You’re probably tired of hearing it, especially if you haven’t had much luck with so-called “digital marketing experts”, but your online presence is where we typically where we start with our clients. We consider it the solid foundation to the glorious mansion that is your marketing strategy. To complement the consulting and planning services we offer, we work closely with one of the top internet marketing services in Seattle, Odd Dog Media.
The most common internet marketing tactics are:
- Website Development
- Online Presence Management
- Online Reputation Management
- Search Engine Optimization
- Search Engine Marketing (PPC/AdWords)
- Blogging and Niche Guest Blogs
- Instructional and Commercial Videos
- Directory Listings and Citations
- Google, Apple, and Yahoo Maps Management
- Targeted Emails and eNewsletters
- SMS Marketing (Text Message)
- Social Media Management and Advertising
- Daily Deals, Specials and Coupons
- Conversion Optimization
WEBSITE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
Your website is the foundation for any marketing campaign you run (online marketing and otherwise). It’s often the last visit that consumers make before choosing where to do business.
A great website describes who your company is. More than just information, visitors should understand the personality of your business, too!
At its most basic level, website design is the creation of a website or series of websites using common programming languages such as HTML and CSS.
Website design & development should only be done by experienced developers. There are tools available that claim to assist in building your own website but they most often end up costing more time than they are worth. Plus, they can’t be used with SEO nearly as effectively!
ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Our signature online reputation management service, The Review Miner, simplifies the review process for your current customers. We proactively encourage them to leave positive feedback on the top review sites where new customers are most likely to find you. Your company’s expanded and improved online presence can lead to a 5-9% increase to your bottom line!
HOW IT WORKS
- Be Found
The first step is to ensure your company’s online presence is established and accurate in the places where new customers are most likely to find you. After all, having 100 great reviews doesn’t mean much if no one can see them.
- Get Picked
Next, we begin a campaign to encourage customers to begin leaving their feedback. Negative comments are filtered out and handled offline while positive reviews are shared to Google, Yelp and other top sites.
- Save Money
By ensuring your company’s online reputation is stellar in all possible locations, you reduce the risk of lost opportunity. Most of your customers, even current ones, will research your reputation at some point and make a judgment of whether or not to do business with you.
- Stay Competitive
When businesses are compared to each other online, the company with the most amount of reviews tends to get 3x the amount of web traffic from customers. Stay competitive by staying ahead of the game.
WHY IT MATTERS
At some point during the process of choosing your business, the majority of your customers will compare your online reviews to your competitors’. Taking control of your online reputation means taking control of your bottom line.
- 92% of users read online reviews before selecting a business (eTailing Group)
- 74% of users say they will not choose a business with a poor reputation (Harris Interactive)
- 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations (Pew Statistics)
FREE ONLINE REPUTATION REPORT
To get started, we’re happy to offer a free online reputation report for your business. What you’ll learn from this report:
- How many reviews there are for your business and where to find them.
- The average star rating and sentiment for your reviews.
- How your reputation compares to your competitors.
- Opportunities for improving your online reputation.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
SEO is simply the act of ensuring search engines find your website to be highly important and relevant when potential customers are looking for businesses like yours online.
We utilize two major types of search engine optimization to drive your listing higher –> On-site and off-site optimization. A good SEO campaign is the cornerstone of any online marketing effort and we can show you positive results in just a few months.
Why SEO is Important
By being considered highly important and relevant, your site will show higher on search engine results. 76% of consumers say they use search engines to find information on businesses and services and almost 60% of those people are clicking just the top 3 options.
There are two types of SEO we practice: on-site and off-site. On-site optimization is done using the code and content on your own website while off-site optimization is done using links and content on other sites.
ON-SITE SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
We optimize the code and content on your own website to match what the search engines need to see in order to find your site to be highly important and relevant to the specific potential customers you want to target. For example, if someone searches for “dentist, renton, wa” and we’ve identified that person as a potential customer, we update your site appropriately to ensure it shows at the top of that specific search result.
