The Complete Online Strategy

There’s much more to a website than just a website, and I’m not talking about the technical. The website is a fundamental piece of your online presence. Its your home storefront online. It is the center of your online campaigns and the biggest impression someone can have of your business online. It is the destination that all of your roads lead to and should be the fundamental cornerstone of your virtual business. But it’s not everything.

Website as Home

Your website is the one location online where you can create your own unique structure and layout, have your own customizable content, and analyze all of your visiting traffic. For this reason, a small business’ website is one of its most crucial assets. It should be neat and orderly, yet stylized according to the culture and feel of the business. It should have landing pages for various topics and should have the proper tracking and analytical tools to measure what paths visiters are traveling to reach you. Knowing how much traffic comes from facebook, twitter, organic search, paid search, etc. Your website not only has the keys for your users to find out critical information about your business, it also is the place for you to learn how to best market to your constituents (choose whether to focus more time on facebook vs twitter).

Social Media Tie-In

Social media is a relationship platform that should be used to connect with your customers on a routine basis. If you don’t add value and reach out to your customers and allow them to do the same, your social media efforts will be for not. Create a social media strategy that combines aspects of your overall marketing strategy and implement it with room for interaction and variability. Create an online persona (maybe act as the owner would, or create a fictional character that acts as your mascot) and follow how they would interact with people. In social media there’s an 80/20 rule (sometimes an 80/10/10 or other similar proportion) where you spend 80% of your time discussing the industry and your customers needs and 20% of the time talking about yourself. Use that 20% of the time to refer people to your website or storefront for more information and track those results! That way, you can increase the output you create from each individual social channel.

Search It

Of course, in order to find your website, users are often going to find your site using a search engine. Search Engine’s are a great way to get leads from potential customers who may have never heard of your company before. If your listing is closer to the top of a page, it is far more likely to be clicked. In fact, if you are one of Google’s top 5 results, you are about 95% more likely to have inflowing traffic to your site (which could lead to a user submitting their e-mail address and future follow ups). Search is a huge push towards advancing your brand online, and there are two main forms of it:

  • Organic: Organic Search happens when your website or other web properties are optimized for search engines to easily find and index. In order for customers to find what they’re looking for, your small business should have a series of landing pages each optimized for particular search words and queries.
  • Paid: Paid Search is the result of keyword analysis used to grab particular people searching for certain topics. In this way, your website will automatically be bumped to the top of the rankings or in an otherwise marked advertised section and your company will be charged per click. Paid search is often great ‘fuel on the fire’ to use in combination with organic search.

Use both forms of search to get the best results and to drive traffic to particular portions of your website. Then, track which pages are receiving the most traffic on your site and continually optimize your keywords for increased search results.

Mobilize

With mobile technologies catching on like wildfire, having a mobile presence is no longer even an option. It is becoming a basic requirement. Now, people are able to find your business anytime and anywhere and are often directed to the store nearest to them with the best deal, friendliest staff, or best reviews in that area. It is time to own your own presence in the mobile sphere by being a part of location-based campaigns, optimizing your website for mobile browsers, and incorporating mobile campaigns into your advertising budget. Through all of this, remember to push traffic towards you business and your home presence as well to track results and gain positive ROI.

Conclusion

Take grasp of the tools out there to build up your brand online. Think of your website as your virtual home, where you want traffic to end up before they physically take a step inside of your doors. In that way, you are better able to see where people are coming from, who they are, and what they like. Using this information, continue to tweak your search results, website layout, landing pages, mobile campaigns etc to generate the most revenue from your online channel. Just don’t forget that your online channel is just one part of your overall marketing scheme and both online and offline channels should always cross-pollinate. Just as you would reference your website on social media, you should too reference your online presence with offline marketing materials.

Confused Yet? It’s okay if you are. We’ve got expert Online Reputation Management personnel looking to assist you. It’s our job to figure all of this online marketing and reputation mumbo jumbo out and your job to make your business run smoothly. So if you’d like some help, feel free to contact us. You’ll be happy you did.

Written by

David is an avid social entrepreneur and Boston sports fanatic. He founded Diversified Data Technologies way back in 2009 and stuck around to see it grow. His party quarks include unnecessary dancing and being an overly hospitable host. When looking, he can be found capturing the twitterverse at @DLanphear, being professional on LinkedIn, or bouncing around town with Foursquare.

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