How To Promote A Business Online? – Your Simple Digital Marketing Plan – Part Five
As with most things in life, to have success, the best way is to have a good and effective plan. It is the same with Digital Marketing. You must have a structured and scheduled plan, know exactly what needs to be done, and work through it in order for your online marketing efforts to have successful results.
Here is a Simple Digital Marketing Plan for you:
Your Target Audience
First, you need to identify who are your ideal customers. They will be part of your target audience. Get into their minds, think like them, and figure out what keywords they would use to search for products, services and businesses like yours. Better still, if you can do a simple survey, and ask people (friends and family can work too) for the keywords they will use in a search.
Next, commit to building your brand online. A strong brand is very important, and becomes a valuable asset to your business. For customers, when choosing a product or service, they naturally will gravitate towards a brand that is strong, and also preferably one they are familiar with. To them a strong and familiar brand reduces the risk of a purchase, and is a promise of quality and trust.
One of the tools to build your brand is your business website. These days, a website is like an online brochure. It sits on a specific space on the Internet, waiting for people to drop by and have a look. So do make efforts to have an attractive, well-designed, well laid out, and professional looking website. And of course, your content must be engaging, and motivates them to dive further or take action and make a purchase.
*** TIP! Don’t forget to set up an autoresponder on your website, and build an email list.
Search Engine Optimization aka SEO
After your website is done, you have to have Search Engine Optimization going to draw traffic to your website. I will not repeat this information as it was already discussed in the earlier post – How To Promote A Business Online? – 6 Things You Should be Doing – Part 2. Please click on the link to learn more about SEO, and why it is one of the many strategies you must be using to have success with your internet marketing efforts.
Also, discussed in that same post is Social Media. Again, I will not repeat the information because you can go to the post via the link to read all about it. Also, this will be further elaborated in a later part of this series.
Online Local Domination
In addition to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media, you need to add the 4-point online domination to your internet marketing plan. Again, the 4 points are local business results, natural search results, Pay Per Click results, and content results. These, including SEO and Social Media, will help to raise your ranking in the local business search results.
During our discussion on Online Local Domination, we touched on the topic of Pay-Per-Click Results. I would like to reiterate that this is one of the very powerful ways of reaching your target audience. Again, it is one of the fastest ways to get traffic to your site using targeted local keywords and geo-targeting generic keywords. Truly, a very valuable part of a digital marketing plan.
Another item to add to your online marketing plan is for your business to be on all (or as many as possible) the online business directories. These directories are what Yellow Pages used to be for print media. It is one of the digital places where people are turning to in order to find a product or service. To add your business to these online directories is easy (and often free). But don’t just list in a few. Every individual directory that you submit to is another chance to get found online, so it’s important to make sure you’re listed in every directory possible. Here is a list of directories to be listed on, most are FREE.
Being listed on online business directories does help a little with natural search results as you are getting links to your business website. In addition to directories, get tons of links to more local sites to get high natural search results. Another way of creating backlinks is to get into and participate in local discussion forums, especially forums that discuss topics related to your business. One more is to be listed on classified ad sites such as Craigslist.
Article marketing is not new. It is a technique used in the past where professionals provide content to a newspaper or magazine on timely topics. Today, the same is done online. The difference is that business owners and marketers submit an article to a number of online article directories.
The article includes the author, job title, business name and contact information. Visitors to these directories who will then read your article, and this increases awareness of you and your brand. This can also increase traffic to your business website when they are interested to find out more about your products and services. Also article directories with good web page ranks can strengthen your ranking with search engines.
Blogs have gained a reputation as having the potential to boost your SEO rankings. By using long-tail keywords, you can push your business website up the rankings of search results. So it is good to have a blog on your business website.
But before you make this one of your to-dos in your digital marketing plan, you have to be sure you have the time and resources to keep updating the blog. It is the same with social media updates. If you don’t have the time or resources, do consider outsourcing this to your digital marketing partner.
Also mentioned in the 6 Things You Should Be Doing article is the fact that Online Video is the next wave in digital marketing. So add this to your online marketing plan, and get aesthetically pleasing and professional videos done. Then upload them to your website as well as video sites such as Vimeo and YouTube.
Internet Audio, like online video, can help to raise awareness, and spread word about your brand, products, services and business. And similar to online video, upload them to your business website and distribute them on local audio and podcast sites.
Press Releases were originally designed as a communication tool between a company PR or public relations firms and the media. Now, Online Press Releases are effectively used as a direct to media as well as direct to consumer communication tool. Submit your press releases to progressive wire services, like PR Newswire or PRWeb, to receive maximum exposure for your brand.
Data, Analytics & Tracking
An essential part of your digital marketing plan is to test and track your marketing efforts. For example, how much traffic is going to your business website and from where? Are visitors being converted, and where did they originate from? How did your keywords rank? These are some of the useful information you can gather from analytics that can help you further modify and optimize your internet marketing plan.
It is rare that a digital marketing plan is perfect. With analytics, you can figure out what works, and what does not work. Or maybe it is not that it is not working. If so, then changes need to be made so as to make that your marketing efforts successful.
This is all the tips for a simple Digital Marketing Plan. Of course, the plan can be expanded into a more sophisticated version that can take your business to the next level. For a start, consider the points above, and start thinking about your basic Online Marketing efforts that can lead to your business success.
I wish everyone great success in their businesses.
Blessings to all.
P.S. I would love to hear from you, so please do write a comment. Thanks 🙂
Audit Your Current Digital Marketing Efforts (if any)
Before we discuss about creating your new digital marketing plan, let us do a simple audit of your past online marketing efforts (if you have any so far). Let us look at what has been done previously for your business on the Internet; for example your website, any social media network, blog, etc.
Let us be thorough, and evaluate your current online presence so that you can see where you are at. Only then can we create a good and effective digital marketing plan for you to know where you want your business to be, how successful you want your business to be, and what needs to be done to achieve that.
Assess Current Digital Marketing Checklist
Here is a checklist for you to assess your current internet marketing (if you have any):
How do you currently market your company?
How do you currently promote your online presence?
Why are you thinking of putting a digital marketing in place?
Have you spent any money on advertisements?
Which media are these advertisements on?
Are the advertisements on these media working?
Have you used Pay-Per-Click ads in before?
Do you have a business website?
What techniques do you currently use to drive traffic to your website?
How much are you spending each month to get that traffic?
How many unique visitors does your business website get per month?
How many enquiries do you get from those that visit your website?
What percentage of revenue currently comes from leads generated by the Internet? And from which platform?
How many sales/leads do you get per month from your website?
What is the current value of your average sale? What is the average revenue per sale? What is the average profit per sale?
How many current customers do you have?
How many of these current customers bought your products and/or services?
How often does a customer buy from you? (get full statistics and average)
Do you regularly keep in touch with your customers? If yes, how do you do it? And how often?
Is your business capable of exponential growth?
Are your sales team trained?
Does your sales team receive training regularly?
What type of training does your sales team undergo?
The above checklist is just a guideline. You might think of more questions to help with the audit. By the end of this exercise, you should have a pretty good report card on the overall health of your current digital marketing plan. And you should know if it is working or not. Also, you will uncover some missing pieces as well as potential growth for your business.
Current Digital Marketing Plan Audit
It is also good to conduct an audit of your current digital marketing plan for each of your line (if you do have any):
Have you registered your business with local online business directories?
Do you use article marketing?
Do you have a blog on your business website?
How often do you post on the blog?
Do you have people following your blog?
Do people engage you on your blog?
Do you have videos on your business website?
