Nowadays, we can’t imagine our life without the Internet, since we spend a lot of time online for different reasons: entertainment, work, research, shopping and thousands more reasons. It makes sense then that businesses have followed their customers online. That’s why small and mid-sized businesses need to establish an online presence to stay competitive.
Effective digital marketing enables you to rank first within the search engine results for search terms that are relevant for your company. Let’s take a closer look at which components of digital marketing are most critical to the success of your business.
Start with this. Your business requires a website, which users (your potential buyers) can discover via search engines when searching online for the kinds of products or services that you offer. Here are the basic components that your website should include:
- Name and description of your company.
- Overview of your products and/or services.
- Information that supports your customers when shopping (blog, catalog), etc.
- A means to contact you or make a purchase.
Your website is your company’s digital foundation. From it, you can then build your company’s online presence.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the cornerstone of your digital marketing program. Even if you have built a well-constructed website (and spent a lot of time and money on its creation), it can still fail to drive material results for your business, as measured by revenue, website visitors and lead generation. This is where SEO comes in, which involves:
- Developing a set of keyword phrases that correspond with the search engine results pages (SERPs) that you want your company website to appear on.
- Crafting webpage titles and other related meta-information, which accurately communicate to search engines what your business is all about.
- Adding backlinks from other reputable websites to yours.
- Consistently and regularly updating the content on your website.
- Amplifying your visibility online with active company profiles on social media.
These are just some components of an SEO program that can be leveraged to improve your business’s online presence, reputation with customers and sales performance.
Let’s take a look at those last two components in a little more detail.
Many businesses assume that, after creating a couple of basic pages, they are all done with setting up their website. This is not true! The content on your website continues to play a significant role in your digital marketing going forwards.
By regularly publishing, for instance, blog articles, which are informative and useful for your audience, you are maintaining your online presence, your brand’s reputation and building trust with your customers and prospects. As well as this, you are increasing the chance of your website appearing on SERPs as the search engines note take note that yours is an active website.
Having said this, it is important not to create content with the sole intent of selling or describing your products or services, as you risk repeating yourself and putting your customers and prospects off. Content needs to be created that supports and guides the visitor through all stages of the sales funnel. Educate your customers first, then sell to them.
Social media is the key to expanding the reach and visibility of your business beyond your website and search engines. How can it extend your online presence even further? Well, because social networks are the most used platforms in the world.
With their help, you can easily communicate with prospects and share information about your business. Before jumping into social media, determine which social media platform is likely to be most effective for your business. It will be easy to do this once you have identified your target persona.
The following well-known social networks are often the most appropriate for businesses:
Each of these platforms offers paid advertising opportunities that can give an extra boost to your company’s online presence, by helping you to reach greater audiences on social media.
Let’s sum up those basics
Digital marketing is a powerful weapon that can be utilized to best position your business for success online and to crush the competition. A successful digital marketing program for your business should include a professional website, effective SEO, regular creation of fresh digital content, and accessible social media profiles. Building a strong online presence through the execution of your digital marketing program can help to improve your brand’s recognition, attract new customers, increase sales and improve the overall ROI of your marketing budget.
If you have a content marketing program for your business or if you are planning one right now, download our free eBook, 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.
This eBook will walk you through the mistakes that hundreds of other companies have made so that you won’t make the same ones when establishing your own business’s online presence. The eBook also addresses challenges that these businesses faced when implementing their content marketing programs, and how they overcame those challenges to succeed.