Search. Social. Mobile - How these Work Together to Create an Extraordinary Online Presence
The Internet reinvents itself year after year. But unlike designer fashions that are here today and gone tomorrow, the elements of digital marketing continue to stack up. Businesses need to continuously invest in the latest technologies and methodologies to stay relevant online. In fact, businesses that stand out use all the digital marketing elements to leverage their synergies. We will discuss three of the main elements in digital marketing:
Search. This is still one of the most cost effective means for B2B businesses to create brand awareness and generate sales leads. Studies show that 91% of buyers go to suppliers’ websites before calling.
Social. Powerful social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have created a space for customers to have discussions about products and services. Savvy businesses use these platforms to establish dialogs with their customers and to establish trusting relationships.
Mobile. With the rise and adoption of smart phones and other mobile devices, the power of the Internet has left homes and offices and has followed customers into the world.
This seminar will show you how to unlock the full marketing potential of the Internet by establishing a robust digital marketing plan and identifying the things to consider when using search, social and mobile. Case studies will illustrate the potential for great ROI. Attendees will take home actionable tips aimed at improving their online marketing.
Dana Chen Fischer is the president of NetEdge Marketing and is a certified advanced Internet marketing consultant. In her work as an Internet consultant, Dana’s focus is to help small to midsize companies leverage their websites to generate sales leads and increase revenues.
Dana holds a Ph.D. in Engineering and has worked in the information technology and semiconductor industries for over 13 years. Her knowledge of computers, Internet and Web usability issues, project management, and business planning and marketing has been a valuable asset. She has managed large application development engineering teams and multi-million dollar software projects for a Fortune 100 company in Silicon Valley.
Dana frequently speaks to business conferences, companies and organizations such as Silicon Valley SCORE, San Jose State University, Key Point Credit Union, National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and Construction Finance Management Association (CFMA), California Business Broker Association (CABB) on the key benefits of digital marketing.
Analyzing Google’s recent changes in its search
algorithm – its impact to Internet marketing campaign
Photo courtesy: MetaSEO
Have you checked your website’s performance lately? If ever you have noticed a significant drop in its number of visits then your website could be one of those affected by the recent changes in Google’s search ranking algorithm widely known as Google’s Farmer/Panda.
Initially rolled-out in the U.S. in February this year, the ‘newly-improved’ search ranking algorithm is now rolled-out globally (just this April) and created a huge impact even to those websites and companies considered as highly reputable.
The new Google
algorithm pushed ezine to polish its submission policy emphasizing to
users to “Submit your high-quality, original articles for more exposure,
credibility and traffic back to your website.” If you visit the site,
you will notice the new submission guidelines highlighted on its
homepage (see image below).
New York Times admits: NYT-owned About.com affected
The New York Times Company has confirmed, through its CEO Janet Robinson, that NYT-owned About.com “experienced a moderately negative impact on page views from the algorithm changes Google implemented in the quarter.”
The Hubpages concern…
Also affected by the current changes in Google ranking algorithm, Hubpages’s CEO Paul Edmundson has expressed concern through his post stating that “we are concerned that Google is targeting platforms other than its own and stifling competition by reducing viable platform choices simply by diminishing platforms’ ability to rank pages.”
My own analysis…
I have checked the list of sites hard-hit by Google’s changes and most of them are content sites. This reiterates again the importance of quality and valuable contents. Those sites that are considered as content farms (e.g. article directories) should re-evaluate their approach to content management and publishing. Content should be screened intelligently to ensure its quality is line with the Google’s definition of high-quality sites.
How experts see the changes
Experts suggest that the present changes in ranking algorithm should make website owners think of extra precautions to ensure that Internet marketing strategies conform with the Google's standards for search engine optimization including the following:
1.(Still) The quality of content
2.Be careful on Ads ( most of the hard-hit websites were populated with ads like Google Ads)
3.The quality of backlinks ( avoid having low-quality backlinks)
4.Social media ( Google values social media)
What does Google Panda mean to your Internet business?
If you are an Internet marketer running an online business, this is the time to re-evaluate your marketing campaign strategy most especially in your off-page optimization campaign (e.g. article submission and other back link building and promotion strategies). Be mindful of the Google guidelines because once your site is downgraded, it takes lots of works to bounce back.
You might have wondered why search engine optimizers and search engine marketers love blogs – does blogging really contribute for online business success?
Many Internet marketing experts agree on the following reasons why blogging helps boost online business to its optimum potentials:
Constant link building – blogs are constantly updated without so much restrictions (as opposed to writing a site content) because it is written in a more personal way. As you add new relevant and valuable content to your blog (blogs are usually integrated to business websites) you can get a chance to generate more links which could help make your backlinks even stronger which in the end can help your business marketing campaign succeed.
Deep linking – as compared to site linking (top-level linking) blogs build topical links. Readers and other bloggers tailor links that specifically digs the topic you post on your blog (not just by linking to homepage). This essentially brings more weight to your blog (and to the site your blog is integrated to) in the eyes of search engines. You have to remember that search engines work to give more relevant results to users and deep linking plays an important role to it.
Unlimited keywords – after you initially launched a business websites (populated with your targeted keywords) it is not recommended to rewrite the content again and again whenever you find new good keywords in your market. Website contents are not meant to be rewritten; frequent revisions could create an impression of weak content – both in the eyes of search engines and users. However, with the help of an integrated blog, you can use unlimited keywords as you can write posts as much as you want.
Fresh content – as you can write posts as much as you want, you can make you blog updated with fresh content and if you are doing this in a regular basis, this gives a significant contribution for your Internet marketing campaign as a whole.
