5 Ways To Dramatically Improve Your Online Marketing
Online Marketing helps businesses engage with a wide audience and establish a brand. It won’t break the bank either, which is great news for those of us with a limited marketing budget.
The problem is, when it comes to creating an online marketing strategy we feel overwhelmed by all the different tools and platforms out there. There’s SO MUCH to choose from and it’s very frustrating when you waste time on something that doesn’t work for your business.
If you focus on a few tried and tested techniques, I can guarantee you’ll overcome any marketing frustration you’re having, and will get great results.
Before I get on to my tried and tested techniques, I want to give you one piece of advice. Don’t worry about missing out on something just because your competitors are doing it. The chances are they’ve spread themselves too thinly over too many platforms, and aren’t actually gaining anything from it.
I’m not going to let that happen to you.
Below are my 5 best practices for a successful and profitable online marketing strategy. Some tips take a little longer than others to get going, but keep at it and you’ll soon be ahead of the pack.
My 5 Best Practices
1. Consistent Blogging
While blogging is not quick or easy to do, it really is worthwhile for your business.
I know it’s hard to think of something new to write about each week, and finding the time to write is a bit of a pain, but if you’re consistent you’ll soon see the rewards.
Blogging drives traffic to your website, which really improves your SEO rankings. It also establishes trust and builds a relationship with your customers. You also get a chance to show off your knowledge which massively boosts your credibility in your industry.
Before you begin, make sure your blog is embedded on your website. If it’s already part of your site the URL will look something like this;
Be careful you’re not hosting your blog on a third party website such as blogger.com, because your website needs to benefit from keywords, content and links, NOT the third party site.
If you have a Wordpress blog that’s separate to your website (it’ll look like this www.mybusinessblog.wordpress.com) you’ll need to add it to your website. If you can, ask your website designer to add it to your website as a subdomain (where it’ll look like this www.example.com/blog/).
Now you’re ready to get writing! If you’re a decent writer, you can create posts yourself in a relatively short period of time, or you can pay someone to write your posts for you. Good sites to find blog writers include people per hour and Upwork. As with anything, you get what you pay for, so be careful if a writer is very cheap, you might not get the quality you want.
You’ll also need a blogging schedule. I recommend creating a Google Document with a list of all the articles you would like to write. If you’re a bit stuck, this handy tool will help you come up with some great blog ideas.
Once you have your list, work your way through it making blog titles green when they’re complete and uploaded to your website.
Another great way to drive traffic to your website is through guest blogging. This is where you post on someone else's website or they post on yours.
It increases your reach to a new, wider audience because you’re speaking to someone else’s followers. If you need help with finding places to do a guest blog, take a look at this great post by Quicksprout.
*Bonus Tip* To really get the most out of your posts, make sure you promote your blog articles across social media to earn links back to your website (this is SEO gold).
2. Only Focus on One or Two Social Media Networks.
Most businesses have a basic social media presence (and some are pretty basic - we’ve all seen the blank Facebook pages with a couple of details hastily filled in).
When starting out people tend to go a bit crazy and add their business to all the popular sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc), because they think it give them access to a larger audience. I can tell you now, this is the wrong approach. It’ll leave you without direction and stressed because you can’t keep up with it all.
Instead, focus on one or two social media networks and begin building your audience steadily. By taking the ‘less is more’ approach, you’ll find it easier to craft your brand message (with a view to expand out later on) and speak the language of that platform properly.
Facebook and Twitter are an excellent place to start (along with Instagram for clothing and other image-intensive companies). These channels are well-known, and offer you direct access to the millions of members in a single click.
3. Use Email Marketing.
The techniques we’ve spoken about so far (if used properly) will drive traffic to your website. Once people are on your site, you should start collecting email addresses.
Think about it, people are on your site to find something they’re interested in (usually your product or service) which makes them ideal for marketing to.
Try including an email signup box after your blog posts or a popup box which activates after someone has been on your site for a while. The Dreamgrow Scroll Triggered Box is great Wordpress plugin for this. I also love Mailchimp as software to both collect and send your emails.
Email marketing also allows you to immediately reach your existing customer base and tap into them for repeat sales. You already have the relationship, you already have the trust, so these people are highly likely to buy from you again. It’s a heck of a lot easier than selling to brand new customers!
4. Go Mobile.
It’s official. People use their mobiles to look at websites WAY MORE OFTEN than they use a computer or laptop. They have online access at their fingertips any time of day or night, with the average user spending 5 hours per day on their phone.
You MUST make sure your website is mobile friendly and responsive (i.e. still looks good on a mobile), otherwise you’ll be missing out on this mass market. If you’re not responsive, people will vote with their fingers and move on to someone else’s website.
5. Basic SEO Techniques.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is basically a load of different techniques that increase your website’s ranking for a particular keyword in search engine results. For example, “Florist Berkshire”.
One of these techniques is Local SEO, which uses specific tools (listed below) to get your business in front of people searching for your product or service locally.
- Google Search Console - Helps Google to find your website more easily.
- Google Analytics - Provides data about your website which is very helpful for marketing.
- Google My Business - Gets your business noticed by Google and in front of customers.
- Google Keyword Planner - Helps you find keywords related to your industry that people are searching for most often.
It’s also a good idea to start building authority links to your website. You can do this by focussing on keywords and backlinks.
Think of keywords that you want to be ranked for in Google and use them in your website wording, copywriting and blog posts. Be careful! Don’t cram keywords all over your site in a way that’s uncomfortable for someone to read. Make sure your wording flows and is easy to take in.
If you’re finding it hard to think of keywords, try using the Google Keyword Planner I mentioned above.
Backlinks are links to and from other credible websites aimed at your target market. They go a long way to increasing SEO. You’ll not only be visible to the readers of these websites (for example; a major news website) but Google will find you more trustworthy and push you up the rankings. If you need help with creating backlinks check out this article by Neil Patel.
*Bonus Tip* Customer Reviews on your Google My Business profile also go a long way in boosting your ranking. They establish trust and reliability with customers viewing your website, and show Google you know what you're talking about. Try to get at least 3 reviews, this is when Google really starts to take notice.
Good luck improving your online marketing! I’d love to know if there’s anything else you need help with - I’ll make sure I write a future article about it.