With the introduction of new guidelines and rules for search engines, 2013 provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to significantly increase their online presence. Since July 2013, the old SEO rules are no longer valid in the same way. Now is the best time to adopt a digital marketing plan that will work for your business. When Google lets its Hummingbird spread its wings, companies using good marketing tactics will reap the rewards over time. Below is a list of the key factors that all businesses should include on their online to-do list. You should also keep a list of sites, email addresses and passwords used for everything you do. Trust me, when you get to a certain level, you will be happy to receive a list. You should also track your results for every aspect of marketing. Something simple to be able to check monthly for improvements and check the ROI.
1. On-site optimization and keyword research
Make sure your site is well designed. A good mix of titles, text, and images is essential to fit the SEO mindset. Aim for 300 words in copy, make sure headings are H1 and all images are named correctly. All of this will help search engines connect your site to what people are looking for. Once you have access to your site code, create a sitemap, create accounts for Google and Bing Webmaster Tools, and submit your site to both directories using a sitemap.
Then focus on how your site is displayed on search engines. Use a digital SWOT analysis of your business and focus on generating relevant keywords, creating meta tags, creating heading tags, and reinventing your homepage to maximize your visibility to your leads.
This first step will instantly improve your results. You will see a great return on investment in a few short months.
2. Off-site optimization, links and backlinks
Fieldwork is an equally important part of a strong digital marketing campaign. Outside the office optimization aims to have an Internet access point and look at you. Strive to link your site to existing high ranked sites. Google Rank 5 or higher and a high Alexa Traffic Rank are what to look for. Avoid sites that have more ads than content on their pages.
Social Media Basics: Include in your plan creating business profile pages on the 5 most visited social sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Every business page should have links to your website, and in return, links from your website to those pages. Each page should contain information about your company, text and images, contact details and opening hours. You should also make time for relevant pages / links / circles, etc., so that you have followers and supporters.
Additional Social Media Features: In addition to the top 5 sites, you can also choose additional social media sites that you will be a part of, which will really set you apart from the competition. Best of the Rest: Includes Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Foursquare, Squidoo, and Instagram.
Depending on your level of social media engagement, you may need professional help to keep up with all of these issues. Ideally, each social network takes 45 minutes to 1 hour per week to update fresh content and interact between platforms, gaining new followers, likes and links.
Backlink Strategy: It’s important to focus on quality over quantity these days when it comes to backlinks. Depending on your business, different links will work for some, but not for others. An important start is getting listed in local directories and also focusing on your competitors’ links. Search for “free online directories” on Google and you should be presented with a list of directories for submitting websites. Take time to fill them out and submit. Keep in mind that some take longer to process than others, so keep a list of what has been accepted and what is still being processed. Some directories offer paid features. These can be useful features, but be sure to do some homework and use the most profitable option to get a proper ROI. I have seen cases where 1 directory in particular gives free business links to websites and offers minimal paid services to promote your social media as well as a complete package including a homepage with SEO features on their sites for less money per year than it is worth renting a domain and hosting package together. It also helps you by association to use their existing rankings to your advantage for your keywords. You can go even further and also look for like-minded people, suppliers, agents, users, etc. that your business deals with on a daily basis and start a dialogue so that everyone is promoting each other’s websites with a backlink. In this case, the power is in the numbers, and a reliable link will serve you both well.
The next best way to promote your business is to create a video to highlight your products and offerings. The availability and popularity of sites like YouTube and Vimeo make it a must. The best place to start is by creating a 2-3 minute video created on your behalf, uploading it to YouTube and embedding it on your site. While video posting may not generate direct revenue, smart businesses are using video marketing as a tactic to improve customer engagement, click-throughs, and traffic. They are also helping to drive search traffic as major search engines have begun to rank videos on their result pages. Including video in emails increases open rates by 5.6% and CTR by 96.38% over standard email marketing. Videos are 50 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google for relevant keywords. They also increase traffic for businesses when they are shared. There is always the possibility of going viral.
4. Mobile sites and applications:
Typically, most websites are between 900 and 1000 pixels wide. Unsurprisingly, they are designed to be viewed on computer screens. Smartphones usually want to view websites in an area of 350 pixels. If you don’t have a responsive design that matches the size of the screen the site is viewed on, it will look terrible and the viewer will leave. Test your site by clicking here. An app or mobile site is a fantastic way to bring your existing website up to the generation that sees the internet – the mobile phone. Apps are cool, but they can be expensive to build. The app marketplace is growing and the creation includes a complete overhaul of the existing website. Apps vary in size, cost, and function. The mobile version of your website and mobile technologies such as SMS and QR codes may enter the same market. By using directory sites, your mobile site will be easier to find and more user-friendly for the end user, your customer. Using the same code as your website, a single mobile website can reach users on a wide variety of mobile device types, whereas native apps require a separate version for each device type. Mobile website URLs integrate seamlessly with other mobile technologies.
5. Fresh quality content and blogging:
Write, write and write. Increasingly, search engines trust any new traffic they can track. Creating and adding fresh content to your existing site qualifies like this. When robots and spiders visit your site, if there is new content to report, search engines will take it as a positive thing. If you run your site like a blog, of course with new posts you add fresh content. It is assumed that the content and quality of the blogs are in your hands. Remember to write both original and quality material. Don’t copy or paste someone else’s work just to post something new. This undermines the legal process. If you like what someone else has done, like it and give them recognition and trust in them. If you can’t write enough fresh material, you can find guest contributors who will happily write for you in exchange for a loan. If you run a business website and are not interested in inserting a blog post for content, there are a few things to look out for on your site that are easy to fix. Make sure you own the copyright for the homepage. Make sure the date and year are correct. New customers are more likely to use business websites if it is clear that the sites are being served and that the current years are copyrighted. Get in the habit of checking your own website frequently for any aspect of content that can be updated. At the very least, integrate Facebook or Twitter sharing links and an email link if possible. This will help you share your content online without having to. Other visitors will do it for you if they like what they see.