Search engines determine whether or not your website is highly important and relevant by using programs called “crawlers.” These crawlers are incredibly smart but they aren’t smart enough to be able to decipher what a website is all about without a little help. A site can look appealing to a potential customer but if the behind-the-scenes coding makes it difficult for the crawler to work your site won’t get the credit it deserves.
Some of the types of code we work on are title tags, headers, alt-tags, meta-descriptions, and your overall site structure. We help the crawler do its work most efficiently and find the information it needs to rank you higher. We also add specific directions for the crawlers to follow and can highlight information from your site like your phone number and address, how many reviews you have, or who the page belongs to
Most importantly, the content on your site needs to be good to ensure a quality user experience. If a potential customer comes to your site and they can’t quickly find the information they were looking for or it seems like your site isn’t what they thought it was, you’ll lose their business. Crawlers can also read much of the content on your site and use it similarly to the behind-the-scenes code to determine how important and relevant your site is.
We research which words and phrases your target customer is searching for and ensure your website matches up well so the crawlers can easily find it. We’ll help you write copy for your site and optimize the copy so it most efficiently convinces the crawlers that your site is one of the top 3 most important and relevant ones.
OFF-SITE SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
We optimize your presence elsewhere on the internet by using links and external content and we use them simultaneously as much as possible. ‘Links’ specifically refers to how many times other websites link to your website and content is simply information about your business on other websites.
Search engine crawlers use links as a sort of popularity contest. If dozens or even hundreds of other websites link to yours, you must be incredibly important! The crawlers will consider both the reputation and content of the site that is linking to you. For example, if you’re a dentist and the American Dental Association has a link from their site to yours that will be weighted more heavily than a link from your friend’s personal blog.
The first step to any good linking program is to be listed in online directories and maps databases. See “Directory and Maps Listings”. Then, we’ll identify appropriate blogs, newsletters, business partners, associations, etc. to have a link to your site posted there. It’s important to have quality, relevant sites linking to you as your site could be considered spam if you’re linked by thousands of unpopular sites.
Similar to on-site content optimization, the most important aspect is creating a good user experience. Give the people the information they want and give it to them in an efficient manner. After that, we want to get as much content as we can posted alongside your link. Back to the dentist example… if the American Dental Association has written an article about your office AND included a link, that will be weighted much more heavily than a link by itself.
During the building of a link profile, we optimize as much content as we can. See “Directory and Maps Listings” for more information on how we optimize those particular links. We’ll also create a short 30-second video clip to post on YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google so having a video, optimized with keywords and links to your website, is weighted very heavily by search engine crawlers.
If none of this work has been done already, you’ll notice an improvement in how your business appears in search engine results within the first few weeks. If your industry is highly competitive or your business is relatively new to the online community, it may take longer. Most internet marketing companies that offer SEO will ask you to sign a 12-month contract so they can slow the pace and squeeze more money out of you. While it may take up to 12 months (or longer in some cases) to see a significant difference in your search engine placement, our SEO services are still offered on a month-to-month basis. We’re forced to show you the work we’ve done every month and the impact it’s had on your business.
GOOGLE ADWORDS (PPC ADS)
Pay-per-click advertising is one of the best ways to earn new business immediately. All you need to run PPC ads is a website and a key differentiator from your competitors. And we can help with both of those!
Once we’ve identified your target demographic, your ads will only show to those people looking for businesses specifically like yours.
Pay-per-click advertising is an online marketing intiative that drives traffic to your website in which you pay ONLY when your ad is clicked. The key is to offer relevant content to the appropriate searcher with the best opportunity to convert that person into a paying client.
AdWords are extremely customizable and have a great return on investment. Your ad only populates to customers looking for a business like yours so immediate, relevant leads are sent to your site.
PPC works by using search engine keywords. If you’re a dentist in Renton, for example, we’ll only show your ads to potential patients who live within a 5 mile radius of your office and have completed a Google search using the keywords ‘dentist in Renton’. Again, you pay ONLY when your ad is clicked.