Do you place videos on video sites such as Vimeo and YouTube to promote your business website?
Do you use online Press Releases?
Do you use Pay-Per-Click advertising?
Do you test and track your website as well as all other digital platforms?
Do you use online Classified Ads sites?
Do you use online Local Forums?
Do you use Audio Marketing on your site, and also syndicate the audio on other popular sites?
Most of the above checklist should be done for each of your product lines or services you carry. When the checklist items are in place, you will be more effective at marketing your business on the digital space.
If you are targeting different markets, do consider using different approaches to reach each market. While you may attract them to your business website, your emails, Pay-Per-Click campaign, landing pages, content on classified ads sites and local forums, online videos, online audios, articles and blogs should be tailored to each market accordingly.
This is the shortest of my blog posts so far. And I hope you enjoyed it just as much as the longer posts? Please write a comment and let me know your thoughts on this part 4, the rest of the How To Promote A Business Online series so far.
Then there are those who think they know how to promote a business online. So they create a website and set up a few social network accounts. Unfortunately, this group thinks that posting on their social media once in a blue moon is good enough for people to find them.
Of course, there are those who have an inkling what Digital Marketing is all about. But they only use a select few techniques to drive traffic to their site.
Which of these types of business owners are you?
At the same time, I must say that I totally empathize with all types of business owners. The reason is they are not in the business of marketing – whether online or offline. So it is not reasonable to expect them to know much about it or be an expert at it. As a business owner, it is understandable that as you are focusing more on your core duties and responsibilities to run and grow your business. And leave the marketing to the experts like me. Still, it is worthwhile to know at least what online marketing is all about. So it is good you are reading and learning more about it now.
There are times when you will find that many internet marketing efforts require some testing to find out what works and what does not work. For example, Facebook Ads with hard selling copy may work for a certain target audience, but may not for another. All that testing will take up a lot of your time and effort.
The good news is – with this series – How to Promote A Business Online? (start reading from part one if you have not done so) – you are given an enormous advantage. From a wide variety of tried and tested internet marketing methods, I have narrowed it down to a few for you to start. These are ideal for you to see real results in your sales.
Here, I present 6 Things That You Should Be Doing to enhance your digital marketing efforts. Not many know of all these 6 tried and tested marketing methods. And everyone and every business should be doing them. So when you do apply all six of them, you can produce some serious results.
And – drum roll – here they are:
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
2. Social Media
4. Online Videos
5. Build a List
6. Free Reports
1. Basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Did you spend a lot of money for your business website to be created?
Whether you did spent a lot, not so much or very little, the more important question is – did you spend enough or at all for your website to be search engine optimized?
If your website is not search engine optimized, it will never get ranked high in the search results. The effect of this is nobody will know the existence of your business website, your business and your brand.
SEO is an important digital marketing tool to promote your businesses online. More and more people are becoming aware of this, and are doing it for their websites, whether by themselves or hiring professionals to help.
So how does SEO help to promote your business online?.
Search engines use an Internet bot, often called a spider, to collect information on the World Wide Web, and build lists. This includes strategic use of keywords, backlinks, and more.
When your website does not have any strategic use of keywords, plus a significant number of links to your site, and many other SEO elements, your website will have a hard time achieving ranking on the first page of search results. Without online visibility, it will be virtually impossible for people to learn about your business through online means.
Important Tip for SEO!
Do not use sluggish elements like Flash.
For years, I have highly recommended to many clients to not have Flash on their website, especially the home page. While it can look impressive, websites with Flash do not get indexed properly by search engines. The simple truth is that search bots cannot read Flash content.
Nowadays, having Flash can even hurt your search rankings as search engines have begun blacklisting such sites. They regard these websites as deceptive, having no keywords, and no content.
2. Social Media
Today, for every business, Social Media is a must have.
In 2013, Jayson DeMers reported on Forbes that:
“Investment in Social Media Will Become a Necessity, Not a Luxury”
Today, those prophetic words have proven to be true. Social Media is a priority for your business, and complements as well as augments your SEO efforts. It will improve your website’s search rankings and allow your business to be found.
As part of your marketing and PR (public relations) mix, it will help your business to increase brand exposure and enhance brand awareness. This makes it a great tool to establish a stronger brand for your business.
You can use social media to build a community of people interested in your products and services. It is an excellent tool to share your expertise and knowledge on your products and services as well as interact and receive valuable customer feedback.
All business owners know that marketplace insight is very valuable. With social media, you can get this valuable information direct from the source. Never before has businesses had such access that can help improve and grow the business.
Social media has many other benefits. It can also be used to drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and boost sales by converting loyal fans to customers.
Important Tip for SEO!
Search engines Love new and fresh content!
Blogging is one way of keeping content fresh on your website. This will enhance your chances of being at the top of search engines. Also, you can blog such that your content has all the right long-tailed keywords.
In addition, when you blog posts that are interesting and captures the attention of people, you can build a following. This following is immediately your potential customers ready and ripe for you to market your products and services to.
After all, when they follow you, it means they have an interest in what you are offering to them. Again, just like social media, they can be a valuable source of feedback and marketplace insight.
4. Online Video
Online videos are the next wave in content marketing.
You can create a simple video using text slides, and do a voiceover with or without background music. Or a video presenting your products and services. The content for video is virtually limitless.
And the best part is that more and more people love watching videos rather than read a lot of text. Hence, you now have another hot digital marketing vehicle to reach numerous customers and prospects. For maximum effectiveness, just be sure to place the online video where people can find it; e.g. social media, your website, YouTube, etc.
5. Build A List
One of the goals of your online marketing plan should be to build an email list. It is a database of people who opt in; that is they consent to receiving emails from you about your products and services.
To capture such data and increase your email list, you need an autoresponder. This is an indispensable tool for all businesses. It saves time for you because it is there on a page of your website, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, ready to accept input from people who wish to sign up and receive emails from you.
It is a set of standardized letters that are set up once, and the necessary contact with each new individual who opts into your email list is taken care of automatically. Hence, it is actually very good for lead nurturing that is absolutely essential in demand marketing.
6. Free Reports
Everyone loves free stuff, especially when there is some valuable information available that is pertinent to their interests. When you offer free reports on a particular area of interest to your potential customers, you will firstly establish yourself as an expert in that particular field.
Of course, first you need to create reports that are of value to others because they offer useful information. When you have that, you can offer them on your website. Get people to provide their name and email address (at the very least) in exchange for a free report. As you can guess by now, this is another way to build your email list.
When you apply the above 6 Things You Should Be Doing, you will find that your website will be placed higher in search engine results ranking.
As a result, more and more people will be able to find you on the Internet, and connect and engage with you. You will now have more opportunities to communicate with them, and convert them into customers.
I am sure you noticed that this is just an overview of the 6 Things You Should be Doing. There will be more details in future blog posts. Do sign up for my newsletter to be updated. Or connect with me on Social Media where I will post updates, too.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please like and share this post. And of course, definitely leave a comment for me. I would love to hear from you.
Your Customers Are Searching For You Online … Can They Find You?
Are you a local business owner? Or a business targeting a specific region?
Over the past few years, have you noticed a drop in demand for your products or services?
Or perhaps you are a new business, and sales has been really slow or not at all?
In my years of experience, I have met many businesses that were facing one of the above two situations. Of course, there were many other situations a business could be facing. Some businesses could be doing well and yearn to do better but do not know how to achieve that growth.
Whichever one of these situations that you are in, this series – How To Promote A Business Online – is for you. You will learn ways to increase brand exposure, enhance brand awareness, draw traffic to your website, engage with people who are interested in what you are selling, and tactics to heighten the chances of converting prospects into customers.
