If you have just started thinking about marketing your business to your online community you might be a little behind but that is ok because it is never too late to get started. Search engine marketing is a must for every business and is no longer a question of maybe. Don’t ever look at it as an ROI thing because you will end up driving yourself quite nuts in the process. Look at it as something is a must in today’s marketplace. Web marketing is no longer a novelty like it might have been ten years ago. It is a serious process of building awareness and traffic to your website. How do you put a price tag on branding your business?
Now it is ok if you don’t want to be a global brand but if you want your business to grow in any shape or form online you have to dive into the space immediately. Don’t go crazy wondering on how you are going to start the process of becoming visible just start with the basics and get the train to leave the station. As you get rolling you will slowly figure out how to pick up speed and momentum to increase the force of visibility.
Some beginner steps to get rocking & rolling online:
Take a look at your website and ask yourself if it solves your business goals. Are all the features in place on your website where they are supposed to be in order to convert your online traffic? Is your website updated design wise? Tighten it up a bit if it needs it. When it comes to online traffic people do judge a book by its cover. You wouldn’t show up at a dinner party with a giant stain on your shirt would you? Same principal applies to your business website. Pretend you are the host of the party and everything needs to be perfect.
Once you have finished updating your website and giving it a face lift now is time to research your industry keywords. Find all of them! Don’t worry about just the big ones that have lots of search volume because assume many of those searches are tire kickers anyways. You want a variety of large, medium and small search volume keywords so you can cast a wide net on your audience. This way you really get a hold of a handful of your audience on all different levels. If you are uncomfortable with this step hire a professional to get it right. This step is crucial to the entire rest of your online marketing efforts. You miss an important keyword phrase and you could be missing out on some very important website traffic.
Tastefully write nice custom crafted meta tags and utilize the keywords to specific service or product pages. You might get frustrated when trying to write these yourself but don’t worry over time you will tweak and make changes to them so they look nice. It is all about constant polishing when it comes to search engine optimization. Remember that meta data is what your audience is clicking on in the search results so you have to write to sell!
Optimize your existing content strategically utilizing the keywords you just found during your research. The content on your important pages should be 100% optimized. If you don’t have content get writing.
Now comes the fun part, stepping into the shoes of your audience. Building up links pointing to your website. Some should come naturally but others will require a proactive approach to acquire. If you own a business you should be on sites like LinkedIn & Twitter with your profile filled out completely for everyone to see. If you are a small business join some small business forums and start engaging in conversation with other business owners. Over time people will start to wonder who you are and make their way to your website. Filling out business profiles, writing PR surrounding your company and engaging in heavy social media will help you build those nice links needed to drive power to your website.
Search engine marketing is not a maybe anymore. It is a definite and if you ever want to grow and avoid being outgrown than take your business online sooner rather than later. The search space is only getting more chaotic and trying to avoid it will not lead to anything positive for your business.