Chances are you have heard many different things when it comes to optimizing your business’s web presence. SEO(Search Engine Optimization), PPC(Pay-per-click), Display, and Social Media Marketing, are all very useful and effective methods of promoting your business. It is important to keep in mind that every business is different, with different audiences and goals, and therefore requires its own uniquely crafted digital marketing strategy. There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to digital marketing campaigns. Most of the time, the most effective marketing efforts consist of a healthy mix of the aforementioned campaigns working together to achieve brand awareness, site visitors, and of course – a return on your investment.
The most important piece of your web presence starts at square one, your website. Having a great website, one that is engaging, informative, and user friendly, is half the battle. It is now a necessity to have a responsive website, meaning that your site will adjust and serve up its content seamlessly across whichever kind of device people are searching from. This year, for the first time ever, the amount of mobile search queries has finally surpassed the amount of desktop searches. As consumers become more and more integrated with their mobile devices, this trend will never be reversed. Over the next 5 years we will continue to see the amount of searches performed on mobile, especially with the intent of purchasing a local product or service, continue to increase. Not only is it important to have the right information on your site, but making sure your website is properly structured to have its content crawlable by the search engines and easily accessible to your visitors should be your #1 priority.
Achieving success through a Web Presence Optimization campaign can depend on many different factors, some even beyond your control. The search landscape is heavily dependent on the competitiveness of your industry and the amount of competition in your area. However, just because you are in a competitive market doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in a digital marketing strategy; it just means that you should tailor your expectations and understand that your efforts will most likely be a marathon, not a sprint. Being impatient and having unrealistic expectations can cause business owners to jump from agency to agency, strategy to strategy, without giving campaigns a true chance at succeeding.
With understanding and acknowledging that there are factors beyond your control when it comes to digital advertising, there are a ton of things you can do to tilt the odds in your favor. As discussed, your website has a lot to do with your success, but there are many other factors that come into play. Are you proactively monitoring your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) consistency across the board for all of the local listing and directory sites you have profiles for? Do you clean up any duplicate or incomplete business listings? Do you have a verified Google My Business Page? It is extremely important that you don’t have contradicting business information that confuses the search engines.
With social signals becoming more and more influential in the search results, it is extremely important to have a presence on social media that provides engaging content and helps answer some of the most frequently asked questions of your industry’s audience. Your social media profiles should be carefully crafted with consistent branding and a targeted content strategy. Are you interacting and engaging with industry leaders and influencers who can help spread your message? Are you monitoring your reviews and proactively responding to the negative? Are you submitting press releases for new and notable events that your business is involved with? Depending on the industry and type of content you plan to post, you should pick social media platforms that provide the best chance of reaching your target audience. Whatever you choose to do, Facebook and Twitter are a great place to start.
Blogging is a great strategy you can use to kill two birds with one stone. When you create and continuously contribute to an on-site blog you are accomplishing two things: first – you are creating relevant content that will allow you to build a loyal audience, and second – you are creating targeted blog posts that will be indexed as new pages on your site. This process will help drive more relevant search traffic and increase the overall authority of your site in the eyes of the search engines and your visitors.
Creating videos for your business can also be a great strategy to help with visitor engagement. You can create a general overview video for your business to place on the homepage of your website, this should help keep visitors engaged longer upon landing on your site. You can also create individual videos designed around promoting specific products and or services that you offer. People are visual. They love to get information from visual sources like videos and infographics. In addition to improving engagement on your site, videos also work great when sharing across your social media profiles.
Measuring success is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to your digital marketing strategy. You are going to want to monitor your rankings for different keyword variations that are relevant to your business, as well as different types of traffic and the behavior of users on your website. Some of the best tools available for measuring success are included within Google Analytics & Google Search Console. Both of these tools are free in any Google account. With Google Analytics you can view a breakdown of all of the different types of traffic that comes to your site, and a ton of additional metrics that can prove to be useful. You can create goals for your website, for example, you can set up a conversion metric for how often people submit a form on your website, or how often people complete individual actions within the site. It is extremely important to make your conversions measurable. Using Google Search Console, you can learn how Google’s crawlers see your site, any crawl errors associated with your site, and what keywords people are searching to find you. You can also submit highlighted data about your business to Google’s Knowledge Graph and request Google to re-crawl your website. Analyzing the data and using the tools available in these accounts can provide extremely valuable insight that will help you make adjustments and improve your digital strategy overall.
When it comes to a holistic approach to optimizing your web presence you need to remember a couple of really important things. First, you always need to be changing and adjusting the strategies you use. As the search landscape is constantly changing, so should your digital marketing strategy. Second, do not try and game the system. Keep up with Google’s best practices and make an effort to follow them. Buying links and using thin content to optimize for keywords that are not relevant to your business may pay off in the short term, but it’s only a matter of time before Google will recognize and correct their algorithms. Even worse, if Google hits you with a manual penalty, it could take months, even years to recover. As we move forward, Google’s algorithms will only continue to be influenced by machine learning and AI technology. Sites will be ranked more and more by how they are related to other entities and topics, rather than the specific keywords optimized for a page. The best way to counter this is to make sure you are optimizing your web presence the right way, providing content relevant to your business and the products and services you provide. You should be tailoring your content towards human beings, not machines.
Contact Ferocious Media today for more information about Web Presence Optimization and how it can benefit your business.