To help you achieve all that, I will share with you the following:
The basics of digital marketing
The types of internet marketing strategies that can help market your business
The meaning of online local domination and how to do it
As well as helping you to come up with a simple digital marketing plan and put the tasks and tactics in the plan to work for you.
Before all that, I will share with you why traditional marketing doesn’t work anymore, and why it is imperative that you start marketing online.
Traditional Marketing Is Not Working Anymore
The Internet revolution is well under way, and the way to reach and communicate with your target audience must change. Today, your target audience that you seek has become increasingly fragmented due to new technologies that allow them to experience media in myriad platforms.
The fact of the matter is that traditional media such as television, radio, magazines, and newspapers are well on their way to the fate of the dinosaurs. Advertising on traditional media to reach your market may work in the past, but it is no longer as effective as before, and will not bring in business as expected. This is particularly true for print media that many people do not pay attention to anymore.
Businesses that are still using such outdated forms of advertising are throwing away many thousands in expenses on ineffective marketing every month. It is easy to do a quick survey to find out if this is true. Simply ask a few people where their copy of the Yellow Pages is. The answers will astound you.
Some may say that they have it in some storage area, gathering dust. Some may have thrown it away (may even cite waste of space as a reason). How does that make you feel about the money you’re spending?
So where are people going to when they need to find products and service?
The answer is the Internet.
They are scouring the Internet to connect with their friends and family, and search for products and services they need. So businesses that want to reach out to existing customers and have new customers find them simply must have a quality online presence. And this means not just having an ineffective website that looks like it was done as a school project.
Today, most websites are well thought out. The design, layout and content are interesting and informative. The interface and experience are personable. Due to the fact that many people now surf the Internet on mobile devices, many websites have become what is known as responsive websites.
All these effective websites utilize a myriad of savvy digital marketing techniques that improve their search rankings and make them stand out from their competitors. For example, if you have a site with no keywords in it and almost no backlinks, you are missing the boat and will never get to the top of the search engine results.
And having a website alone is not enough for your business nowadays. You need to be on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Youtube, etc., where your target audience is hanging out and communicating. Social media enables you to reach out and communicate with your target audience on a personal level. This is very powerful, and has never been available with traditional media.
Of course, besides having a website and being on social networks, there are other digital marketing techniques and strategies that you must do. We will discuss and explore all these in the rest of this series.
Why Is Internet Marketing Important?
In every form of media, there are specific marketing strategies that apply to that particular media. The Internet is no exception. In order to get traffic to your website, you need to stay on top of these digital marketing strategies, and implement them. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on one of the most efficient and lucrative sources to get new customers for your business.
In my years of experience, I have encountered many local business owners who did not apply any digital marketing strategies to grow their customer base. This is simply because they have no idea what needs to be done.
It is understandable as digital marketing is so new and foreign to most business owners. They are so busy running their business, managing their staff, and taking care of their clients. And that is all right as they should rightly focus on their core business.
Some don’t even know where to start. Most don’t have the time to learn what digital marketing is all about. Plus, it is constantly evolving. So to keep themselves updated takes up quite a lot of time and effort.
Then there are those who know and understand the value of digital marketing, and how it can bring increasing returns to their businesses. They are aware of some digital marketing strategies, but don’t have the time and resources to do it. Like the other business owners mentioned in the previous paragraph, they are bogged down by the running of their business, staff management, and providing the best services and products to their existing clients. They, too, know that this is an arena where it is always evolving.
To find out if you are familiar with digital marketing, ask yourself the following questions:
What are long-tailed keywords?
What is keyword density?
What is Web 0? And Web 3.0?
How do you set up an autoresponder?
How do you change the tags on your website?
How do you create videos and audios for your website?
If you don’t know the answers to the above questions, don’t panic. It is okay.
It is absolutely normal. You, like most business owners, have wisely spent your time focusing on your core role; that is to manage your business and ensure it become successful. You have mastered other aspects of your business that were crucial to your business.
But now, you need to learn more!
It is time for you to discover what needs to be done in order to have an effective digital marketing plan for your business.
The Importance of Having a Good Online Presence
Today, most local business owners are running lean and hungry. Hungry for more business. Hungry for that sales phone to ring. Hungry for more customers to walk in through the door. But the economic and business landscape is always changing, always in constant flux.
Today, reaching your target market cost-effectively is nothing like it was a decade or decades ago. Business owners need to understand these changes, adapt accordingly, and meet the challenges they are facing. This is essential to the survival of your business
In 2011, I was the newly appointed Business Development Manager of a local business that was spending thousands of dollars on Yellow Pages advertising. The business has been doing that for the previous past years, and nobody was tracking if this expenditure was bringing in any new customers.
A quick survey and phone calls to our current clientele proved that not one customer used the Yellow Pages to search and find that local business. Needless to say, when it was time to renew the advertising contract, I put a stop to it, and saved thousands of dollars for the company.
There would be those who are not savvy at digital marketing, and would be at a loss as to what to do with that big budget so as to get the best possible returns on the company’s marketing investment. All that money could be poured into online strategies that might either fall flat or backfire. The learning curve is sharp and unforgiving.
As someone who had been practicing digital marketing for 25 years, I knew and understood that this big budget needs to be re-channeled to advertising on the Internet so as to get the best possible returns on the company’s marketing investment.
Just like me, there are entrepreneurs who realize that the Internet is the future. In August 2014, Google reported that they now process “over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide”. This number grows by more than 40% to 60% each year. In fact, 81% of people search online before they make a purchase.
What is more important is that a large majority of these people search online for local services and products before making a buying decision. Very few turn to the local newspaper to find what they want. Even fewer think of the Yellow Pages anymore. This is why it is essential that local business owners need to have an online presence, and have effective digital marketing in place.
Unlimited Potential for Growth
Understanding how digital marketing works, and using the tactics and techniques correctly to promote your business can easily result in huge increase in sales. When your digital marketing strategies work effectively and there is increased sales, you create positive impact on your own business that can have positive effect on the world around you.
When you encourage more money to be spent locally by having a steady stream of new customers, you also improve your local economy. There could be fewer downsizing and layoffs. Sometimes, new jobs could even be created.
In fact, no matter how the economy changes, because you are able to reach those who are interested to buy from you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and your business will grow. And that is what effective marketing is all about!
Digital marketing has the potential for exponential profit growth. If you’re not ready for your business to double or even more, stop reading now!
Important Statistics You Need To Know
Statistics are great for understanding your customers. Here are some statistics that show you how people are using the Internet to search for what they want:
Over 5 billion searches occur every day, and 1 in 3 searches is local.
5% of people searching on Google will choose a business that is on the first page of their search results.
5% of clicks go to the #1 ranked site of search results.
6% of clicks go to the #2 ranked site of search results.
4% of clicks go to the #3 ranked site of search results.
From the above statistics, you can see how important it is to have a strong online presence, to be ranked high for search results. Thus, it is imperative that your business develop and implement an effective digital marketing strategy. This is so that those looking for products and services that you provide can find you. Even when they don’t know your brand or business name.
Making Changes to Your Online Marketing Methods
You would like to get maximum results from your digital marketing plan and strategy. To achieve that, you will need to make some pretty drastic changes to your digital marketing methods. To help you with that, here are some insider facts you need to know.
First, it is a fact that there is a potential to grow your business using digital marketing. And that potential can be phenomenal, no matter what industry you are in. You just have to learn what needs to be done, and cultivate this opportunity.
