With the new search engine guidelines and rules, 2013 offers companies a great opportunity to dramatically strengthen their online presence. As of July 2013, the old SEO rules are not applied in the same way. Now is the best time to commit to a digital marketing plan that works for your business. As Google allows Hummingbird to spread its wings, companies that use good marketing tactics will reap the rewards in time. Below is a list of key elements that any business can integrate into their online list of things to do. You should also keep a list of sites, emails and passwords used for everything you do. Trust me, once you get to a certain level, you’ll be glad you got the list. You should also track results for each area of marketing. Something simple so you can review the improvements every month and see the return on investment.
1. Onsite optimization and keyword research
Make sure your website is well designed. Adhering to the SEO mindset requires a nice mix of headlines, text and images. Aim for around 300 words in body copy, make sure headings are H1’d and all images are properly titled. This all helps search engines match your site with what people are looking for. Once you have access to your site’s code, create a sitemap, create accounts for both Google and Bing webmaster tools, and submit your site to both directories using the sitemap.
Then focus on how your site appears in search engines. Use a digital SWOT analysis of your business and focus on generating relevant keywords, creating meta tags, creating a title tag, and reinventing your homepage to maximize exposure to your potential customers.
This first step will improve your results immediately. You will see a good return on your investment within a few months.
2. External optimization, links and backlinks
Outsourced work is an equally important part of a strong digital marketing campaign. The focus of outside optimization is to get an internet point and look at you. Try to link your website to high ranking existing websites. A Google ranking of at least 5 and high Alexa traffic are what to look for. Avoid sites that have more ads than content on their pages.
Social Media Basics: Include in your plan to create business profile pages for the five most visited social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Every business page should have links to your website and in return links from your website to those pages. Each page should have content, text and images, contact information and opening hours about your company. You should also invest time in relevant pages/links/circles etc. to get going with followers and supporters.
Additional Social Media Features: In addition to the top 5 sites, you can also choose other social media sites that really set you apart from your competition. Best of Remember: Includes Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Foursquare, Squidoo, and Instagram.
Depending on the level of social media participation, you may need professional help to keep up with them all. Ideally, each social media channel needs 45 minutes to 1 hour per week to update with fresh content and network on different platforms to get new followers, likes and links.
Backlink Strategy: Today it is important to focus on the quality of backlinks rather than the quantity. Depending on your business, different links work for some and not for others. An important start is to get listed in local directories and also focus on competitors’ links. Search “free online directories” on Google and a list of website submission directories will appear. Take some time to fill them out and submit them. Remember that some will take longer to process than others, so keep a list of what has been approved and what is still being processed. Some directories offer paid features. These can be good features, but be sure to do your homework and use the best value for money to get the right ROI. I have come across cases where 1 directory in particular offers free website business links and offers minimal paid services to promote your social media and a full package that includes a home page with SEO features on their sites for less per year than it costs. rent a domain name and a hosting package together. It also helps you use the current ranking of your keywords to your advantage. You can go even further and find like-minded companies, suppliers, agents, users, etc. that your business deals with on a daily basis and start a conversation to promote each other’s websites through a backlink. In this case, there is power in numbers, and a credible link will serve you both well.
The next best way to promote your business is to create a video that highlights your products and offerings. The availability and popularity of sites like YouTube and Vimeo make it a must-attend. The best place to start is to create a 2-3 minute video for yourself, upload it to YouTube and embed it on your site. While posting videos may not directly earn you money, smart businesses use video marketing as a tactic to improve consumer engagement, click-through rates, and traffic. They also help bring in search traffic as the major search engines started placing videos on their search results pages. Including video in emails increases open rates by 5.6% and click-through rates by 96.38% compared to standard email marketing. Videos have a 50x better chance of ranking on the first page of Google based on similar keywords. They also increase business traffic when shared. There is always a chance of spreading the virus.
4. Mobile websites and applications:
Generally, most websites are made between 900 and 1000 pixels wide. No surprise, but they are designed to be viewed on computer screens. Smartphones generally like to view websites in a range of around 350 pixels. If you don’t have a responsive design that adapts to the screen size the site is viewed on, it will look terrible and the viewer will move on. Click here to test your site. An app or mobile site is a great way to make your existing website fit for this generation of how the internet is seen – mobile. Apps are very cool, but they can be expensive to produce. The app market is growing, and creating one requires completely re-creating your existing website. Applications vary in size, price and functionality. The mobile version of your website and mobile technology such as SMS and QR codes can reach the same market. By using directory sites, your mobile site is easy to use and more usable for the end user, your customer. By using the same code as your website, a single mobile site can reach users on many different types of mobile devices, while native apps require a separate version to be developed for each type of device. Mobile site URLs are easily integrated with other mobile technologies.
5. Fresh, high-quality content and blogs:
Write, write and write. Search engines are increasingly relying on any new movement they can follow. Creating and adding fresh content to your existing site is what it’s all about. When robots and spiders visit your site, search engines see this as a positive if there is new content to report. If you maintain the site as a blog, you will of course add new content with new posts. The assumption is that the content and quality of the blogs are in your own hands. Remember to write both original and quality material. Don’t copy and paste someone else’s work just because you have something new to post. It undermines due process. If you like what someone else has done, like it and give them public share and credibility. If you can’t write enough fresh material, you can look for guest writers who are happy to write for you for credit. If you have a business website and aren’t interested in adding a blog for content, there are a few things you need to pay attention to on your site that are easy to fix. Make sure you have some copyright on the home page. Make sure the dates and years are correct. New customers are more likely to use company websites when it is clear that the sites are maintained and that their copyrights list the current years. Make it a habit to check your own website often and look for any part of the content that needs updating. At least integrate Facebook or Twitter shareable links and an email link if possible. This helps you share your content online without having to do it yourself. Other visitors will do it for you if they like what they see.