Todays consumers view the internet as an essential part of their shopping experience (especially now during the pandemic). According to latest economic reports, global online sales are expected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021. Brands that do not take advantage of online marketing are doomed to struggle to survive.
Online marketing, also known as internet marketing, is more than just having a website and social media presence. It is the process of promoting a business or brand and its products or services over the internet using tools that help drive traffic, leads, and sales.
Unlike, in the baseball movie Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner , "if you build it, they will come," does not apply to a corporate website.
The problem that most companies face isn't about creating a website but rather how to get people to notice it in a sea of ever-crowding space. The truth is that it's becoming increasingly difficult to get noticed among the deafening noise. If you're not a seasoned web developer, it can be overwhelming to keep up with digital marketing. However, one thing is certain - if you don't invest in online marketing now, you might as well throw in the towel.
So what does investing in internet marketing look like? Despite the number of options, in this article, I will focus on search engine optimization or SEO.
SEO is the method used by web developers and digital marketers to boost the ranking and/or frequency of a website by search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Therefore, the importance of SEO comes from its ability to help consumers find websites with relevant content more easily.
How Search Engine Optimization Works
Using "spiders" search engines read websites looking for key bits of information that signal to them the topics and value of the content on each webpage. The spiders, of course, cannot really read. This means that they merely scan pages for certain terms that most closely match the search criteria of the person browsing the web.
In order to take full advantage of SEO, your website content should be updated frequently with new and relevant content. This is why blogging has become increasingly popular over the last two decades. To help keep your content relevant, look at your industry trends and try to keep your topics timely.
When adding a blog to your website, it is not enough to just write content without paying particular attention to 'key words." Remember, the spiders are looking for certain terms (ie. key words) to determine its value.
Using Keywords for SEO
Keywords are what your best customers will type to find your business and products. A strong keyword strategy focuses on attracting both customers at the bottom of the sales funnel who are ready to make a buying decision, as well as customers at the top of the sales funnel who are just doing a bit of light research. For example: If you are writing a blog about gardening, you might use keywords such as how to plant a garden or include terms such as seeds, fertilizers, soil, etc.
When writing a blog, avoid text that is filled with endless repetitions of the same keyword or keyword phrase. This type of text is awkward to read and contributes to a poor user experience, and can actually do more harm than good to your site ranking.
Another factor in SEO is the site construction and organization. Google and its algorithm also look at the organization of the site. A clear site map makes it easy for Google to navigate the site. It also helps to ensure that the spider does not miss any of the pages of the site while it scans the domain.
Side note: If you are thinking of changing your site domain, do not get rid of your old one as established domains generally rank higher than new ones. This does not mean that you cannot add a "better" domain and point it to your established domain. Yes, digital marketing is tricky stuff.
Speaking of tricks, be aware of your website loading speed. Pages that load slowly on a desktop or mobile device will be marked poorly by Google and more likely to be abandoned by impatient viewers. Large images, videos, and animation tend to slow down loading times, so only use them if they are essential to your brand and make sure they are properly set up to ensure an optimal load time.
Last but not least, site errors such as broken links or misdirected pages also negatively impact SEO. Part of SEO consists of running a site audit and checking that all error pages, poorly done redirects, duplicate pages, and similar types of mistakes are cleaned up.
If you have questions about SEO or need help with blogging, let's talk. Schoner Communications offer a free website review and loves helping businesses grow through better online marketing.
by Carie Ferg, Manta Contributor, September 2017
Unless you’re an expert on search engine optimization (SEO), it’s easy to get lost in the lingo and technical complexities. But if you don’t pay attention to search because it’s too confusing, you could be leaving important dollars on the table that could help drive your small business’ success.
When thinking about getting search engine traffic to your website, it’s important to understand the difference between the two search categories: paid and organic. According to Julie Howell, director of SEO at Postali, paid search and organic search operate completely independent of each other.
While paid search such as Google AdWords is a paid advertising opportunity, “Organic search results are determined by a propriety algorithm that you cannot pay your way into,” said Howell. “Running a paid search campaign will have no effect on your organic rankings, positive or negative.”
But just because the two search categories don’t directly impact each other doesn’t mean that you should dismiss either one. SEO is a slower marketing channel; it can take months to see your ranking climb. In the meantime, you could see instant results for your paid search campaigns.
it’s also important to provide users with both options to cast a wide net for potential customers. “Some users prefer to only click on organic results, while others will click on an ad. You want to try to appeal to both,” said Howell.
Having a presence in both organic SEO and paid search channels increases the overall exposure of your small business, thus increasing clicks and conversions. “Think of a search engine results page (SERP) as multi-faceted real estate,” Howell said. “Paid search is a bigger investment but has the ability to drive faster results.”
Reposted courtesy www.manta.com