Gone are the days of simply having a website for your new business. These days your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Website and Google account should all be linked together. But how do you know your business will even be seen in the vast and ever-changing worldwide web’s search engine? It’s most definitely not a case of ‘build it and they will come’ any longer (if it ever indeed was!) Sound daunting? Don’t fret, we have some tips on how to set your business up online in the most efficient way.
SEO AND CONTENT
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. The best way to ensure your business is popping up first on Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines is by using clear and relevant keywords within your online content. Cathy Mellett, owner of digital marketing agency Net Branding, explains the only way potential customers will find you via search is with “exceptionally high-quality content.” We can definitely back this up, considering content is our love and speciality. But prior to content, make sure you’ve got a long-term website and digital SEO strategy in place so all your efforts have an identified goal and purpose.
When it comes to content, it’s important to identify your keyword/root words; words that will always cross over your content to ensure consistency, and loyal searchers. “Your headings and meta descriptions should make the value you’re offering crystal clear upfront,” adds Cathy.
Then make sure you create content regularly. Although many of the pages on your website will remain relatively static, make sure there is at least a section – like a blog or news area – where you are regularly adding new content. This not only gives your readers a reason to keep coming back, but it will also help you maintain a higher spot in search results, as Google re-indexes your site for each new piece of content. Keeping your business optimised for search engines is a long-term commitment but let’s face it; if you’re not showing up when people are searching for your product or services, what’s the point of having a website?
WHEN IT COMES TO CONTENT, MIX IT UP
Let’s say, for instance, you’re running an online shoe business. Customers won’t merely limit themselves to only searching “shoes” when looking for a new pair, that’s far too broad. When we’re looking for shoes, we generally know what we want, so we likely search a brand, style, or even a colour too. It’s important that you always include specific and concise root keywords when producing content, to open up your business for differing search opportunities. This further supports the importance of frequently creating content, as you can explore different search terms and trends, without obviously “keyword stuffing” on one page. Don’t be afraid to have a bit of fun with your content!
INTEGRATION IS KEY
Search engine optimisation is one important piece of the puzzle, but it’s not your entire digital marketing story. Be sure to embrace the other channels you have at your fingertips, such as social promotion, email marketing, and Pay Per Click advertising. While many businesses are using a range of channels, Cathy believes what is becoming ever more important, in order to win online, is an integrated approach. “Don’t look at your digital presence in silos – with social media here, the website there and your SEO or online advertising strategy there,” Cathy explains.
“All businesses are different, but digital has evolved into a platform whereby all the functions can come together and work synergistically towards an organisation’s key objectives. Look at where you are now and where you want to go, and look at how you can best make sure you add your voice to the conversation.”
THERE’S NO ONE ANSWER FOR EVERYONE
There’s no point doing the same thing as everyone else if it doesn’t work for you – and not everything will! For some people, regular blogs shared via social media might be the answer, while for other businesses a more advertising-based focus could be right. “Depending on the business’s focus and urgency, other solutions such as Google Adwords and other online advertising options could be explored,” says Cathy, who’s just been over at digital marketing conferences in London. The important thing is to find out what works for you. Which brings us to…
YOU DON’T NEED TO DO ALL THE WORK YOURSELF
It’s important to invest in digital marketing for it to work for you, but this doesn’t all have to be at the expense of your time and upskilling. A digital marketing expert can help you ensure your online platforms are offering a cohesive brand presence and performing as well as they should. Likewise, you’re in the business of whatever it is that you do best, not that of creating content, so trust the experts here to curate your brand voice and drive a conversation with your market.
Keen to make sure your content and digital marketing are working for you? Just get in touch – we love working with experts like Net Branding to make sure your content gets the eyes it deserves!