A Simple Guide to Getting Started With Online Marketing

The online world is a big place crowded with thousands upon thousands of brands. As a new brand on the Internet-block it can seem overwhelming deciding where to allocate your online marketing budget to get the best results. While there’s no easy answer when deciding where your money is best spent, there are plenty of choices available to businesses of all sizes.

The Four Most Effective Ways to Improve Your Online Marketing

1. Search Engine Optimization/SEO
Search engine optimization involves a large variety of factors, all of which converge to make your website rank better with search engines. In the past, saturating your website’s copy with keywords (phrases related to your business) was enough to get your website ranked on popular search engines, such as Google. These days, the algorithms that determine how your site ranks are much more complicated. Learning the basics of SEO and applying them to your website is a great way to begin your foray into Internet marketing. A well-ranked site is a good foundation for all your other online marketing endeavours.

Things to Try:

  • Set up a Google Places account for a better local search.
  • Update your site on a regular basis. If you have a shopping cart, update your products. If you have a content site, add at least 1 – 4 blogs a month.
  • Set up 2 – 4 Social Media Profiles (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+). Post your updated content on your profiles and get visitors to like, share or comment on your content.

For a more in-depth understanding of Search Engine Optimization requirements, read Search Engine Land’s Guide to SEO: http://searchengineland.com/guide/seo.

2. Paid Search, or Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
Paid search is a quick and straight-forward alternative to SEO. Though both involve a link to your brand’s website appearing on search engines, paid search requires you to pay a fee for each click-through. An advantage is that you’re guaranteed to receive targeted search traffic based on your budget. With PPC you only pay if someone clicks through to your site. Therefore, you’re only paying for results. Pay-per-click ads are highly customizable, and when written skillfully, they can be an extremely effective way of capturing new leads for your business.

Things to Try:

  • Google Adwords is the industry standard for paid search advertising. It’s a good place to start.
  • In addition to pay-per-click options, consider click-to-call ads, which are designed to make it easy for mobile users to call your business directly.

3. Banner Advertising, or Display Advertising
Chances are if you think of ‘online advertising’, banner ads are the first thing that come to mind. Display ads and banner ads are interchangeable terms for the same type of advertising. Banner ads rely heavily on graphics and a short call-to-action or headline. They’re typically displayed in headers and sidebars, but there is a large range of size options available. The visual element of banner advertising can be a strong selling point for your products or services. For example photos of clients from a hair salon, or dishes from a restaurant can be used to sell the products. Banner / display ads are also great brand building marketing tools.

Things to Try:

  • Remember to be selective about where your ads appear, ensuring your ads reach your optimal target market.
  • Consider retargeting. Retargeting is a form of online advertising throughout an ad network that repeats your ads (on various websites) to customers who have visited your site and left, or have searched for key words but haven’t landed on your site yet. Retargeting is especially effective for banner advertising, because you can customize the visuals based on each customer’s behaviour on your site.

4. Email Marketing
Often ignored, email marketing can actually be one of the most effective, powerful and least expensive marketing tools for your website. If your company has a database of email addresses collected through an opt-in form on your website, don’t be afraid to use it! Email marketing is optimal for staying in touch with customers, and giving them a heads-up when you have new products, services or limited time promotions. Share your latest news, interesting developments in your industry, or simply spotlight new products, services or promotions. Whatever you choose to say, choose your words strategically, as your Subject Line will impact whether people choose to open your email and what you say in your email will determine if people will be interested in clicking through to your website.

Things to Try:

  • Sending out a monthly newsletter is an effective way to keep in touch with your customers, without making them feel like you’re spamming their inbox.
  • Make it short, concise and visual. No one likes reading incredibly long emails. Keep your email marketing visually engaging and use bold titles and headlines that grab attention.
  • Have a strong call-to-action that will generate results.

If you’re considering online marketing options for your business, Print Three can help. Schedule a session with your local Print Three web marketing expert to analyze your website and discuss online marketing solutions for your business. We can help you implement your chosen solutions, as well. Find the nearest Print Three location to set up a meeting today.