There are six extremely useful digital marketing techniques that you should be doing. Again, you have to learn these techniques. Then put them into practice and you will be able to outperform your competitors quickly.
Have you ever heard of local online domination? Well, this is a goal you need to accomplish. And you can do by learning and mastering a four step process. When you follow the four step process diligently, you will have higher chances of getting the results you desire.
Every marketing effort needs a good plan, and has the best results because of it. You will need to create a digital marketing plan and follow it as closely as possible. A plan is essential for managing all the crucial tasks that can take your business to the top of the search results as well as attract new customers for you.
It is critical to do an audit of your past marketing efforts, if any. By taking the time to thoroughly analyze what you have been doing in the past, you are better equipped to create and implement a new and better digital marketing plan. Also, you can measure the progress by comparing past results to results from your new digital marketing efforts.
Most business owners can get overwhelmed by the number of tasks required from the new digital marketing plan. This need not be so. You just need to make the tasks more reasonable by breaking them down into bite-sized chunks. A good place to start is to do the tasks that are one-time jobs. Especially those that are also the foundation of your digital marketing plan. For example, content for your website. Make them into a checklist and have fun ticking them off.
Once the one-time tasks are done, focus next on the tasks that repeat. These would be the long-term commitments that require monthly, weekly, or even daily attention. For example, blog updates or Facebook postings.
Speaking of these long-term tasks that repeat and require constant attention, you should consider hiring a vendor to do this role. Perhaps even the entire digital marketing plan. The reason is these tasks take up a lot of time. You need to do research to find fresh, interesting and relevant articles or spend time creating your own unique ones. Then there is the copywriting to be done. This itself is an art.
Good copywriting captures people’s attention and inspires them to act; e.g. visit your website or make a purchase. Plus, good pictures and videos not only captivate an audience but also reinforce your brand image. Now, videos are the choice form of communicating with your target audience. Videos are great as they can appeal to the senses, touches the emotions, and is easy to digest. I believe the future is Video Marketing, and will share more about this later. All this require the right digital marketing partner with the right experience, expediency and skills to help you make your digital marketing a success.
Finally, you need to create a system for tracking the results of your digital marketing efforts. More importantly, it can determine and improve your Return On investment (ROI) thereby measuring the increase in your business income.
This is just an example of how tracking your digital marketing results are useful. There are, of course, many other ways to track and measure the performance of your digital marketing efforts. By doing so, you know how your business is growing, and how to further enhance the growth through digital marketing.
That’s all I have for the introduction. I know it’s lengthy. I did think of breaking this introduction into two parts, but thought better not to. After all, it is an introduction. And also I was concerned that when done in two parts, the essence of the points may be diluted.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please like and share this post. And of course, definitely leave a comment for me. I would love to hear from you.
WHAT IS THE INTERNET OF THINGS AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT A BUSINESS’ DIGITAL MARKETING?
What is the Internet of Things? What are the effects that the Internet of Things bring to a business’ digital marketing?
You may have heard the term – “Internet of Things” or IoT – more than once. It’s a common topic that many people and businesses seem anxious or excited about. When the news broke out of how it will change even an ordinary person’s life, people have been trying to grasp how much impact the Internet of Things or IoT will have in their daily activities. But the impact is mostly anticipated by businesses, especially on how it will change the game for Digital Marketing.
Before I go on and elaborate about the impact of the Internet of Things for businesses, let us meet on common ground so that everyone understands what the Internet of Things is. The Internet of Things basically deals with any equipment, appliances gadgets and other items connected with each other through the use of the Internet.
Sometimes this is referred to as a machine-to-machine transaction or communication. Let’s say, for example, you need to monitor activities at your house, and you install a CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) to enable you to do just that. Then you install an application or app on your mobile phone so that anywhere you are, you can watch everything that is captured by that CCTV, and streamed to your mobile phone. Voila! You are already applying the principle of IoT. It is literally a web of ‘things’ connected seamlessly with the help of the Internet .
Since the birth of the first electronic telegraph in the 1832 in Russia, the idea of the Internet of Things was inevitable but not yet realized. The simple machine only helps people communicate from a certain distance and it was not made available to just anyone.
However, as the technology started to advance from this simple machine for communication and getting connected to and through the Internet was made easier, people started to realize how much impact it would cause in the daily activities and how business would change in some ways that it would work. By the year 2009, the Internet of Things was born and people started to anticipate what will become of it.
With IoT looming to change how consumers would look for products and services, businesses knew they had to step up and pick up the pace in terms of their marketing strategies. The way they deal with consumers would no longer be as hard as before but would also pose certain challenges. Businesses perceived such high impact towards digital marketing which would positively affect their business especially when they are equipped with the right digital marketing strategies.
In order to determine which digital and other marketing strategy a business must develop or improve, the impact of the Internet of Things must be determined first. These effects on businesses would lead to strategies that would eventually become crucial in surviving the Internet of Things. In order to have a clear view on these impacts, here are the things that you can expect for businesses to encounter once the IoT dominates the digital world, especially for your digital marketing strategies.
SYSTEMATIC AND LIVE DATA CONTROL
The Internet of Things provide benefits for both consumers and businesses. As a consumer, imagine you can program or control the washing machine or oven from wherever you are. Let’s say you started your laundry, and halfway to the supermarket you realize you forgot to separate the colors. Wouldn’t it be great if you can instruct your washing machine to stop and pause the process? Or maybe you forgot to turn the oven off? It would be such peace of mind to be able to switch off the oven as you drive into the highway, right? The internet of Things can provide such freedom for consumers to do things manually, from any location, without the fear of any miscalculations.
For businesses, having access to the data of what interests their clients most and how they behave can provide essential information of what features and steps they need to make next in future models. The data gathered from consumers will be far easier than before and can be programmed on a certain time or day. The data can then be sorted by a company’s own program or system. Digital marketing strategies that can be used or boosted will be determined from the data gathered. Never before has brands been able to acquire and capture such accurate data that can help improve their product or service. This live data also enables a company to pinpoint any issues that may be happening at the moment, which leads to the next impact of IoT for businesses.
BETTER AND REAL-TIME CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Any consumer would like to have an immediate customer support at the time an issue breaks out, and have it resolved as quickly as possible. One of the best part of a company’s digital marketing strategy is having an effective customer support system that can help retain consumers’ trust and loyalty by providing accurate solutions to the issue/s they might be facing with the product or service.
But imagine if the company can provide customer support before the customer even contacts them? Imagine just as the dishwasher breaks down, you get a call from the customer support immediately informing you that they are aware of the issue, and are working furiously on it to resolve it as soon as possible. Isn’t that far better?
The Internet of Things can make this possible. With the machine to machine transfer of data, a company can launch a customer service related program that enables it to determine which consumers are having issues with the products or services. This allows the company to assess the situation real time and give solutions immediately without asking too much questions to the consumer.The company can also include this customer support program through their digital marketing strategy by launching it together with other strategies, such as their social media campaigns.
OPTIMIZING SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is a powerful tool for any business’ digital marketing strategy. With an engaging and relatable content, consumers are willing to share a business’ blogs and videos on their own social media accounts. The customer’s experience of a company’s service or products may also be posted through their social media accounts. Internet of Things can help build a better way of optimizing a company’s social media campaign to rally and win these brand ambassadors.
In this Age of the Internet, people like to share their experience on blogs, social media, review sites, etc. Consumers like to share their satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with the products or services. This is an advantage for businesses by creating a program that allows a consumer to share their experience instantaneously on their social media accounts. This will then become a way of marketing the products or services of a business to any potential consumers who are also using social media. IoT will work its way on providing better means of spreading the feedback of consumers on social media.
