When most small business owners think of the term “website marketing,” they may not have a full understanding of everything that is involved with marketing a business online. They might know a thing or two about search engine optimization (SEO), websites, or social media — but how the big puzzle fits together can be a bit of a mystery.
Naturally, this leads to them diving head first into researching digital marketing strategies and usually just leads to more confusion. They find that there are many layers to marketing a website that they had never considered.
There’s so many channels, tech requirements, and know-how involved in effectively marketing a website online that understanding the full picture without having any experience is almost impossible.
One of the biggest parts of my job is to help educate new clients on internet marketing before we begin our engagement. It’s important that they have some understanding of what they are getting into so that they can understand where their budget is going and play a key role in the process of designing a plan that suits their brand.
In this article, I’ll briefly cover the core channels for internet and website marketing and provide a brief overview of each strategy.
Search Engine Marketing
You’ve probably heard of it, but what is search engine marketing? In short, it is any marketing effort that you undertake that is designed to make it easier for your customers to find you in search engines.
Search engine marketing encompasses both organic search engine optimization (the process of ranking your website naturally for keywords related to your business) and pay-per-click marketing (paying for ad placements on search pages).
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the “free” option is that it focuses on ranking websites in organic search results, where you don’t have to pay for every person that visits your website.
However, the strategies that you have to undertake to achieve these rankings are quite in-depth and require expertise, with results that can vary from engagement to engagement. To rank well organically, you have to conduct in-depth keyword research to identify keywords that your audience will search to find a business like yours.
There are many factors, both on your website and off of it, that can affect your ability to rank for organic keywords. Just take a look at this screenshot from Yoast, which is a software solution that helps companies ensure their on-site SEO factors are up to snuff.
This is just a small look into the total number of factors that we have to take into account when we design an SEO strategy for a new client — and this is just on a single page!
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing refers to using advertising platforms that allow you to place ads on popular websites and pay for every person that clicks on your ad — thus, the name. The most popular platform for PPC marketing is Google itself.
Here is where PPC ads typically show up when you perform a Google search:
These companies are paying for every person that clicks on their ads. They place a bid, which is compared to the bids of their competitors, affecting where they show up in the advertising space. The higher the bid, the higher the priority that your ads have. Still — you only pay when someone actually clicks on your advertisement.
While SEO can take six to twelve months to start producing results, PPC ads start producing results as soon as they go live. PPC ads are typically a part of any website marketing plan that we put together for clients but are just one piece of the puzzle as we don’t recommend that any client lean too heavily on them for generating new business online.
Social Media Marketing
It’s important that businesses have a presence on social media, preferably on the platforms where their customers and audience are most active. Social media today is engrained in daily life.
By 2021, there will be more than 3 billion social media users worldwide.
Your audience is out there. They are discussing solutions and products like the ones that you provide. If you don’t have a presence on these social networks, you are missing vital opportunities to get your business in front of customers and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.
Content marketing refers to the process of publishing content in order to draw in new leads and establish your brand as an authority in your industry by offering value to your audience. Content marketing is essentially the meat-and-potatoes of any great SEO or inbound marketing strategy and therefore is always a big part of the website marketing plans that we put together for clients here at RiseFuel.
We help companies publish content through a blog that answers their customer’s questions, establishes their brand as an authority within their industry, and provides sales teams with content to help them usher leads through the sales process reliably.
Content is the backbone of a solid digital foundation. The more that you can create and publish content that your audience finds genuinely valuable — they more they will develop loyalty for your business. When you publish great content, you become more than a brand and become an educator for your audience.
Email marketing is absolutely vital for engaging with new leads and helping to nurture them through your sales pipeline. Email marketing requires that leads sign up for your email list, typically in exchange for a piece of content that they would like to gain access to. That content could be an addition to the blog post they read, an eBook, or white paper.
Then, you send those leads automated messages over the course of weeks and months to slowly establish credibility and walk them through the buying process for your products. Excellent email marketing puts you in position to stay top-of-mind with your customers and deliver continual value to them to improve your reputation on an individual level over time.
At RiseFuel we are more than a website design company as we do more than just build a great site, we build lead generation and lead capture sites that work to attract your ideal customer. We even go after leads for you if needed. Contact us for more information.