The key factors for gaining visibility online are constantly evolving, shifting pathways as we know them to new areas. Hitting the nail on the head is easier said than done when it comes to ramping up a company’s online visibility. Once you get into the right frame of mind and explore the Internet arena, you’ll find that there are plenty of tools and resources that will get your business in front of the right audience.
1. Define Target Audience
First thing’s first, it is important to have a clear defined audience. Look at the major factors that define your prospects’ persona. Having this information is key to creating content that will connect with your targeted audience online, which much of your online marketing efforts will need. Start with answering these four simple questions:
- What are the demographics of our target audience?
- Where does my target audience hangout online?
- What are their day-to-day concerns?
- How can we help?
It is essential to know whom you are aiming for with your business message, their needs, and their buying habits. This is a great enlightening exercise that many skip underestimating its importance.
2. Keyword Research
Okay pretty basic, right? Well, with over 90% of businesses getting this process wrong, it’s imperative and cannot be taken lightly (seriously, I can’t stress that enough). Getting into the nitty-gritty of keyword research might be a challenging task, but a very important one. Finding out your most relevant and commercial intent keywords is a crucial step to making sure you show up online for the right terms and that the rest of you marketing effort are aligned with your business goals. A great post I found on Kissmetrics, can help you with this.
3. SEO Friendly Code and Content
Investing in SEO is a smart move to improve your organic search visibility, but also to comply with Google’s Webmaster guidelines. If you are a small business with limited budget, but have a bit of time to do it yourself, use a tool such as Ignitur.com at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full service company. It will guide you on what to do, and how to do it. Areas to cover when you consider SEO:
- Sales copy and all other content
- Meta’s (title and description)
- Site speed
- Call to action
- UI and UX
4. Social Media Audiences
Organic reach on social media platforms is limited to the pool size of the connections we have. With so many people using social media on a daily basis, harnessing this reach opportunity is done through paid ads that target certain demographics. This is where defining your target audience(s) starts to pay off. Obviously the two main platforms to use are Facebook and Twitter, but there are some others such as YouTube (in case of videos), LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Explore these relatively low cost traffic channels and the demographic segmentations available in some of them. This could be the main source of traffic for some industries, such as gadgets, clothing, and other cool products or services that are considered fun to share.
5. Local Traffic
Local traffic is underestimated by many nationwide/worldwide services. Being listed on the top 50 US directories is not only for local brick and mortar companies, but a great opportunity for all types of businesses. Local listings bring the benefit of additional web mentions favored by the search engines which strengthens the overall trust and authority of the website. Yext is one of the better tools to handle this task efficiently.
6. Blog Writing
It is a good practice to establish authority and communicate with your audience to answer their questions and provide useful information – giving them a reason to come back for more. Develop a content distribution plan for you website. Write and aim for QUALITY and interesting content. It must contribute to the reader, or else they will not come back. Remember, each new page is an opportunity for more organic traffic, but even a better opportunity to increase the awareness and interest around your product/service. No matter in what industry you are in, not having a blog is definitely a missed opportunity.
7. Referral Traffic
Write on other websites, or get listed on large authorities properties, such as the BBB, Yelp, YouTube or other Web 2.0 sites and leading websites in your industry. Make a long list of websites you want to be listed on and start connecting.
8. Write in LinkedIn
LinkedIn offers a blogging and publishing platform. The exposure is great, and naturally the amount of attention it gets from the search engines is usually higher than you can reach on your own website.
9. Search Engine PPC Advertising
Not everyone can rank on page one of Google, therefore looking at other sources for online real estate is a good start. PPC is an efficient way to stake your claim in the online space. You only pay when a customer clicks on your ad, and you define your budget. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
10. Monitor and Reporting
A big part of understanding what works and what doesn’t is measuring and analyzing your efforts. It is important to monitor every campaign you run and log spend plus results for a clear picture of where you get the most money for your buck. Having this data handy will in turn maximize your online visibility cost efficiently and effectively. Google analytics is a good place to start. Try their training certification program if you’d like to take it to the next level.
Bonus: Email Marketing
If you don’t have an email marketing campaign in place, it might be a good idea to start building a list now and reconnecting with your prospects/clients. Email marketing is a great way to retarget past visitors and bring additional targeted traffic to your website.
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