FASTER FEEDBACK, SMARTER PRODUCTS
Because feedback is sent instantaneously with the Internet of Things, companies can create better ways of making better and smarter products. Consumers nowadays don’t just look for something that can help them with their daily activities, they also look for something that they can monitor even when they are not around. A washing machine that ‘intuitively’ knows how much water and soap needed for a certain group of clothes is better than a machine that needs to be filled with water and soap through manual selection of options.
Internet of Things enables companies to create digital marketing campaigns that will dominate other company’s campaign by promoting directly through the products or services. The feedback gathered from the consumers will be a great basis for a company on which part of the product they need to improve and which feature they need to highlight in their digital marketing campaigns.
SAFER TRANSFER OF DATA
Although many seem skeptical on the safety of data transfer especially on confidential information, the Internet of Things can become a great way of preparing businesses for any security breach. Analyzing the situations and scenarios can become easier for businesses since they can find ways to trace information that has been hacked or stolen. The IoT helps companies develop a way to lock information on a product with less risks of being hacked or stolen.
The development of data security is very important, especially for companies’ sales records and personal information of consumers. With the advancement of technology and smarter products, Internet of Things can change the way data is secured. This will benefit companies and consumers, enabling them to protect the information they deem sensitive.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SMALL AND LARGE BUSINESSES
Any company can benefit with the Internet of Things’ dominance in the coming years. IoT can gather more relevant information, feedback and sales data directly from a consumer’s home. With the information on hand, companies can then prepare and apply the best solution for any hiccups that consumers and the company itself may encounter.
IoT is also the best way of spreading the word about a company’s brand and how it is unique from other brands. With the right application of the Internet of Things in a company’s digital marketing strategies, the possibility of having a brand that can be recognized and trusted by consumers will be achievable even by small scale companies. Return on investment will be faster with higher number of click-throughs and sales from contents that are relevant with the help of data gathered through Internet of Things.
Internet of Things may become a big hit for any company, especially when applied wisely on their digital marketing campaigns. This is not to be feared; it should be seen as a challenge that can level the playing field of companies, big and small. Companies should learn to adjust and adapt with the changes being brought by the Internet of Things in order to survive a more competitive world that it may bring.
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Once, at a meeting with a business partner, one of the executives raised a question – Is SEO dying? His question was born from few articles he read that claim SEO is on its deathbed. My answer to him was that this is not true, and chances are SEO will be around for a long time.
The reason? People are constantly scouring the World Wide Web for information and things that are relevant and pertinent to them. And it is in the interest of search engines to provide these search results to them.
I had a look at those articles the executive read, and had a good laugh. They were written as articles of sensationalism. The authors were trying to get viewers and used this tactic to capture an audience. And the funniest part? They were using SEO to do that!
In the past years while working in agencies, I have met many business owners who have heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but seem to have vague ideas on why SEO should be part of their digital marketing strategies. Some even have a wrong or limited idea of what it is all about. Search Engine Optimization is more than just being onn top of search engine results. Many businesses fail to realize this, and hence, do not invest in it.
But before we go to the benefits most companies with great SEO strategy enjoy, you should be aware of what SEO is. This can be an entire topic and article. As such, I will just give a broad concept of what is SEO? SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of analyzing how search engines work, what people search for, the most common keywords used and how each search affects the visibility of a website. SEO allows a business to have strategies on how to carefully influence the ranking of their websites in search engines results pages.
The goal is to rank on the first page of search engine results pages like Google. This is because findings by Chitika have shown that 91.5% of people searching online chose sites that are listed on Page 1.
91.5% Choose Businesses on 1st Page on Google. img src: Chitika
This means a higher chance of searchers clicking on your website (if it is on Page 1), and higher chances of acquiring sales leads that you can convert to customers. But as I mentioned, this is not all. There are more reasons to why businesses should invest in SEO, and here I present 7 of them.
Builds Your Brand Reputation
SEO gets your website on the First Page of Google and other search engines. This means your website gets high online visibility. As mentioned above, chances of people clicking on your website then becomes higher. And this drives more traffic to your website.
As more traffic goes to your website, trust in your brand builds. Brand Trust can be a very powerful thing. In the World Wide Web there are millions of businesses competing, creating stiff competition for many businesses. As more searchers visit your website, it shows that people trust your brand. A definite major plus for your brand.
Building your reputation will result in satisfied clients, who can act as your brand ambassadors. They will share about your brand and products or services to their network who are your potential customers. The word-of-mouth is a powerful tool for most sites.
For example, someone once told me he heard about Lazada, an online marketplace, from a friend. He did not visit the site or make any purchase immediately. But when the time came for him to buy something he needed, he visited the site, and bought some furniture. Imagine that! Furniture! Not something you would buy online usually. All this happened because he trusted his friend who mentioned a site that the friend trusted.
Adding to the above, in this day and age where anyone can write glowing reviews or criticisms on any online platforms, make sure you have an effective Reputation Monitoring Strategy that can help you improve your approach for SEO. Building your reputation in the industry does not just mean being recognized by clients and other companies. It also means you are respected and you have set a standard in your SEO efforts which other companies need to exceed.
Low Cost Part of Digital Marketing
Working your way up to the rankings of search engines through organic search will ensure more traffic that can bring new and repeat sales for your business without costing too much. At least not as much as other digital marketing strategies. Already, many digital marketing experts predicted that in 2016 as the competition in the digital world increased, so would the Cost of Online Advertising. And this has happened already. If your business already has a limited budget for digital marketing, particularly Online Paid Advertising, be ready to either struggle or buck up and increase the budget. Especially if you desire better ROI (Return on Investment). Alternatively, consider the lower-costing SEO.
Successful SEO strategy includes On Page SEO and Off Page SEO. While the latter can cost a bit more, of course depending on the amount of Off Page SEO you require, the former can be done at a much lower cost. You need not have high end SEO applications; there are SEO applications that are free or has trial versions that you can choose from. These applications are relatively cheaper than other applications or subscriptions that you may have for your other digital marketing strategies.
Drives Better and More Traffic
Search engine results pages show significant and relevant content to keywords that consumers search for. The more relevant the keywords, the more chances that your content and site will be featured and ranked in the first pages of search engines. This will make the possibility of consumers checking out your site higher and drive more and better traffic in your site.
But wait! What do I mean by Better Traffic?
It is better traffic because the people who click and visit your website would be those who are already searching for the product or service you are offering. Not some random stumble upon your website. This means that the person already has an interest in what you are selling.
For example, if you are a hairdresser in Seoul, Korea. And you chose the keywords – Award Winning Hair Salon in Seoul Korea – and you managed to rank it on First Page of Google and other search engines. So when someone is searching for an award winning hairdresser, they may type the exact keywords. They find your website on the First Page, they click on it, and if they like what they see, they may make an appointment. Voila! You get sales from a very targeted audience! Better Traffic!
For a website to survive the competition, generating the right type and amount of traffic is a must. Not only will it increase the ranking of the website, it will also ensure a high possibility of sales, new and repeat sales, and return on investment will be much faster. The number of click throughs will reflect on your ranking and you will be able to determine the type of traffic your site gets using analytics.
Makes Your Business More Visible
As I mentioned earlier, being on the First Page of Google and other search engines is equal to having Online Visibility. Imagine opening a store and not advertising or marketing about it. Worse, what if the store is at an area with low human traffic? You would open your new store, and find that no one steps into your shop. It is the same in the World Wide Web.
