Turn Off Autopilot
Once upon a time, you could stuff your webpage with keywords, rise to the top of search rankings, and gobble up all the business. That search engine marketing practice no longer works, as well as most other online marketing efforts that once could be left to run automatically.
Creating high amounts of traffic, leads, and customers could once be achieved by a one or two prong strategy, mainly Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click advertising. Now, there are a growing number of online channels that are being used increasingly by target audiences and can’t be ignored. In addition to the ever-growing online marketing mix, there is also the rise of mobile usage, increasing competition online, online reviews, and a large shift as to what is really effective.
Search Engine Optimization
Huge changes have happened in the past five years with not only search engine rankings, but also layout, device-specific results, and customized results. Gone are the days of setting up your web pages and yielding rankings result dividends for years. Current search engine optimization requires ongoing content updates, link building, and online directory listings management. SEO has also become more competitive, with more businesses recognizing its importance and dedicating resources towards it.
Pay Per Click
Like SEO, pay per click marketing has changed dramatically. It has become more commonly used for small businesses, as well as vastly changed dynamics. Pay per click, most popularly Google Adwords, is where you bid for keywords related to your services and only pay if someone clicks on your ad. Increased competition, changed layouts, and device-specific result sets have made set it and forget it obsolete.
Social Media Marketing
An online novelty several years ago, Social Media Marketing has risen to become a powerhouse for online business branding, engagement, and lead generation. Understanding the various social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and others, and how their audiences engage with the messaging requires dutiful attention to consistent engagement, voice, and integration with company strategy.
Did you know that YouTube is the #2 search engine behind only Google? YouTube represents a huge shift of web content engagement from text to video. More and more websites are smartly using video for presenting content, and well as engaging their users more. Web video is used for product information, testimonials, product demonstrations, and much more. It can easily be embedded on websites, shared via social media, and found in YouTube searches.
Despite the challenges of neverending Spam, and overflowing E-mail inboxes, E-Mail Newsletters and E-Mail Marketing is not dead. Much has changed in terms of signups, click-throughs, integration with other marketing efforts. E-Mail Newsletters require a fresh look, with integration of social media, blogs, offline marketing and more.
Increasingly, website shoppers and service seekers are looking online for information about a business before committing, often in the form of researching online reviews. Good online reviews can help a business tremendously; a large proportion of poor reviews likewise can really hurt a business. Online reviews with Google can also impact Google Maps visibility and engagement.
Google has stated that most searches made today are made on mobile devices. This requires a complete rethinking of search strategy. Likewise, many Facebook users access Facebook via their phones. Mobile engagement is much different than desktop, both from an Internet Marketing perspective, as well as web usage, and user intent and actions, such as click-to-call actions.
So if you haven’t updated your website and Internet Marketing plan in years, do it now, or you’ll find yourself playing catch up even more with competitors that are in tune with the online marketplace, and who are grabbing the lion’s share of business as a result.