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Online Marketing Methods

Search Engine Marketing - Commonly known as PPC (Pay Per Click) SEM provides you an instant way of gaining visitors to your website but be careful as the money can soon mount up as you are paying for each and every your receive a visitor so making sure the phrases you are paying for is totally targeted to the page you are sending them to. ie. Google Adwords.

Banner and Link Advertising - Pay to have a banner and direct link placed on another website. Research what other types of websites your target customer base uses. Contact the owners of these websites and ask them if they could place a banner on their website for a monthly fee. You will find that websites which accept banner advertising have a page setup advertising the fact. The link is usually located at the very bottom of the homepage 'Advertise'. ie. Lilith eZine Advertising Opportunities.

Joint Ventures or Partnerships - Let's say you are a supplier of kitchens but you do not fit them. Why not contact the kitchen fitters in your area and do a deal where you advertise their fitting services on your website if they advertise your business on theirs. Maybe this is not the best example of a JV partnership but it gives you the general idea. HOWEVER WHEN LINKING BACK AND FORTH REMEMBER TO USE rel="nofollow" To learn why read The Importance of Non-Reciprocal Links.

Google Places - If you are a local based business then you need to make sure that your website is listed within the Google Places (or Google Maps as most people know it) section of the homepage.

Online Sponsorships - Sponsor an event or a charity in return the charity will be happy to provide your company with exposure on their website and exposure means brand awareness.

Social Media Marketing - With the massive following sites like Facebook and Twitter have it is a must that your business has an account. There is no cost involved, just a little of your time is needed. Building up a large following on both Twitter and Facebook can provide massive brand awareness. Do not use these sites to try and sell your services or products but use them to provide free information. Post links to the new articles you have written. Be informative not sales orientated. The idea behind using social media is that you want to make a name for yourself and seen as one of the experts within your industry. People might not need your product there and then but if they keep hearing your name you can be sure that you will be the first place they go to when they do require your service.

Online Press Releases / Newsletters - If you have some very interesting news about your business then getting a press release written and distributed is one of the best ways of getting the news out to the world. Maybe you have a new product launch or you are the only company within the UK who are able to supply the latest craze. If the news is good enough then spend a few quid and get your press release professionally written and distributed. You never know, you could even get a call from your local newspaper wanting to do a story on you. Building a newsletter and getting lots of people to read it is tricky, but worth doing.

Industry Related Blogs - Search for the top industry related blogs. Sign up and start contributing to the latest discussions. Again, do not try and sell but just provide advice, help people and join in the discussions. Once you have been a member of the forum and if you maintain an active presence, provide quality information then you will start to get asked for a quote.

Affiliate Programs - If you sell anything online then you should consider setting up your own affiliate system. This is where other people promote your business for you and in return they get a set percentage of any sale from people they have refered to your website. There are also well established affiliate networks you could look at.

Viral Video Marketing - With sites like YouTube viral video marketing has never been easier. We now have a free to use platform with millions of active viewers. The question is, how do you get a video to go viral? Viral meaning lots of people spreading the word about your video to lots of other people and so on. You need to create a video that includes an element of comedy. If something within a video is really funny or very unexpected then it will go viral a lot quicker. The video does not have to directly promote your company. As long as your brand is in the video somewhere then subconsciously it will stick in the back of peoples mind.

Researching Keywords for SEO

Making sure you are Search Engine Optimizing your website with the correct keywords and key phrases is vital. Especially if you are running a niche business or a local business.

We have seen it many many times before where we get a call saying "I am on the first page of results for bla bla bla but do not receive any inquiries".

Why? Because they chose the wrong keywords that nobody uses and/or they forgot to focus on LOCATION. If you're advertising Italian suits but live in Toronto Canada, people are going to be confused by your website.

One of the biggest factors which contributes to having no inquiries is that you or your marketing company are just not working on the right phrases. You need to do keyword research and make sure the phrases you are targeting are actually getting searched for. If you get this wrong then you might as well throw all the time and money you have spent in the bin.

ie. Don't bother with synonyms for the name of the place. Hogtown may be a slang term for Toronto, but nobody actually searches for it.

A very simple way to find keywords is to first determine who are your main competitors who are successful and see what keywords they are using. Look at their website titles and headings to see what phrases they are using. You can then use the Google Adwords keyword tool to see how many people per month are typing those keywords and phrases in. The tool will also suggest other keywords and phrases and list them in order of search volume.

You need to implement your selected phrases into the title, meta description, meta keywords, page title, first sentence of your content, your H1 and H2 tags, the body text etc... If you do not know how to do this, ask your web designer about these things as they should have been considered at the time of designing and building your website.

If you get the right keywords and phrases then you are on the right path to Search Engine Optimization success.

Organizing your Website to be Search Engine Friendly

It is important that the search engines bots can easily spider through your website, read all your original content fast without anything delaying or blocking them. Search Engine Friendly Website Design is a rarely used skill in the website design industry because so many designers these days want to use Flash and know nothing about making a website Search Engine Friendly.

