The most effective online marketing requires a diversified approach. It’s not enough to, for instance, pour every ounce of your energy into ranking high in organic search for a handful of keywords. Nor is it going to work for you to focus your efforts solely on banner ads. Email marketing only works well if you get a lot of opt-ins—which requires you to have a strong online presence.
Nope, this game is not for the single-minded or those with tunnel vision. You have to explore all avenues. To be fully effective, you need to use a wide range of interrelated promotional tools. Each of these campaigns supports one another, with crossover encouraged. Some of the key ingredients in a well-rounded online marketing campaign include the following:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the practice of making your site as friendly as possible to search engines to increase your visibility to potential customers. The most basic SEO techniques include using effective page titles and meta tags. Ensure that each page on your site is about a single, clear topic. Optimize for keywords related to your subject; however, be sure not to overstuff, which can cause search engines to block you. Effective SEO also includes creating many backlinks from relevant sites, to show search engines that your industry considers your site important. Some ways you can gain these valuable links are through link exchanges, guest blog posts or through reviews of your product. There are a million and one articles out there to tell you how to get started optimizing your website: This article is a pretty good overview of the basics, but remember that the information it provides is just to get you started thinking in the right direction.
Also known as inbound marketing, content marketing brings potential buyers to your site by first giving away useful information. Types of content used for marketing includes blog posts, articles and eBooks. Content marketing is great for SEO since Google gives preference to regularly updated sites. The regular updates also give customers reasons to return to your site. And, this method helps establish your business as an authority in your industry, building trust with potential customers.
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
At the most basic level, PPC is the art of leveraging Google AdWords to bring the most motivated traffic to your website, helping you get eyeballs on your website in searches including the keywords describing your product that are likely to convert. Advertising spots are available on a wide range of websites. Usually, these ads are paid for on a pay per click basis. Pay per click costs can vary based on the popularity of the site and the competition for the key words you would like to use. You can make the most out of a pay per click campaign by making sure that clicks bring users to a page that relates directly to the ad that they clicked. If you have a locally oriented business, you can save money and get more relevant results by using geo-targeting, which will only show your ad to people within a specific geographic area. For instance, you don’t want to waste clicks advertising your New York catering company to people in Texas.
Used cautiously and judiciously, email marketing can be highly effective. Many sites use opt-in lists, where customers sign up to receive specials and discounts. You can also send out a regular email newsletter to keep your company in the minds of your customers. Under no circumstances should you ever send unsolicited sales emails. This is considered spam, and is universally considered an unethical, and in most cases illegal, business tactic. Email marketing is an aggressive tactic. It puts you into the personal mind-space of (hopefully, if you did your list-building the right way) your ideal consumer. But these relationships are very delicate due to their intimate context. Campaigns have been minutely calibrated and personalized in order to really be effective. There are a number of different types of email marketing software to help you with this.
Social Media Marketing
Social media sometimes seems like sorcery. There are a lot of myths, superstitions and abstract mystical beliefs that hover around it as a marketing discipline. But it’s the fastest growing search engine ranking factor, and if you are in a competitive industry, you ignore social at your peril. Social media includes sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other sites where people connect and share messages and content. Creating a relevant and interesting presence on these sites is an increasingly common and effective marketing tactic. Try to avoid being overly promotional on these sites. Social media experts recommend no more than one or two overtly promotional messages per 10 messages sent. Make an effort to engage users by replying to comments and creating easily sharable messages.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Getting users to your site is not enough. Once they are there, you need those views to convert to sales. Conversion rate optimization involves adjusting elements of your site so that viewers are more likely to become buyers. You can track the proportion of what viewers buy through user analytics. Common CRO techniques include testing different headlines and subheadings to see which converts better and making your site’s navigation as friendly and intuitive as possible.
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