Let’s face it – how we get customers through the doors has changed drastically in recent years. Twenty years ago, the easiest way to find a service or product was to open the Yellow Pages and pore over black and white ads. These days, online search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing are the go-to sources for consumers to locate and get in touch with businesses. In fact, according to leading SEO analysts, BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2013 revealed that 70 percent of those surveyed use the internet as a way to find a business or service.
What does this really mean? More and more potential customers are going online to find what they need. Where does your business stand?
The goal of any business, regardless of size, services or products, is to get as close to the top of search engine results as possible. If you offer custom pillows in Tampa, when someone searches “personalized pillows Tampa,” you want to be one of the top sites that shows up. This is what search engine optimization (SEO) marketing is all about. But there’s a catch—there are billions of companies out there trying to do the exact same thing. How do you know which are reputable companies that can help you get ahead? The key is hiring a well regarded firm with proven results who will diversify your marketing strategies, hitting potential customers from all angles.
A high quality, reputable internet marketing firm has the knowledge, skills and resources to offer customized packages to promote your business. But keep in mind that just like any business, not all SEO companies are created equal. If an online marketing firm promises you the stars (or in this case, a guaranteed spot at the very top of search engine results), lacks solid and consistent reviews, and fails to offer a variety of marketing strategies, you deserve better. Below are five key strategies an effective SEO firm should use to put your business ahead of the pack and help you connect with new customers:
Organic SEO Marketing and PPC Advertising – Getting to that elusive spot at the top of the charts can be accomplished in a number of different ways, but essentially, you need to get clicks. The more traffic generated to your site, the better. This is true not only for potential sales and customers, but also for your ranking on search engines. Organic SEO focuses around keyword analysis as well as link building, while Pay-Per-Click (PPC) focuses on paying the website to advertise based on a budget that works for you. A combination of the two is optimal but at a minimum – especially for new businesses or those lagging behind in their industry – adding a time limited PPC campaign will help get you off the ground quickly. Continuous link building is critical and must be maintained over time to achieve lasting results.
Unparalleled Website Content – Having a website that speaks to your customers is the first step in gaining their trust. Relatable writing, beautiful imagery and powerful video content are three ways to refocus your website on what the client wants. This is how you connect with them without even meeting face-to-face. Above all, your content must be so compelling that customers and industry experts want to link to it. Website content is the single most important factor in building natural links to your website over time.
Social Media Marketing – Facebook. It’s everywhere. You can’t escape it, so why not join it? Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest and other social media outlets provide you with a chance to establish a more personal and often colorful connection with your audience. Social media also plays an emerging role in Google logarithms, which means they are part of the formula that determines where you stand in searches.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials – More business often comes from word of mouth. Word of mouth is one marketing tool that will never go out of style—but it has gone virtual. The good thing about online marketing strategies is that you can build your reputation through online reviews and testimonials. BrightLocal reports that 70 percent of consumers read online reviews, which helps them trust a business. Another 60 percent said positive reviews influenced them to do business with a company. Use this information to your advantage and get your name on the right review sites such as Google and Yelp and encouraging current customers to leave reviews.
Article SEO Marketing – Nothing is more powerful than the written word, which is why poetry and great literature have withstood the test of time. Many potential customers go online not just to find a business, but also to find answers to their problems. What’s the best way to unclog a drain? Does intermittent fasting really work? No matter what your expertise and business, someone out there could use your help. Educational articles, how-to’s and informative blog posts lets you offer support and expert advice. This in turn gains your readers’ trust and secures their business down the road.
Diversifying your internet marketing strategies with this five factor approach ensures that your business is accessible and keeping up with the evolving online trends.