Why Online Marketing Should be Important to You
You’re going to find any website by first becoming aware of, or having a need for, a product or service and then doing research – most likely via a keyword search in a search engine. You can see that if you don’t market your product/service/website online, no-one will ever find it! It’s no good just having a lovely new web site designed and expecting people to flock to it – it just won’t happen.
This is why online marketing is so important – you can court the search engines for organic rankings, set up a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, write a blog, paticipate on social media sites, do article marketing or link-building. All these methods help to get your brand and company information around the web so if someone is searching for something related to your product or service then the likelihood of them stumbling across you is greatly increased.
The companies that get the best results from their online marketing strategies use a combination of the above methods. The advantage to you, as a small business owner, is that it’s much cheaper and more effective to market yourself online than to run say an advertising campaign in a magazine or newspaper. There are ways of finding out how many people are searching for phrases related to your business – just imagine how many potential customers you’re missing out on by not putting yourself out there.
Getting to the Top of Google
It is now more important than ever that you use all the available online marketing channels. You may have heard of Universal Search – a Google feature that blends content from its images, maps, blogs, books, video and news channels into the ‘plain’ web results.
If you haven’t heard of it you’ll certainly have seen it. Basically Google tries to guess what other type of information you want to see based on your search query, for example, if you search for ‘Simon Cowell’ you’ll see images, videos, news and blog posts mixed within the plain search results and location based searches for example ‘Leeds City’ returns local search results i.e. Google maps.
This is great for the business that’s actively participating in the various channels as they get more chances to be featured on the first search engine results pages (SERPs) but for those of you that just have a small website that you haven’t been regularly adding new content to, it could spell disaster – you stand even less chance of getting to the top of Google and you risk disappearing into obscurity forever.
Google Caffeine is the latest update to the Google search algorithm (basically the rules that Google uses to determine who ranks where). The aim of this latest update is to provide searchers with the latest/newest content related to their search i.e. more relevant content and faster. Particularly with news, a page that’s over a month old is probably not news anymore so would be featured lower down the rankings than a story published a week ago. In testing Caffeine seems to favour those sites that have a blog that is regularly updated. In fact Google is already including content from social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn in its results pages.
Most of the above methods fall under the heading of search engine optimisation (SEO) which can sometimes seem like nothing more than an expensive smoke and mirrors exercise. This is not the case, small businesses can run effective seo campaigns on a small budget and expect to see results!
Budget SEO – find out how you can get your web site search optimised on a budget…