I have been talking to people about how the world of marketing has changed over the last 5- 10 years and how they need to be found online. Research shows that 98% of clients use an online search engine when they are looking to buy.
So I ask them a few questions about how they went about buying their last purchase over $1,000
- Used the yellow pages
- Got on a plane to go to a trade show
- Responded to a print advertisement –
- Responded to a direct mail advertisement
- Did a search in Google or another search engine –
- Asked a friend for advice, and they emailed you a URL as a response
Guess what.. they don’t answer in the affirmative for the first four questions. So if you cannot be found online, then you need to change what you are doing
So really the interesting question is, “If your product or service cannot be found when you type it in to a search engine, how are you going to survive in the new world of online business”.
The short answer: You won’t be around in 5-10 years and “Your competitors may already be ahead”.
So when I speak to my clients I ask them 2 other questions
- What are 5 key words or phrases that your potential clients would put into a search engine to find your product or service?
- Who are your 2 main competitors?
I then grade them with an online tool to compare their website as a marketing medium compared to their competition using Hubspots Website Grader and measure them against their competition.
Quite often the results are not very flattering. ( I have clients measuring 14 out of 100 and their competition scoring in the 70’s or 80’s )
So what is the solution to this dilemma? It is actually not that hard to do but it does require that you do a few things a bit differently to what you are curently doing, and it may be out of your comfort zone, but you need to start.
13 Tips To Get You Found Online.
1. Start a Blog and do it 3-4 times a week
2. Delete Duplicate Content on Your Website- produce unique and regional content about your company.
3. Follow Up on Inbound Links – compare inbound links and used alt tags for those with higher ratings. Follow up on inbound links to help build great SEO authority.
4. Stop or Modify PPC & Ad Words Campaigns: Work on being seen in organic search rather than in paid content. You will get more clicks from organic search than PPC, take your existing content and repurpose it and post it on your Blog. It is a great channel for event information and direct communication with customers. Cover industry-specific news, not product information. Do not try and sell, just provide really interesting news that your clients want to hear about.
5. Create RSS Feeds: RSS feeds enable people to get in contact with your company without visiting the site. Now that everyone has BlackBerries, it is easy to push information anywhere and keep people informed on-the-go.
6. Create a Twitter Profile: Use this to publish RSS feeds, comment on industry-related news and build networks. Thus, it brings up relevant questions to your clients and engages them in conversations. On Twitter, you can also monitor your competitors’ performance.
7. Update Your Companies Profile in Online Directories: In order to keep your site consistent and correct, update your profile in many online directories. Keep track of the accuracy and appearance of yours Google images. In short, it has make it a priority that company information — web addresses, logo, SEO links, etc — is correct everywhere.
8. Buy Relevant Domains: Create satellite sites (.com, .net, etc) and regional pages with local languages. These pages feature in-depth content and point to landing pages. When you release a new product(or service), create a domain name for it. Multiple relevant domain names enable the company to track what gives it the most inbound traffic.
9. Create Well Structured Landing Pages: Create a set of enhanced landing pages. Make the new pages “short and sweet, and to the point.”Make the landing pages customized to different audience segments, and offer critical information for targeted buyer personas.
10. Check Analytics: Regularly monitor your data — comparing web pages, following site traffic, and evaluating customer engagement and keyword performance. What works in America might not work internationally.Try something, look at the results and if the results don’t work go back and change it.
11. Add, Update, and Archive Content: This keeps your content fresh. In order to feature the most up-to-date content, plan on adding a content timer of six months. Thus, authors will receive email alerts to check the accuracy of their six-month-old content. Archive content as opposed to deleting it, this allows the site to keep its inbound links.
12. Optimize Keywords: Investigate what people were actually looking for when they think of your company. Use the stuff that not many people are searching for, thus your company should be looking for for the long-tail keywords that will improve your SEO strategy.
13. Increase Activity in Social Media: Visitors are coming to sites not only via traditional channels like Google and MSN, but also through Twitter and Flickr. In order for people to stumble upon your brand, your company needs to become active in the social mediasphere.
Note: One last interesting fact: 75% of all searches involve organic SEO, Paid SEO (PPC, Pay Per Click) makes up the other 25% . So Organic SEO is 300% more effective.. makes you think, doesn’t it?