AdWords pricing is based on a formula that we only have a vague clue about but you can expect to may only the minimum amount that is required for that placement position. Contact us for a more detailed idea of cost.
GOOGLE MAPS AND DIRECTORY LISTINGS
Millions of consumers use online directories look for local businesses. For example, Google Maps, Apple Maps, Yelp, Bing, and Yahoo are considered some of the most useful business directories out there.
Why are Google Maps (and the like) So Important For Internet Marketing?
These listings must be accurately claimed and optimized in order for potential customers to most efficiently find you. If they cannot find you quickly, or they find conflicting or incomplete information, they will likely bypass your business altogether and move onto a competitor.
What Does the Process Look Like?
We start by locating and updating current listings or claiming new listings on the top directories and online maps databases. The majority of the directory listings work can be completed within 90 days. Depending on whether or not duplicate or incorrect listings are found it may take longer for some sites (namely Google) to be corrected.
Duplicate listings are the most common reason why a potential customer will bypass your business when researching online. If the customer is even mildly confused or inconvenienced it will cause them to move on to your competitor. After the top listings have been claimed, we then search for duplicate listings on the directories and maps databases in order to delete or suppress then. Most duplicate listings can be deleted or suppressed within 30 days of locating them. Some listings are automatically generated (Google and Yelp both do this) so it requires we verify ownership before deleting the listing. This process can take 2-4 weeks to complete.
When potential customers are presented with several options of businesses to choose from, you already know it’s important to stand out. Fully optimizing your directory and maps listings is similar to catching a customer’s eye by using bright colors and large font on your street sign. But then we can provide high-quality information, not just a name and phone number. In addition, search engines view this information as reliable content and will reward your website or brand.
After all listings are claimed, fixed, updated or deleted (we have identified over 80 very important listings to maintain), we then optimize the listings with enhanced content. Typically the content will include photos, videos, hours of operation, specials/coupons, links to your site and social media pages, detailed services offered, staff biographies, calendar of events and more. Much of the optimization of listings can be completed immediately after the listing is claimed or created. Optimization must be ongoing and ever changing so it’s advised that no content goes unchanged for longer than 6 months.
Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing remains one of the greatest return on investment marketing tactics. Experian reported in 2012 that the average email campaign resulted in $44.25 in gross revenue for every $1 spent. Not bad!
Despite its relative success compared to other internet marketing avenues, email tends to be widely underused by small businesses.
We assist with two types of email marketing. The first is targeted emails to potential new clients who fall into your target demographic and have asked for information from companies like yours. The second is an eNewsletter strategy to generate new business from your existing client base or encourage word-of-mouth referrals.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure effective email campaigns is to use an “opt-in” list collected through a current client database or using an advertising campaign. Once we have a good idea who your target market is, an appropriately developed email will ensure maximum open rate and conversion rate. Each email is designed and written to encourage current and prospective clients to click through to your website and reach back out to you.
Email marketing is highly customizable, testable and malleable to mold to your needs over time or in an instant. Every campaign is tailor made to your business using marketing best practices and specific information about your company. Send over your information to schedule a time to chat about strategies!
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Social media marketing is a hot topic and tends to generate passionate opinions on all sides of the discussion. We encourage our clients to think of three things when considering social media: Exercise and perfect all other avenues of internet marketing first. Think as a consumer in your target demographic, not as yourself. And, as our ‘Marketing Mantras’ state, branding is for billionaires… is your Facebook page actually generating revenue for you?
Social media marketing allows you to have a voice with customers already talking about businesses on Facebook. It’s important to remember that the conversation about your business and your competition is already happening on Facebook and other sites. Social media marketing is a relatively low-cost way to promote awareness and increase your branding with the intent to earn additional business.
Word of mouth marketing is also likely already working for your business. Through social media, you can leverage your community engagement on a larger scale. Social media helps create a larger fan base, engage with potential clients and stay in front of your followers.
Facebook has specific algorithms that need to be followed to use it most effectively. To get the best bang for your effort you need a lot of followers and dynamic content that interests them. Contact us to discuss strategies to achieve this!