Making the Internet Work for Your Business

Everyone starts their research with the World Wide Web these days. It is the first stop to find out more about an organization or person, service or product. Thus it is important for small businesses to create an online presence to promote themselves, and then use their site and social media pages to build site traffic. There are a number of ways to go about this. The most important element is SEO (Search Engine Optimization), getting traffic from free and organic listings on search engines like Google and Yahoo. SEO plays an important role in generating leads, as most of the clicks in search results go to the top 3 websites. So getting your company’s name and address up in the rankings is vital. To achieve this, one should focus on long tail keywords while doing the keyword research, as it is difficult to compete with big players for generic keywords.

Create accounts in Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. These will give you insights on your website traffic and also the way search engines look at your website, allowing you to tailor your site to go higher in the SEO rankings. Companies should also monitor their analytics regularly. Take frequent looks at the traffic sources, keywords and rankings. Monitoring regularly provide you great insights and gives you opportunity to tweak your strategy. Take the time to build organic links. Link building is a long process and requires patience to see results. But it is best to take the time for this; do not go for any black hat (unethical) techniques for SEO as search engines take a dim view of websites that engage in such practices.

Think Smart
Digital marketing does not have to cost a fortune. The point of leveraging the web for your business is to make the most of the free properties of the internet. You don’t have to throw money into search engine marketing for your company. Rather, have a clear objective and know what you want to get out of the exercise. If you know the platform you want to use for your advertising, you can create the perfect content and make use of the right tools. There are many tools which make things easy for you, make use of them. Take advantage of online tools to increase your success. Some great tools that can help you and make digital marketing easier include Hoot Suite, Google Keyword Tool and XML Sitemap generator. Google+ has come a long way, and having a customized URL for your company page legitimizes it and makes it easier to find. It also allows those following your company page to share it, boosting your site traffic.

It is also essential to understand the other players out there, just like with any marketing venture. Know you competitors; analyze their strengths and weaknesses, track their online campaigns and strategies. This is a great way to generate ideas and also to evaluate your own ideas and performance. Similarly, establish and maintain a connect with customers. Interact with them online and take the time to respond to their queries and complaints – in the online sphere, it is very important to show responsiveness, and not ignore or bury negative feedback from customers.

Customers are increasingly turning to mobile phones for information, so make sure that your website is mobile optimized, so they get the best possible experience even when they access your site on their phones or tablet.

Be Social
There are myriad choices in the social media sphere today. Should you jump on the wand wagon and sign up for everything? A company blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram…the choices are plentiful. Time and effort has to be spent on cultivating each page, and it can quickly get overwhelming. The best thing is to choose your channel depending on your target segment and planned digital marketing outcomes. Pick what will suit your needs and then make sure to post regularly.

Content always lies at the center of online marketing. Focus on great content; build relevant and original content which is of interest to your audience and which people will share. Get your employees to participate in your social media updates. Employees are the first brand ambassadors and often the most enthusiastic. 

Thus, engaging in digital marketing practices like leveraging social media and web tools to optimize and increase traffic to your site is not an expensive or very time consuming exercise. As long as you have a plan and focus, you can utilize the tools available to enhance your company’s online presence.

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