Online Marketing – Don’t Forget the Small Stuff
In the ever-changing and demanding world of online marketing and e-commerce, general website maintenance is often overshadowed by high-value industry terms like search engine optimization and pay-per-click. While these are proven strategies for increasing site traffic and conversion, online marketers often wear blinders when it comes to their day-to-day marketing strategies. Here are some important website maintenance tips to keep in mind when developing your online marketing strategy. Remember that this is not an exhaustive list, but a guide to help you increase the performance of your sites.
Stay tuned – You can bet your competitors are. From tags to copy, from images to keywords, it is always important to keep your website up to date. Keep in mind that it’s not just your industry that’s changing. Search engines are getting smarter, new forms of marketing are emerging, and the consumer is getting smarter. Properly maintaining a website is a never-ending, full-time job. If I had one area to focus my attention, it would be to always have a current copy. This will not only ensure that your site stays up to date with consumer trends and changes in the industry, but will also support your search engine optimization initiatives. Search engines respond well to fresh, relevant copy that is related to your chosen keywords. Adding new content will ensure that your site ranks high and the bots return more often. Testing is also a good way to make sure you’re on top of the needs and wants of your consumers. Your home page is a great place to start. You have less than eight seconds to present the information the consumer is looking for in a way that appeals to them, or you’ll see less-than-ideal conversions. Your website should be treated like a car. Just fill it up with gasoline and it will only run for a limited time, but with regular maintenance and some care, you’ll ensure it’s a well-oiled machine for years to come.
Don’t give up traditional marketing – Is online marketing a profitable form of marketing? Of course it is, however it can be less effective if traditional forms of marketing are ignored or discarded. Traditional marketing helps make your online marketing investment as productive as possible. Compare it to search engine optimization (SEO) and sponsored search (PPC). The #1 company spends a huge amount of time and money optimizing their site for search engines and spends a huge amount of money every month to make sure they are always in the first place for paid search. They are seeing a good volume of leads for the cost and decide to cut back on all traditional marketing and stick to online marketing thinking this will help keep costs down. Company #2 takes a similar approach, but decides to restrict their online marketing spend by ranking second or third in sponsored search, and allocates the additional funds to traditional marketing. Now this raises an interesting question. As a consumer, you are doing a search and see that both the #1 and #2 companies are ranking highly in natural search and that the #1 company is doing a little better in sponsored search. . What happens next is the key to the point I am making. The odds that consumers will click are much better for the #2 company because the consumer is already familiar with that brand through traditional marketing. The key is to find the most appropriate balance between your online spend and traditional marketing spend to help ensure you’re getting the most out of every marketing dollar.
Find new ways to promote – The effectiveness of your site rests solely on your ability to attract quality visitors to your site and have them convert. We all know this. What we don’t realize is that many times our promotional efforts may not drive conversions directly. Yet they do; promote other areas of online marketing, such as brand awareness and brand credibility. What’s even more amazing is that many times your current marketing materials can be leveraged to create more awareness. For example, your business sells electronics. As a creative online marketer, you can take that five-minute tutorial on how your product works and post it on YouTube, Yahoo Movies, or Google Video. Is this going to increase your conversions by 20 percent? Probably not, what it will do is help gain exposure, create another inbound link for your search engine optimization efforts, and most importantly, build awareness of your product and company. Another great tactic is to take advantage of your site’s current content by posting the content to article databases like selfgrowth.com. By differentiating your company as an industry expert, you not only gain exposure, but also brand credibility, which will pay dividends in terms of conversion. The nice thing about leveraging your existing marketing materials is that it’s often free. It just costs you and your business time to post content or post a movie.
Be patient – Due to the incredible pressure of managing for results, online marketers often don’t have the patience to allow their efforts to come to fruition. Let’s take this scenario as an example. You’ve just spent four months picking the right keywords, optimizing your site for those keywords, and just finished another month of online promotion. Now what? Do I just sit and wait? The answer is yes and no. Keep monitoring how your sites are performing on search engines and keep promoting your site and updating the freshness of your content. Don’t throw away your strategy with the feeling that you’re not seeing results fast enough. Site ranking improvements often take several months as the spiders come back, crawl new content, and re-index your site. The key is to make continuous improvements to your site and be patient enough to see the results of your work, time, and money.
Remember that online marketing is not just a science; it’s an art. Often the sites that get the most attention don’t because they spend millions on promotion. They find new and creative ways to drive traffic and convert leads. Stay on top of your website and how it relates to consumer wants and needs. Optimize your investment in traditional and online marketing, learn how to leverage current marketing assets, and finally, have patience. If the basics are covered, the sky’s the limit and who knows, maybe your site or product is the next big thing.
Learn more by visiting Spyder Trap Online Marketing