We've already covered that the winning strategy starts with SEO, but now we need to talk about the Social Marketing aspect if your going to be successful online. For a review, please see: Online Success Starts and Ends with SEO / Part 1 of this series.
The Winning Web Marketing Strategy / Part 2
Quality, Quality, Quality.
At the end of the day, quality will win. If you consistently find unworthy results through search, you will gravitate towards other sources. Google became Google by focusing on quality results and a user-friendly experience. I will not try and tell you Google is any less user friendly today than it was five years ago (that is a debate for another day) but from a user perspective, it feels as if the quality of results is slipping. Maybe just a little, but bit by bit - Google is starting to waiver.
Look at the proof. When you hear from Google nowadays, it is about local and maps. It is about mobile web. It is about Android. It is about Chrome. It is about GoogleMe (social media project) It is NOT about search. So, what should you do?
To cut to the chase, more people are using channels other than search to find out about websites, content, videos, companies, and more. The only reason that social channels do not stand a candle to search right now is that they work on the principle that now (or today) is better than yesterday. No matter how awesome a site is, no matter how many recommendations it has, tomorrow it is old news and it will disappear. Until the time factor is limited, search will still beat social media.
But still, if you aren't embracing social, you're using the phone while your competitors are sending e-mail. Get with the times, man!
How to Start Your Social Marketing Plan:
Step 1: Create a Facebook Page (for Business) and a Twitter Account.
Step 2: Incorporate Facebook "like", Twitter "tweet", Digg, Reddit, Stumble-upon and other bookmarking /recommending buttons into your site.
- If your using our Website Content Management System - You can do this using the AddThis widget or by incorporating the code from the various sites. All of these sites can bring in significant traffic, and with Digg launching a redesign soon focusing on connections, Digg will not longer be a "front page or bust" traffic opportunity. - Once you're done, proceed to step 3 please...
Step 3: Create custom/original, fresh content.
- This is where most of your work will be done. Most of our clients hate to sit down and write, but somehow - someway, you've got to create original, fresh, compelling content, articles, news, offers, and advise for visitors to read and search engines to find. The quality of your content will make you or break you!
Step 4: Optimize Your Website - Page by Page!
- Landing page optimization is a popular topic. When we say "Landing Page" - we're not talking about something that looks like a banner ad or yellow page splash. We're talking about an optimized page, using your keywords, put together perfectly so that when the visitor lans on it they will be compelled to contact you.
LANDING PAGE GUIDELINES:
- W3C compliant code (standards compliant design and code)
- Original/fresh content (make it compelling)
- Proper brand identity (logo, colors, etc.)
- Fast loading (easy on the pictures!)
- A CALL TO ACTION! (this is a must have!)
Write for your target audience, not the machine.We offen refer to this as "Keyword" stuffing. And it's sort of black-hat technique. Don't just stuff all your keywords in - write the copy for humans. Put your self in the visitors shoes - they have no idea what your model numbers mean, stay away from Tech Talk and tell them why they should take action. It's really quite simple.
At the end of the day, we want to increase traffic. Where it comes from doesn't matter that much. If you are ignoring social, or only considering it in terms of direct SEO benefits, you are missing out on huge opportunities both in the short-term and long-term. I implore you to think of social media not as a time waster, but an opportunity to bring a wider audience to your websites, and as the traffic you bring in from those sites grow it will snowball into something wonderful.
This is just a primer… I realize many people already have a Facebook account or a Twitter account for their business (not personal!), but I wanted to cover the basics first.
Walk Before You Run!
Now we've covered the absolute basics, our next article will cover some more advanced techniques. If your a self starter - follow the steps above and get it done now, if not - call us, we do this for a living!
Let us know what you think?