Regardless of the size of your business, an effective online marketing strategy is essential in the modern age. In fact, research from Regalix suggests that 86 percent of businesses plan to increase their marketing budget this year, with video content, SEO, PPC and social media all ranking high on the list of priorities.
However, the current online marketing landscape presents robust challenges. For instance, it is estimated that 200 million internet users now have ad-blocking software installed, while click-through rates for both display ads and emails are falling year on year. With this in mind, here are some top tips to improve your online marketing.
1. Mobile optimisation is now essential. Marketing experts have been hammering this point for years, but Google searches originating from mobile devices have now overtaken those from desktop computers for the first time. This means that your website and advertising methods should be designed with mobile users as a top priority.
2. You should set up your local Google+ page. Doing so can bring about a number of benefits, especially for businesses where local custom is important. Make sure you include your business’ address, phone number and other contact information so that you appear in local search results and on Google Maps.
3. Get the most from your text ads. Target specific high-value keywords and include a strong call to action. Make sure text ads are also optimised based on the website, as Google, Yahoo! and Bing all use different formats.
4. Do not neglect social media. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are great for building a wider audience, but social media users have high expectations of businesses. Reply to any queries or complaints quickly, take care with what you post and implement a company-wide social media policy to avoid PR disasters. Social media is also a great place to experiment with video content, but keep it short and to the point.
5. Content is still king. While ad-blocking and email scepticism provide challenges, content marketing is still extremely effective – at least when it is done correctly. The key is to provide genuinely useful content, which relates to your business, addresses customers’ needs, wants or concerns, and which can be shared on social media.
6. Facilitate good reviews. Sites like Yelp are becoming more important, as review scores now appear in local search results and play a role in search engine rankings. Encourage customers to leave honest feedback on those sites, but go out of your way to make sure their experience is a good one, so that you rack up positive reviews.
7. Measure your marketing results. Failure to do so can mean leaving ineffective campaigns running too long, which can be costly. Use call-tracking to measure calls that have come from click-to-call extensions, track how many hits and shares your content generates and monitor the response to social media posts to pick up on any trends.