Here is a few pointers to make sure your website is search engine friendly are:

1. Make sure you do not have any dead links. These are old links on your website that points to pages that no longer exist.

2. Build an internal multiple linking structure. By this we mean, do not just have one single link going to any one page. Link to other pages from the content your website making sure the words you are linking actually relate to that page.

3. Do not use a flash buttons to link to other pages on your website unless you have a second standard form of linking structure.

4. Every single page on your website must be accessed within three clicks maximum.

5. Make sure that every page on your website loads fast. The search engines are not going to stick around if it takes too long to load your website or pages.

To learn more on this topic read Search Engine Friendly Website Design.

Branded Content is King

Have you ever heard of the saying 'content is king'?

Well it is partially correct. "Branded Content" is the real king. By branded I mean its unique, Google recognizes it as your original content because you were the first to post it, and anybody else who copies you is just ripping it off word for word and Google can recognize when other sites do that and bans/devalues them.

So in order to make sure your website isn't devalued you MUST make sure that your website includes quality and unique content. Never copy content from another website and paste it onto your own. For one you do not own the copyright to that content and two search engines like Google will know that the content on your website is a direct duplicate of that on another site and as such they will devalue your website.

No Duplicate Content, create your own Branded Content

Always write your own Branded Content for your website. We hear all the time "but I don't know how to write content". You may not be able to write a story book but this is your website and as such you are writing about a subject that you are meant to be an expert or professional in. All that knowledge you have in your head, just sit at a PC and type it all out. Don't worry about mistakes and grammar at this stage. You can always proof read your content after and use SpellCheck / GrammarCheck.

If for any reason you just do not want to write the content for your website then take on the services of an experienced copywriter. This is a person that writes website content for a living.

It is also important that new fresh original content is added to your website on a regular basis. No matter if you do it once a day, week or even month the fact is you need to be adding new pages to your website filled with fresh unique branded content. You also need to make sure that the content you are writing is informative and is of a nature that people will actually want to read it. Add a couple of images to the new pages which relate to the subject you are writing about.

Although adding regular Branded Content to your website is good for your search engine reputation but it also increases the number of people looking at your website with every article you write. Why? Simply because people are looking for information on a daily basis and as long as you write about a subject which people want to read then each and every article will be found on the internet somewhere.

The search engines, especially Google, want to see websites growing with good solid information that is original.

Building great original content on your website should be the first step before you even discuss promoting your website.

The Benefits of Search Engine Marketing

What are the benefits of doing Search Engine Marketing?

1. Marketing your website on the search engines is sometimes more cost effective providing a much higher ROI compared to most offline marketing methods.

2. You have the ability to promote your business Locally, Nationally and even Internationally.

3. The ability to target directly the people who want and need your product or service.

4. Depending on your industry and geographical target area(s) you have the ability to send a large amount of visitors to your website.

5. You can build up a strong brand awareness. If done correctly your brand (business or company name) could be seen many thousands of times per day.

6. Unlike an advertisment in a newspaper or magazine (unless you are paying a serious amount of money), search engine marketing has a long term future as long as you conform to all the online guidelines.

7. SEM takes less time than doing traditional SEO. SEM is great for people who lack patience and have extra money to burn.

However we should note that money wise SEO (Search Engine Optimization) may take more time and patience, but it also produces MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK.

Common Search Engine Marketing Terms

FOR A MORE DETAILED LIST SEE THE SEM GLOSSARY.

Knowing what these terms mean is the first step in strategizing your SEM campaign.

SEO or search engine optimization is the process of gaining a first page ranking on the search engines for any given keyword or phrase.

SEM or search engine marketing is a collection of all internet marketing methods you use to market your website on the search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

ROI or return on investment is the difference in percentage between what you spend on your marketing campaign to how much profit you generate from that marketing.

PPC or pay per click is the ability to pay a search engine for advertising your website on the internet and each time anyone clicks through to your website, you then pay an agreed amount per click / visitor.

Search Engine Spiders are the tools that the search engines use to automatically spider through your website and then determine where to rank your site.

Landing Page is a page on your website which has been designed to sell or promote a certain service or product. These pages are sales based with a good call to action. The landing page is the first page on your website which your potential customers will see.

Keyword or phrase is the wording used when performing a search on the search engines.

Keyword Research is the process you use to determine what the best key phrases are for each page of your website. You need to find out what people are typing into the search engines to find your product or service then optimize your website for them phrases.

Analytics is the software used to track your website visitors, the number of visitors to your website, what pages are being looked at and much more depending on what analytics system you are using. ie. Google Analytics.
If you need SEO, SEM or SMO help in Toronto then you need to contact designSEO.ca
Get started by emailing contactus@designseo.ca.
Consultations are $30 per hour.