According to industry statistics, business investment in online advertising will hit its largest numbers ever in 2018, up 18.7 percent over last year. While this has been directed at several online marketing strategies, a lot of this is going toward video, as this is becoming more popular among a younger consumer base.
However, as any professional will tell you, it’s challenging to break into video marketing online. There’s a major investment to be made in terms of placing your video ads, if you choose to go that route. It’s also expensive to get professional production equipment, even if you just want to make videos for your website or company YouTube channel.
The good news is that there are plenty of other forms of online website marketing out there that have a lower barrier to entry.
Try these 5 online marketing strategies
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different strategies available. Here are some options worth considering.
Make some SEO tweaks.
Start content marketing.
Take a local focus.
Dip your toes in social media.
Ask for help.
Read on for details on each of these marketing tactics.
1. Make some SEO tweaks
When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), try not fall into the mentality that one trick is going to fix things overnight. Google is always coming up with changes to its SEO algorithms. So the “silver bullet” strategy you discovered to increase traffic to your website could be rendered obsolete overnight.
SEO begins with identifying the words people are typing in when searching for businesses like yours, then adding them to your web pages and posts.
The latest Google algorithm changes occurred just two months ago, so it’s best to stick to the basics. This means:
- Choosing keywords that won’t have too much competition (low to medium).
- Making sure that your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly (test your site load time here).
- An emphasis on quality link-building.
What’s the best way to go about getting other reputable sites to link to your pages? Quality over quantity, for one thing. Long gone are the days of trying to pump out hundreds of links to quickly spike your organic rankings. Today you want to focus on obtaining links from well-recognized, niche-relevant and authoritative sites. Because as more and more credible websites link to yours, Google’s opinion of your site improves (along with your search rankings).
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2. Start content marketing
Content marketing starts with regular blog posts but can easily grow to include white papers and video if you wish.
Publishing useful content on the web serves a few purposes:
- By creating quality content, it’s more likely that other people will share it and link back to your post(s).
- These high-authority links help your website rank higher in Google, as each link gets treated as a signal of authority.
One way to get more of these links yourself is by writing guest posts on other websites. Here, you provide written content for a website on a certain topic and get a link back to your website’s own page.
There are a few variants on this as well. Some people create podcasts, others create videos, but they all fall under the greater umbrella of content marketing. The key is to know what type of formats your audience is most likely to use.
When you do it right, content marketing acts as a magnet, pulling likely customers to you naturally.
The key to success when putting together any sort of content marketing plan is an editorial calendar. You need to think of topics that not only will resonate with your audience, but also allow you to use appropriate keywords for SEO. In addition, content marketing only works if you are able to keep a regular stream of content coming. A calendar helps you take care of both problems well in advance.
Editor’s note: Managed WordPress is the easiest way to start a traffic-generating blog. Let GoDaddy take care of the upkeep!
3. Take a local focus
For small business owners running brick-and-mortar stores, it’s equally important to focus on targeting local audiences. There are a number of ways to boost your website marketing strategies in this regard. To start, use Google My Business to create a profile for your business.
According to HubSpot, 50 percent of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit a store within a day!
In addition, signing up on other free online business directories gives you the chance to amass positive reviews. By encouraging reviews after a customer has a good experience, you build credibility for the world to see.
4. Dip your toes in social media
A regular social media presence can do a lot to boost your profile among your customer base.
A lot of people think that the only value for social media is trying to go for that “lightning in a bottle” of a viral post or interaction.
For most, this isn’t necessarily a feasible thing to expect.
One thing that might surprise you is that a lot of people, rather than going through your official channels for customer service, choose to use social media to ask questions. A simple practice of responding quickly and appropriately will do a lot.
In addition, it might be a good idea to promote interaction by using social media to pose questions or hold contests to build user engagement.
5. Ask for help
Business owners who don’t have the time or interest in trying these strategies themselves can easily find a professional to do it for them. Do a little research so you can go into meetings with your eyes open about costs and expectations.
A website marketing professional can do things like:
- Make sure that you’re choosing reasonable keywords to optimize for.
- Put together an editorial calendar for your content, as well as other important things.
If you’re a little more established and want additional help, consider starting with a website audit. Something as simple as a page that loads too slowly can sink your online marketing plan, and a professional audit will quickly catch it.
Online marketing strategies
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different strategies available. The best way to stand out is to use a multi-pronged approach that works for your business and your goals.
For example, the person who doesn’t have time to read a long blog post might respond to an interesting offer in their email or engage with your business after reading some great reviews on social media. Your goal as a website owner should be to focus on two basic things:
1. Know your audience and what they respond to.
2. Use every form of advertising possible that meets those needs.
Use these online marketing strategies and you’ll be well on the path to crafting an effective web marketing plan that will generate significant online traffic.