Online Marketing in 2016
The Internet has quickly become the foremost advertising and shopping platform in the world, and online marketing is more essential to your business now than it has ever been. For example, when someone wants to go to a restaurant with friends, the first thing they do is grab their phone, check Google Maps to see what is nearby, read reviews, visit the restaurant’s website, check the menu, and possibly order or make a reservation online. A restaurant that does not have a modern, mobile-responsive site and a strong online presence will miss out on these customers.
The same scenario applies to all other types of businesses. Online marketing is critical to your business’ success, and while it is a process with many aspects, there are some key factors that can help you bring in new customers.
As seen in the restaurant example, more and more people are using their smartphones as their primary internet device. Google announced last year that more of their searches are coming from mobile devices than computers in ten different countries, and even adjusted their search engine to favor sites that work on mobile devices to ensure a better user experience. Having a clean, mobile-friendly website is no longer just an option, it’s a necessity for successful online marketing.
Search Engine Marketing(SEM) = SEO + PPC
Once you have the perfect website for your business, the next step is making sure potential customers will find it. There are two main ways to help your website rank higher on Google searches, and therefore become more visible to customers: Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) and Pay-per-click (PPC). Each have their pros and cons, and a combination of the two of them can help your business dramatically.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method of designing your site to rank higher on search engines by focusing on the keywords your audiences are searching for and exactly what type of interactions you would like your customers to have on your site. By streamlining your site in this way, it will organically appear higher on searches without you having to pay for a costly advertising campaign. On the other hand, this process takes strategy and time, and will not bring you the instant results that a Pay-per-click campaign will.
- With a Pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, you can have ads for your business placed on platforms such as Google and Facebook and pay based on the amount of people click on your ads, based on a set budget. You can view the results of your campaign and adjust it based on the trends you notice. This can be a very successful and fast way to get your business seen by potential customers. For example, over 900 million people visit Facebook each day, and you can target your ads to the people who will be most likely to visit your site. As opposed to SEO, this method sees instant results but can be costly.
As noted above, advertising on social media is a key component of modern online marketing. Having ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest can be extremely effective, but it can be tricky to do effectively. People can feel annoyed and hassled by too many ads, especially ones that aren’t clear or don’t apply to them. It is important to create ads with a clear message (what you are offering and where) and a call to action (such as a link that says ‘Click Here To Order’), and direct them towards people who most likely want to see them.
Contact us today to discuss your online marketing needs.