Having an online presence is a given for any business these days. And many business owners have all the pieces of the puzzle for a powerful online marketing strategy but haven’t put it all together yet. And, let’s face it, the options are overwhelming and we are often faced with conflicting advice on which social media platforms we should be on, whether to blog or not, how to build our client base, and so on.
So, before you leap into the nitty-gritty of your online marketing consider 3 Golden Rules to optimise your presence.
1. Be Clear On Your Goals
What are you trying to achieve with your online marketing? You may think it’s obvious but dig down and consider what outcome you want to achieve? What does success look like for you, and how will you measure it?
Are you establishing yourself as an expert or building your personal brand? If so, you want to position yourself as the go to person in your niche. You’ll need to spend time building up your credentials, creating an active and engaged community and getting noticed by influencers in your field. You online marketing strategy might include starting a LinkedIn or Meetup group, hosting webinars and hangouts, or starting a Google plus community.
Perhaps you’re focused on making sales as an affiliate marketer? If you run an online business you may want to remain under the radar in which case you’ll focus on building a sales funnel, writing excellent sales copy and keeping up with the latest product launches.
Your goal may be lead generation. Social media is an excellent way to generate leads for your business and build your list. Then you can rely on your auto-responder series, and blog, to communicate regularly with your list and convert prospects into customers.
Perhaps your goal is to find Joint Venture partners and to connect with key influencers in your industry. Hop on over to Twitter and join the hashtag party and leverage LinkedIn to make those important connections.
If you’re running a side business or want to make some quick cash you might be selling through an established ecommerce site such as Ebay, Etsy or Amazon. In which case, Pinterest might compliment what you’re doing and offer an alternative way to promote your clothing line or hand-made jewellery to a new audience.
Decide what your primary motivation is so you can laser target your online marketing and spend your time and efforts on those activities that give you the best results.
2. Know Thy Keywords
This is an area that is so critical, especially with the increasing importance of Google plus. If you want to be found online you need to define your business by the keywords your potential customers are using to find your product or service. Remember, your customers are searching online anyway, so they can either find you or your competitors.
Use the Google keyword tool to find out which key phrases are being used to find the services you offer. It will also give you ideas for products and content that you can create for your market.
Check out your competitors and see what keywords they’re using. Want to know a great trick? Enter any website address into the Google keyword tool and it will tell you the keywords people use to find that site. So you can see exactly which keywords your competitors’ sites are being found with, and use that to get a competitive edge.
Once you’ve identified 5 or 6 main keywords for your business use them in all your online platforms. Use them consistently across all your social media profiles, on your about pages and in your blog posts and articles.
While you don’t have to be active and engaged on all social media, it is worth at least having a keyword rich profile on every platform.
Create pillar posts for your website (authoritative articles written around a specific keyword) and syndicate them out across the internet using pingomatic, Onlywire and other social sharing sites. If you’re using WordPress you can automate this process with a plug-in.
3. Call To Action (CTA’s)
Having established your goals and your keywords, you’ve now got the foundation for a solid online marketing plan. Decide which platforms will best serve your needs, and the needs of your market, and get started interacting and engaging.
With your communications, be clear on what you want your reader or visitor to do. Ask them to leave a comment, share your post, +1 your article, re-tweet you or LIKE your page. It’s been proven that simply by asking visitors to take a certain action makes them much more likely to do so. So ask!
An important tip is to only have one Call To Action per page, email, video or blog post, otherwise your visitors will be confused about what you want them to do, and likely will do nothing.
A client I was working with recently had no less than six calls to action on her home-page, and wondered why her response rate was so low. Visitors were bouncing round her site looking at all the options and then leaving without joining her mailing list or taking any action.
So, be clear on what you want your readers to do. You’ll get more engaged users who share your content, which will boost your search engine rankings and increase your online profile. A triple whammy!
What techniques do you use to optimise your presence online?