Online Visibility is having your website seen by millions in a web space that is filled with millions of websites. Being visible allows potential clients to notice your website, check on it and have easy access to your products or services when needed. It will give you a head start against your competitors when it comes to reaching your customers and potential customers because they can Recall Your Brand instead of others. This Online Visibility also increases Brand Awareness and Brand Recognition.
There can be opportunities to merge, affiliate or even acquire investment from larger companies when your SEO strategies make your company visible. You never know who may be on the lookout for a business to invest in. There may be large companies who are in the same industry or have an interest in the industry you are in, who will definitely be able to find your site because of SEO efforts, and consider if your business is worth their investment. Something that you might consider.
ROI on SEO Can Be At Par With Other Strategies
In order to measure how much a business have progressed and how effective the strategy is, ROI or Return On Investment is measured and scrutinized. ROI can help you determine which of your marketing efforts are working, which strategy looks promising and may lead to further sales, and which strategy is not working. The reason why I advocate SEO so much is because it is relatively low cost (compared to other strategies) and brings a significant result on ROI.
SEO allows your company to have a direct impact on your customers’ will and need to purchase. With content that will convince them of your company’s authenticity and effectiveness in terms or answering their needs, direct purchase will definitely happen. With more purchases made, your return will visibly show how operational your SEO effort is.
Ongoing and Long Term Strategy
As long as you have the right keywords and continuously provide quality content on your site, your ranking and visibility to clients will not decline. SEO is a long term strategy that you can use in order to achieve more than just your current goals. SEO can be used in whatever season and trend that may appear over time.
Maintaining a strategy for a long time can cost effort and money. But in the long run it can be one of your most cost effective strategies. Keeping SEO on check on the other hand is relatively easier than other strategies. You will definitely notice any decline or improvement of your ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (also known as SERP). The ranking can change dramatically overnight; for example when any of your content gets viral on the web, you may find your site’s ranking rise drastically. And that is a very good thing to happen.
Most Businesses are Doing SEO
Yes, this is true. If you have been having your head in the sand, it is time to face the truth.
You may not be doing SEO, but your competitors are doing it. And they are getting to the First Page of Google and other search engines, capturing more of the same target market as well as new market, and getting more and more sales every day.
So if other businesses and your competitors are doing SEO, why aren’t you? Nowadays, you will barely see companies without SEO in their Digital Marketing Strategies. It is an indispensable strategy that companies closely monitor. And keep as a closely guarded secret. Most companies, if not all, want to stay on top of any field against their competitors, and SEO is no exemption to help them achieve that goal.
People are constantly searching for products or services like yours. And they do it through search engines, whether on the desktop or mobile devices. If you have a business and want to improve your ranking on search engines, then finding a digital marketing firm or an SEO Consultant Singapore and expert that offers a flexible rate and holistic approach for your SEO and digital marketing needs is a must.
Investing on SEO provides a better solution together with other approaches that you already have. Many companies have experienced the power of SEO and recognized its importance as they personally witnessed the growth of the business through it. Isn’t it time your business invests in SEO?
BRANDING: HOW IT AFFECTS YOUR IMPACT IN THE DIGITAL WORLD
Great branding for your business can create positive impact in digital marketing. Know how branding affects your business in the digital world.
When we talk about branding, you tend to think it’s just the logo or an image. In a sense, this is true. However, you are missing more than you might think. Branding in businesses means more than just a logo or icon. The brand is the complete experience from the point of first contact with consumers. It is a promise of what to expect from your products and services while differentiating you from your competitors. It can create great impact in a business’ growth and stability. This is also true with a business’ digital marketing strategy which is now used more often.
While it is true that it is the creation of names, logos, images or designs that creates the individual identity of a business’ product or service, it must be reiterated that this is just one of the many aspects of branding. Creating a brand that can effectively portray the benefits and promise of a company to their customers takes great decision-making, effort and time. Most businesses invest on branding to make sure they can effectively reach customers, even in digital marketing.
Because people use the internet more often for their needs, businesses create stronger brands to penetrate the digital world. But before you spend too much on creating your brand, you have understand more on why you need it as part of your digital marketing. These benefits can also help you determine which part of branding you need to focus on.
Separates Your Business, Product And/ Or Services From the Rest
Identity is a big deal in business, especially in digital marketing. If you remove all brands, products and services are essentially the same in form, use or purpose. But making a great brand to match your company’s promise becomes a way for people to recognize your product or service from other companies.
Branding gives you an identity or image that may even be bigger than your company. This can be great if you want to appeal more to your customers or become a public image. It can help to generate more sales and even credibility for your business and the products or services that you offer.
The Image of Your Promise and Pride
A brand is a company’s banner of pride and promise. It claims what the company aims for and what it can bring for its customers. It shows how much you are committed to your customers’ needs. It also shows how you will only offer services or products that live up to your promise.
In a study done in 2013 by Forrrester Research, 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from families and friends and only 10% trusts advertising. If you tap even a portion of this percentage by delivering a promise with your product or service, then you are surely doing a great job on your brand. You build pride and credibility in your brand and in return gain your customers’ trust and loyalty.
Earns Your Customers’ Trust and Loyalty
Creating a brand that touches the emotions of customers can be a huge help in building loyalty and trust. Customers can be pretty zealous when it comes to using and promoting the brand that they believe in. When your brand starts to gain attention and you are able to compete with the brands that most target market uses, then customers are starting to trust your brand.
When customers start to trust your product, they will eventually become loyal customers. According to a study made by Ernst and Young, 25% of US consumers consider brand loyalty as a great factor in buying behavior. This shows how much customers would likely be loyal to brands they have are familiar with.
When your business start to gain more loyal customers compared to other brands, it is a sign that you are doing a great job presenting and delivering your promise through your brand. Having more loyal promoters for a business’ brand will increase the possibility of gaining more consumers. This will also be your stepping stone for stability and growth in the industry that your business pursues.
Promotes Stability and Growth
Your brand needs to impress and persuade customers to buy your product or service instead of the generic kinds or other brands. The better your brand stands out from the rest, the more sales you can get. Once your brand gets recognized by customers, the possibility of growth is within reach.
Having a brand also creates an impression that your company is stable. For customers, this means your company is already established in the industry you pursue and you know what you are talking about in your promise. For investors, this means your business is stable enough to handle bigger ventures and can take calculated risks. Both of these create a huge impact for your business in terms of revenue and recognition.
Increases Your Chance for Support
When you have a brand worth promoting, investors will come pouring in. These investors will trust you to create profit and that they will gain from their investments. This is an opportunity for your company to improve and develop better products or services.
Your brand can also attract other companies to buy it or create a tie-up for expansion of your business. If you are the competitive type, you will keep your brand. This means you are confident that your brand will get you to your goal. But if you are open into selling your brand or cooperating with other companies, then this means a great opportunity for you to learn other techniques and strategies that can help your business further.
Makes Your Company More Visible and Memorable
Brands are great to keep your company visible and memorable for customers. When you create an impact with your brand, customers will likely remember it and recognize it when encountered. It is a must to make sure you create a positive impact so your brand will be remembered as a good brand.
Branding can either work or break your company. It contributes to customer experience that you need to be cautious with. Make sure you deliver the promise that your brand offers to ensure a better relationship with your customers. When making your brand unique and memorable, also build it such that consumers have good, strong and favourable associations with it.
If you want to create a great brand with Digital Marketing but don’t know where to start, getting help from branding experts can definitely be a great option for you. These experts will deliver a brand that suits your promise and also your company needs. Feel free to Contact Me about this. I can help.