Viewed as resource – good blogs are viewed as resource by most readers. The more people link to your site as their reference, the better is your backlinks foundation and that is crucial as links and content are important criteria insearch engine optimization.
The exponential growth of the number of individuals who are using the social media is a clear indication of its great potential for business. With hundreds of millions of social media users today, it can be said that every ‘niche’ market has a substantial chunk of potential customers. Thus, building a social network presence can be a great help to succeed in your business.
No wonder why everywhere you will find businesses building their social media marketing strategies to reach more potential customers and generate higher return on investments (ROI). But there is more than that, social media can also be a great help for websites’ search engine domination. SEO experts usually highlight social media as one of important factors for websites to become more authoritative in the eyes of search engines.
How important is search engine ranking? Very simply, more or less 70% of Internet users worldwide utilize search engines to find products and services that they need – they are a powerful channel to reach more potential costumers. The more visible your website on SERP, the more potential clients it can generate.
If you are running a business website that is aimed for global customers, social media campaign must be part of your ongoing search engine optimization strategy blueprint. The following are some ideas on how you can harness the power of social media in building search engine authority:
Building your social network effectively
Your social network campaign does not end on account creation – you need to nurture what you have planted. You need to build and expand your network of friends or followers. Posting credible content on your social media accounts like facebook and twitter is one effective strategy to gain trust from others. The more relevant and quality content you share the more likable you are to others. In that sense, more people tend to link or join your network. Aside from gaining trust from other users, you can also gain authority in the eyes of search engines. Social network sites are authoritative and often rank on top of SERP.
Social Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking is another yet an important strategy that can help your website gain authority in search engines. Share your websites to other people through social bookmarking sites and you will see how your website ranks on SERP when you do an organic search. Clipmarks, delicious, digg, and jumptags are some effective social bookmark tools you can use.
Blogging and the Social Media
Blogs are a great tool that can help websites to rank higher on search engine results page. Every business website must have a blog integrated to it. They tend to rank on top as they are updated more often. Search engines like regular quality content updates – they are always craving for good quality content (it is their job – finding useful content for those who need it). With the help of social media optimization (sharing your blog post via social media) your website will surely dominate the SERP (search engine result page) in your targeted market.
A passive website is a useless website, as least for business purposes. You want your company’s website to generate leads and deliver those leads to you in a measurable, manageable way. So how do you find those prospects and turn them into customers? Here are five basic techniques that any business can (and should) use to make it happen.
1. Capture that 98 Percent.
A typical business website or online marketing campaign is doing well to hit a 2 percent sales conversion rate. What’s our instinctive response to this scenario? Many businesses will try to pad that 2 percent out to 3, 4, 5 percent by employing little tweaks like extra landing pages or a prettier website design -- effectively giving up on the outstanding majority who visited but didn’t buy. Not everyone buys right away, of course, and you can't win 'em all. But shouldn't you implement a plan to capture these leads and boost their interest in your products or services until they are ready to buy?
Once you have leads, you want to nurture them by addressing their needs and answering their questions, including the all-important questions, “Why buy?” and “Why buy from you (and not your competition)?” Everyone has objections to buying. Anticipate them. Once you know what your prospects fear about making that purchase, you can prepare the correct answers to allay those fears. Buyers love information, especially free information. Give them the value of your expertise by sharing tips, offering incentives, and generally being useful without asking anything in return. But most of all, keep them listening to what you have to say.
3. Track It (Web Analytic)
You wouldn’t do your books by “guesstimating.” Don’t do your marketing that way either. If you don’t have hard numbers on how your website is performing as a lead-generating tool, then you’ll have no idea how to optimize it to make it perform better. There are a ton of free web analytic tools out there, among which Google Analytics is probably the best known. Some of these systems provide tons of detailed information about your web traffic, including frequency and length of visits, where they went, how they got there, where they exited from, what web browser they were running...you get the idea.
And yes, sometimes it can seem like an overwhelming mass of data to sift through and interpret. (Our own eFusion system tries to make it simpler by pointing out the most important stuff to users.) But if you want to know how those prospects behave and what they care about, that data is gold.
4. Customer Retention System
Once you’ve turned those prospects into customers, hang onto them for dear life. It costs four times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep an old one. And just about the worst way to keep your customers is by annoying them with the same old email pitches month after month. You don’t have to make these people buy -- they’re already your buyers! All you have to do is keep them informed. Send useful guides, tips or other genuinely appreciated data instead of strident ads and arm-twisting emails. Use blogs or other social media channelsto solicit feedback and interact with your clientele as valued friends, not sales targets.
5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Social Media: Final Step, Not First Step.
Every company wants to drive more traffic to its website, and that's why so many of them invest so much money into search engine optimization. But if your lead nurturing and customer retention systems aren't already in place to accommodate those new visitors, they won't stick around to become buyers -- and you're right back to your 2 percent conversion rate. Don't put the cart before the horse. Make sure your website is operating as a well-oiled lead capture/generation machine before implementing your SEO and social media campaigns to usher the online community toward.
Many business owner or marketers consider Facebook a personal social media toolto help them stay connected with their friends and families, and not sure why should they consider leverage Facebook for their companies.
You know how powerful search marketing Ads are. They make you get in front of your customers when they raise their hands are asking for more information about your products or services. Many of them are doing comparisons on prices, features and maybe even customer services. If you want to influence buyers decision earlier to a much larger target audience, then you should consider Facebook and other social media plate form.
With over 200 million active users sharing authentic information, you can precisely reach the right people before they start searching. Most social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin) provide you tools so that you can determine how exactly you can define your targeted audience, and get in font of them.
To address your concerns of mixing your personal connections with business, Facebook has privacy settings so that the story from last night's party won't get out to your business connections.