The humble online marketing agency has become big business in recent years, and for good reason. Surfing the web has always been a popular past time but its popularity meant that when it comes time to shop that 97% of consumers turn online first.
Here are the top 10 tips from a successful online marketing agency that will make sure your website will be at the top of the list when it comes time to buy
The debate over whether search engine optimization (SEO) will be worth it in the next month, next year or even for the company next door still rages, and probably always will. One fact you can’t ignore is that SEO works. The aim of every website is not to be number one in ranking, it is to be seen – it just so happens that the only ranking that gets noticed is the number one spot.
No matter how excellent, impressive or informative your web pages are, if they don’t get seen they are useless – or worse than useless when you calculate how much time and money you spent on them. Don’t listen to the arguments for or against SEO, just get out and DO IT! Get professional help if needed. Then your website will be well ahead of all the others that wasted time discussing its merits before they dipped a toe in the water.
Your content is worth as much as you SEO is. SEO gets consumers to your website, but your content is the thing that keeps them there. Don’t be distracted by the, ‘Oooh! Shiny!’ content that you see around you. Flashy graphics and captivating sounds is not the type of content that is likely to catch a repeat customer, or get your website recommended to others. It’s what you have to say that counts.
Make your content contain value to your users. Think about their pain points and challenges. Can you provide information that relieves them? Is there any new technology that will have a big impact on the industry? Can you give them a unique view of your company image and brand via your content? These are all the type of content that hooks in repeat visitors. Make sure your website is liberally coated in such articles.
This may sound like a no brainer, but are you sure all your marketing collateral has your website address on it? Wherever your company name and address is you need to make sure your website url is right there right alongside it. It’s easy to overlook if your collateral, such as business cards, pamphlets or product instructions, were created some time ago and you simply reorder them when needed. They also need to be put on all your email signatures of everyone in the company, and if you can, mention it on any voice mails or message machines.
Your marketing collateral is one of the best marketing advertisements you have as it can be passed around or kept as necessary. The return for these small modifications is huge and saves your potential customers scrabbling around for contact details.
Sadly, gone are the days of free marketing on social media but one online marketing agency trick is use paid ‘boosts’ on social media. Each platform if different in the way they administer the charges, but they are worth the cost. On average Facebook only displays 6% of a business pages content to a subscriber, but if you pay to ‘boost’ the post the amount displays goes up nearly eight times. For as little $30 you can set up a campaign that brings in a phenomenal return on investment.
Learn to summarize your company brand in one sentence. If you can’t, your advertising will be too long.
Today’s online marketing arena consists of short, succinct advertising – think of Twitter, Pay per click and YouTube – the word spaces are short, so you need to be able to say what you mean in as few characters as possible. Make those characters count, and though it sounds easy, it needs a lot practise to make it sleek and professional.
Online marketing is constantly reinventing itself and pushing creative boundaries, so it’s easy to fall into the trap of ignoring old tactics that are still effective. Email campaigns are a case in point.
The return on email campaigns are $54 for every $1 spent, even with the recent law designed to limit email spamming, so are still highly effective. Rather than throw out the media, an online marketing agency will adapt it to fit the new parameters. For instance, if you can reduce your email subject line to one, single word as a title, your open rate will skyrocket. Try it, then see what works for you.
Quora is a well-known Web portal for offering your expertise. But Zachery Cochran, a PR rep at CPX Interactive, told me about an interesting tactic. He’s heard of companies who post longer, well-written replies on Quora in hopes of getting major media attention. One example: Someone posted some tips on spying and the “article” was re-printed by Forbes.
Another way to go about it: You can also post advice on Klout, then watch as your content (and company links) show up in Bing search results.
I love this trick because it is so aggressive. Alex Genadinik started a company called Comehike.com a few years ago. He was struggling to increase pageviews, so he decided to load up 250,000 articles related to hiking from public databases. He auto-generated the content with SEO-friendly links like “how to hike in San Francisco” and waited. The site grew quickly from that point on, due to how Google analyzes content on a site.
Another potential hurdle to extraordinary service is the expectation that it’s like flicking a light switch — on it goes, and everything’s hunky dory. Truth is, exceptional service takes time to take hold in an organization, particularly one with an array of people and departments. Give it enough time. Review performance every four to six months. It’s essential to stay the course so you can improve service ratings.
The road to top notch service is not without its bumps. Don’t pretend they’re not there. Rather, make them a part of the journey by acknowledging a slip up and, in so doing, recommitting to extraordinary performance.
A successful online marketing company takes each challenge separately and then learns from it making sure that it doesn’t happen again. This needs to run not just through the advertising and marketing, but also through the whole brand. Using a higher standard of customer service within departments and coworkers as well as with external customers also has a dramatic impact on your marketing. As the customer experience improves, they will refer your business to their friends and write positive reviews on yelp, etc.; which will naturally be free advertising
These ten tips will help you provide a marketing service that will be irresistible to prospective clients and are all fairly easy to implement. As you refine your tactics and evaluate what works for you it will get easier to create the kind of marketing that cuts through the morass of media online, and make sure you are out in front.