SEO & Digital Marketing Consultant in Singapore’s First YouTube Appearance
It was an impromptu session. Joe and I were to meet to catch up over lunch and then coffee and cakes. Joe surprised me with a Whatsapp message that he would be filming the session, and it will be our first video collaboration for his YouTube Channel.
Our meeting place was the control station of City Hall MRT. We arrived on time, and Joe wanted to introduce me to a new eating place. Turned out to be Food Republic at Capitol Singapore. Quite nice place to have lunch. As you can see in the above video, we had Bak Kut Teh (Pork Ribs Soup).
Balestier Bak Kut Teh at Food Republic, Capitol Singapore
By the name Balestier Bak Kut Teh, one would have thought it would be the famous Balestier Bak Kut Teh at Balestier Road. But I think this food stall’s name is only just namesake. Reason is Joe and I felt the food was not great. And I am very sure it did not meet the quality and standards of the great food at the original Balestier Bak Kut Teh.
I had the Pig’s Trotters, and I must say I was disappointed. It was dry and they served with so little sauce. The taste was not up to standard. And the meat had sauce and flavor on the surface, but when you cut into the meat, it was dry and very little taste.
Joe had the Bak Kut Teh, and he said it was no better. Lots of pepper in the soup. And that’s it.
We decided not to film the chat session at the food court as the lunch crowd grew, and it was not conducive. Joe suggested we move the filming to Lobby Court Swissotel. We had very nice tea sessions there before, and it was a great idea.
Coffee, Tea and Cakes at Lobby Court Swissotel Singapore
This little cafe has been around for a long time. Joe and I had been here a few times to have tea, coffee, cakes, snacks, finger food, and sandwiches while we chat and did some catching up. So it’s great we are back here for the same thing. But this time, I will be making a guest appearance on Joe’s YouTube channel.
Lobby Court has changed subtly since the last time we were there. The furniture looked a little different, and the seating arrangement was not the same too. Service was still great. We decided to each have coffee or tea with a cake. Here’s what I had:
This was the Cappuccino I ordered. Look at the ‘L’ word design on the foam. Joe said that it must be their signature to indicate Lobby Court. I thought it was a fantastic idea. But the ‘L’ could look a little better, and maybe a bit of details around it could help? The Cappuccino tasted all right. Not great. But all right.
I had the Chocolate Peppermint Cake with the Cappuccino. This was quite good. I love dark chocolate, and it had the right amount. Not too bitter, not too sweet. Although, secretly, I do like my dark chocolate a little more bitter. But I am considering what most people like, and I think this cake succeeded and will please most people.
Joe had tea and Tiramisu. I am not a fan of Tiramisu, so I did not had a taste of it. And in retrospect, forgot to ask Joe how was it. So, in short, I have no idea how it tasted. But I think it looked very well designed. Kudos for that.
If you had tasted the Tiramisu at Lobby Court Swissotel Singapore, do let me know how it tastes?
Hahaha. I was suprised when I saw Joe’s title and description of the video we made. I guess I overcompensated. Before filming started, Joe told me to speak up and more. He told me of other people who are mostly silent during filming, and he had to constantly nudge them to speak up and say more. So I mentally took note. And I guessed I must have overcompensated. Or am I just naturally chatty? Hahaha
Also, this is my first time appearing on a video for YouTube. And I guess I am not familiar with how things work. When I asked Joe for feedback, after the filming, he mentioned that it would be better if one person spoke at a time, and we took turns. He also mentioned that this was very impromptu, and I was not prepared for it. Still, I learned. Another mental note, speak slow and take turns speaking.
Regarding the Feng Shui bit, I am a believer of Feng Shui. But I am no expert. So it was not really a tutorial. Just sharing bits of info about Feng Shui, as much as I know.
All said, it was very fun! I must say I enjoyed it very much. And I am thinking of doing more videos. After all, I am a Internet Marketing Consultant, and I do believe that Videos are the future of Digital Marketing.
What do you think? Should I do more videos? Should I appear in the videos? Or just videos of food, places, etc without me in it? Comment and let me know please?
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Having your website on the 1st Page of SERPs for popular keywords or phrases that people frequently use to search for similar products or services like yours can increase the chances of visitors to your website or blog as well as be a long-term sustainable source of visitors. And to get to the 1st Page, you need to do SEO (search engine optimization).
And not just the type of SEO on your website or blog, which is also known as On Page SEO. You need to do Off Page SEO, which includes having social media accounts, online mentions, and creating backlinks for your website or blog. Just to name a few of the Off Page SEO tactics.
What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks are simply links that point back to your website or blog that is from another website on the world wide web. It is sometimes referred to as Inbound Links. Backlinks is one of the major factors toward gaining higher rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs).
The more Backlinks your website or blog has, the more you are telling search bots that your website or blog is popular or important. This is because when another website features a link to your website or blog, it is essentially a vote for your website. It is like a “thumbs up” from another source, and tells their audience that they think your website or blog is worth visiting.
Search engines, such as Google, will then give “plus points” to your website or blog, and when there is a search query relevant to your website or blog, it will appear in the list of search results. When you have a good number of quality Backlinks , there is a chance your website or blog will appear higher in ranking within that list.
Of course, technically there is more to it than just this surface level information I just wrote above. There are other things about Backlinks to consider; for example quality of Backlinks , relevance, PageRank of sites that Backlink to your website or blog, etc.
Also, please note that Backlinks are not the single determining factor for search ranking. There are many more factors to consider. But because this is a blog post about Backlinks, and specifically the purpose is to share a long list of directories for you to create the Backlinks, I will not go into all that here. Maybe in a later post?
How To Get Backlinks For Your Website or Blog?
Simple. But time consuming. I know because I too constantly add Backlinks to websites that I do SEO for.
See the long list of more than 100 directories featured below that you can access to promote your website or blog for FREE? Go to each individual link, and try submitting the url and required details of your website or blog to the directory or listing.
As mentioned above, I too frequently add Backlinks to the websites that I do SEO for, and I use this same list too. As such, I will constantly come back and review the list here. So do visit often to check out any new listing, or you can Email Me. I will add your email to my list, and send you updates. Comments welcome, too.
List of More Than 100 Directories to Promote Your Blog or Website for FREE
* Kindly note – The directories and listings here are Free at point of time of posting. Should the site change its free listing policy, that is up to the site’s discretion. Timotheus is not responsible for the external site’s policy changes and charges.
Businesses should recognize that the basics of marketing still applies to Digital Marketing. That is, there must be a Marketing Plan that details each Marketing Strategy and Tactic with clear Marketing Objectives for each, and how to achieve each objective.
The entire online marketing can be simple to complex, depending on what are the business goals, how fast to get to each goal, what are the funds available for each, and how the company designs it. A company can start with a simple marketing plan, and as it receives feedback and data, the business can add or remove options. Alternatively, when the budget allows, the choice is to have as many suitable and appropriate marketing strategies as possible, and add or remove when there is a need. If a business is not able to determine accurately on which part of its Digital Marketing is really not working, then issues may arise.
For many businesses nowadays, having effective Internet Marketing is a major plus and can also be very challenging. However, there are elements of Digital Marketing that are not and should not be easily discarded or even ignored. These are the most basic and also most important parts of Online Marketing.
Well-Built and Functional Website Design
These days, one cannot do business without a website. It is akin to the store front of your business on the World Wide Web. The design of your website becomes an important component of your Digital Marketing Strategy.
They say that First Impressions Last. And you should make a Great and Lasting first impression because in this fickle and fast online world, you rarely get a second chance after that. Think carefully on the entire design, especially User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX). Look at the design as a whole, and consider how the eyes of the people visiting your website will move across the screen, and what draws their attention.
