Site Around Your Keywords
With respect to the content, here is where you will incorporate your chosen keywords into your website.
Step #2 – Optimize Your Website
With keywords chosen, the next logical step is to optimize your site for search. Once you have optimized your site so that you are on the first few pages, you have achieved the main goal of SEO.
Let’s discuss Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
SEO is worth doing first because it can be improved quickly. The 2 distinct categories of SEO are:
- On Page SEO – How well your website’s content is presented to search engines can be improved immediately.
- Off Page SEO – Your sites “authority” on the web (determined by what other websites say about your site) can take time to improve.
Here are 2 free SEO tools to use to find out how well optimized your website is:
Both of these tools offer great free tips to improve your sites’ SEO weaknesses.
Step # 3 – Create a Content Strategy
As you have developed a clear sense of your businesses’ keywords and optimized your website for search engines, you’re ready to attract more visitors. The way to attract people to your business is by sharing your expertise, experiences and resources through content.
Content marketing requires a strategy which defines your channels like blogs for example. WordPress and Blogger are the most popular blogging platforms, are very easy to use via content management system (CMS) and offer a way to add content without having to know any HTML code. Other blogging platforms include Posterous, TypePad and Drupal.
Some Considerations About Blogging for Your Business
One of the main purposes of your business blog is to offer your prospects and customers a means to engage with your brand. Your goal should be to publish articles that serve as a resource for solutions to their pain points and answers to their questions, much in the same way an industry magazine would be written.
Other examples of content to add to your portfolio include eBooks, white papers or research reports that can all be used to generate leads based on offers with calls-to-action that you include in them.
Whatever channels you decide are right for your business should be defined within your content strategy,
Step #4 – Promote Content and Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social media channels like Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube will require distinct plans within your Social Media Marketing Strategy. These outlets will allow your prospects and customers to communicate directly with your employees and your business can experience significant growth if managed properly.
How-to Monitor Social Media
Spending considerable time focused on listening to the buzz online related to your industry is key so that you can decide when to respond. These tools will help you monitor your business and industry mentions in social media:
Google Alerts: Delivered to your email inbox, these help you track mentions of your brand and relevant keywords all over the web.
Twitter: TwitterSearch or HootSuite both have monitoring features where you can monitor mentions of your brand.
Google Reader and RSS Feeds: When you set up RSS feeds in Google Reader of searches of your brand or industry keywords in other popular social media sites such as Flickr, Digg, Delicious, etc. you can scan the results in your reader daily for mentions.
Facebook Insights: You can use your Fan Pages’ Facebook Insights Dashboard to show you stats such as fan growth and page views to gauge your pages’ interaction and engagement.
For more information about how to use social media for business, access DigiStream Media’s FREE eBook Download
Remember to check back for Part II and Steps 4 through 8!
Which steps do you find most effective and why?