When SEO Isn’t Enough

Internet Marketing is essential for all types of businesses and professions today. At this point, many businesses are already engaged in at least a typical Search Engine Optimization plan based around finding external sites to link back to their own site, and having employees or an outsourced provider writing unique content to place online. A few years ago, this would have been sufficient to ensure a high ranking for nearly any search term. With recent advances in search technology, however, it is no longer good enough to rely on traditional Search Engine Optimization techniques. Below are some non-traditional ways of generating search traffic that can have an even bigger impact on your bottom line than link trades and content building.

Use Landing Pages:
Construct simple lead generating pages on your website that allow for detailed reporting on the results of your online efforts. These pages should be designed strictly to capture leads- it can look much different than your normal website, and you may even wish to have it on a separate domain name. Effective lead generating pages often look look less “polished” than full-fledged websites, and should focus on real images of your products, the benefits someone receives from using your services, testimonials from actual customers, and a call to action.

Ensure that local sites from Google and Yahoo are being used:
Google Places and Yahoo Local results are another area for you to generate web traffic. Go to google.com/places and yahoo.com/local to claim your business listings. You can add your hours of business, location, and web address. When you have ensured the accuracy of your listing, contact some clients and ask them to post honest reviews and comments on your profiles. You may wish to offer an incentive for them to do so.

Review sites:
Sites such as Yelp allow the Internet community to rate and comment on the work done by specific companies. Search for your company on Yelp.com, and see what existing reviews you have. Communicate with some existing clients to ask them to add their honest feedback. Again, you may wish to offer an incentive to get a significant number of responses.

Create video content:
Changes in search results pages now show videos by default, and if you don’t have any video content, you’re missing an opportunity to rank highly for some potentially valuable search terms. Videos that tend to work well are: before/after, testimonials, product maintenance, buying tips, and installation instructions. Creating one or two videos of each type will give you a good chance of having your site receive visits for your desired keywords.

Explore referral sites:
Sites such as Angie’s List and Service Magic act as lead referral services, and they can be useful for some industries. Research referral sites for your business type and contact the sales departments to obtain a proposal for inclusion in their directories. Once you receive this information, evaluate their services and determine if they offer enough value to be included in your marketing campaign.

Expand your use of social media sites:
Crate profiles and log in to Twitter and Facebook daily and comment on interesting posts that other people put up. Being an active member of the community will raise your value on-line. If all you do is post your own content without interacting with others, they have no reason to engage with you when you do post content. Mark Cuban is a billionaire that runs a few highly successful companies, and he finds time to post to twitter and respond to blog comments every day, and he’s probably busier than just about anyone in the world of business. That’s one reason he’s so well liked- he interacts with anyone when he feels he can add something to a conversation. Interaction is what will help you turn connections on these sites into actual business.

Explore the possibility of using a group buying site:
The popularity of sites such as Groupon, Living Social, and Social Buy is at an all-time high. Contact a few of these sites and find out what type of deal you can offer that makes sense for both you and their network. If you can put together a reasonable offer and still be profitable on the deal, it is a way to reach a huge untapped audience. One note of caution- these sites are so popular these days that it’s possible you could become overwhelmed by responses, so make sure that you can handle the rapid influx of business if you use one of these sites.

Measure your results:
Create some metrics and reports that allow you to track and draw conclusions from your efforts. Use the data and refine your efforts, determining which initiatives should be continued, which should be dropped, and what your next steps should be.

We hope these tips help you to refine your Internet Marketing efforts, and please contact us with any questions about how you can apply these techniques to your business.

This article was provided by SBA Network Technology Specialist Matt Walker. You can reach him at mwalker@sbanetwork.org.

Posted in Uncategorized, Web Presence.

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