Each button should be clearly displayed, and the link should direct your visitors to where they intend to be and have the information they want to know. Be Careful of Broken Links! If any parts of your website is not working, it may cause frustration to visitors, and chances are they will leave your site. Check for Broken Links regularly, and fix them immediately!
Your website should also be neat; the less clutter, the better. Remove buttons that are not necessary or place them under tabs. Place information on your homepage that are concise but still informative. Make sure you feature more of your business than other ads. Ads are great since you also get to promote other businesses, but having too many can make your site look spammy. Consumers will also feel agitated if they accidentally click on an ad instead of a button or tab in your site.
These are just some of the points to note with regards to Website Design and Development. There is a lot of ground to cover, and it would be more suited to be an entire article on its own or spread over a few articles. Watch for more articles that I will be writing soon about this.
Mobile Ready Website
Mobile phones today are no longer just for calling or sending text messages. They have become devices to take photos and videos, check emails, and even surf the Internet. As such, it is just common sense to make your website Mobile Ready so that visitors, who can be your client or potential client, can access your site even when they are on the go, and using their smartphones or mobile devices such as the tablet.
A more pertinent reason is because on 21 April, 2015, Google rolled out their mobile-friendly update (also known as Mobilegeddon), and released this statement:
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
So what does that mean for your website? Simply, it means that if your site is not optimized for mobile devices, you will see your rank drop in search results, and a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search to your website. It is well known that most people do not read beyond the 1st Page of Search Engine Results Pages. This will mean that chances of people discovering your business will be lower, you will get less traffic to your website, fewer leads, and ultimately this will affect sales.
Now, more than ever, it has become very important for you to make sure that your website is Mobile Friendly. And how to find out if your website is mobile-friendly? Google provides a very simple and easy to use tool to test if your website is mobile-friendly. Go to Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.
Enter your website’s url and click ‘Analyze’. The tool will analyze your website. If your website is Mobile Friendly, there will be a message to inform you that all is well. But if your website is Not Mobile Friendly, then there will be a list of issues for you to work on.
Organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
It is very gratifying to see your business on the first pages of Search Engine Results Pages, also known as SERPs. More importantly, it helps to increase Brand Awareness, drives more traffic to your website, and increase leads that can results in a boost in sales. For example, back in 2014, I usedSEO to Rank a Digital Marketing Agency on the First Page of Google and other search engines. Before the site was on First Page, there were only one or two emails or calls per week. After it reached the First Page, there were at least five emails and calls per day. Each was an opportunity that grew the business.
Of course to reach the First Page was not easy. It required a lot of time and effort. It is achieved with Organic SEO, which means that you use Search Engine Optimization techniques and tactics, such as On Page SEO and Off Page SEO, to cause the ranking of your website to increase naturally.
The first thing you need to do is to do Keyword Research, and find the main keyword phrase that you want to rank your website for. Then do On Page SEO that includes optimizing your Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Headers, Image Alt Tags, and more. Off Page SEO will require more work as it is creating mentions of your website on other websites by creating backlinks, listing on directories, social signals, and more.
As mentioned, this part of the Digital Marketing will require a lot of time and effort. And it is worth it when you see the returns. You will not see it immediately. But if you are doing your business for the long haul, then you will appreciate SEO Strategy as it is a long term strategy for long term results.
Engaging and Shareable Content Marketing
Contentis King. And Content Marketing may seem easy, but it is not. Content is not just producing articles or news about your business; it is also be about being informative, engaging and shareable. It should also have keywords that will be easier to find through search engines and will appear on organic searches.
According to a study made by business2community.com, while less than 10% of their respondents say that content marketing is not helping their businesses grow, on the same study, 73% claims of having improved brand awareness and 64% on increased traffic due to their content marketing efforts. This goes to show that engaging and shareable content marketing can create better opportunities for companies.
Another importance of Content is that recent Google Updates now view content as an important ranking factor. Google and other search engines love fresh content. So it is ideal to continually create fresh content for Content Marketing. Make sure you create not just quantity but more importantly Quality Content.
Investment in Social Media Will Become a Necessity, Not a Luxury
Social media has become a part of many company’s Digital Marketing Strategy. It helps them connect to a vast number of consumers in a matter of seconds. The feedback of consumers can be assessed through their posts in social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
Sharing contents and answering your consumers’ concerns through your social media accounts indicate how proactive you are in reaching for your consumers. In a study made by IDG or International Data Group in December 2012, 95% of consumers are using social media, with 44% indicating their purchase is affected by the product’s exposure in social media. This shows how significant social media exposure is for businesses, big or small.
In addition, there is something called Social Signals. There is a bit of debate regarding this. Some SEO experts have said that Social Signals play a part in SEO, and help a site to rank better. Some disagree. Google is not giving any clear answers on this. To me, I believe Social Signals do help with a site’s ranking. So, to me, a business must be active on social media. It is not a luxury. It has become a necessity.
Organized Email Marketing
Let’s face it. Email is here to stay.
When Internet came onto the scene, everyone loved emails. There was a kind of thrill receiving emails, and a voice that said “You’ve Got Mail!” But then, in time, people started to receive more and more emails. There were those from people they trusted. And then there were those that were spams and scams. People began to wonder if emails would die a slow death?
It did not.
Today, Exact Target reported that there are more than 3.2 billion email accounts in the world, 95% of online consumers use email and, 91% check their email at least once a day. That includes me.
Email marketing is now more effective than social media (for customer acquisition). It is economic and cost effective, personable, customizable, actionable, measurable, and the best part – it can be accessed almost anywhere now that we can read emails on mobile devices.
Yet, emails can become a bother to a consumer, especially when it is not sent in an orderly manner and the contents have no significance with the business. Have a schedule on the emails you will send to your consumers and remind them of how great your business is without exaggerating. Make sure that you send information that is relevant to your business, products or services and will also be useful on their end. Your email recipients will appreciate it more, and may even share about your company and your products or services.
* Tip: An area to look at – SMS Marketing. This is growing, and will get bigger in 2017, and beyond.
Marketing analytics is a crucial part of your Online Marketing Strategy. This will determine your company’s standing, how well your Internet Marketing efforts are affecting your business’ sales and what can be lacking. Efficient Analytics can help your business have a solid solution in the issues you encounter and what steps you need to take next.
Take the following as an example:
The image above displays the analytics for an ECommerce Store, particularly for a month, and for the channels that the traffic was coming from to their site. In a nutshell, the figures highlighted in red circles on the first row proved that Organic Search drove the highest amount of traffic, new visitors and conversion rate while having Low Bounce Rate. The average session per visitor was the 2nd highest, after the traffic from Social Media (see row 6, 4:53, circled in red).
I won’t elaborate more here, as I will be doing that in another future blog post. But basically, the above analytics helped the ECommerce Store to realize that their SEO and Social Media Strategies are driving traffic to their site, and converting well. Understanding that, they can now fine-tune their digital marketing strategy to focus and spend more on SEO and Social Media to grow their business. Another viewpoint is that their Email Marketing is weak. And if that is a strategy they like to improve upon, then they need to create a better strategy, and have better tactics for this.
Having all these elements mentioned above working harmoniously for your Digital Marketing will definitely lead your company to a better future. At the very least, an edge over your competitors, especially those who lack strong Online Marketing or any at all. Start on these elements and work your way up. Invest on your Internet Marketing needs wisely. Getting help from Digital Marketing Professionals will be a better move if you need any help with your next move in your Digital Marketing Strategy.