Summer has always been a season of rest. Kids celebrate their escape from school with marathon play days, families pack their vans for memorable vacations, and businesses step back to analyze and improve. In the information age, improving often means catching up with the latest online trends. Now, more than ever, businesses have a chance to improve their bottom lines online. Organic search strategies can attract new customers, social media can build your brand and a modern website will facilitate transactions. Use the summer to learn and master these business-building web tools.
Google is the modern Yellow Pages. Type the product or service you need into this handy search engine and, within seconds, you’ll have thousands of results. Common sense says click on the first option available, followed by the second, until you find what you want. Businesses who rank highest in their industries have the best chance to attract eager leads. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in to play. Businesses can tailor their online portfolios to rank highly in Google and other search engines.
Start by including industry keywords in your website title and metadata, and include relevant terms and phrases in the website’s text. Don’t know how to pick the right keywords? There are myriad free and paid online tools that can assist you with researching the best keywords and even tell you what your competition is using.
Google gauges how functional a website’s navigation is, so verify that all your pages and links work. The largest chunk of SEO success comes from accruing off-page links to your site.
Social Media 2.0
By now, most businesses have caught on to the idea that social media is important. Workplace solutions provider Regus found that 35 percent of U.S. businesses have used social media to win new business. As part of this surge in business social media, businesses are using analytics to monitor their social content and followers. Twitter Analytics, for example, businesses a granular look at their followers, re-tweets, click-through rates and other valuable data. Hootsuite is a popular social media dashboard that offers analytical data for various platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Use this information to fine-tune your social media strategy and you’ll turn tweets and posts into conversions.
Companies that succeed at social media usually rely on on unique content from their blogs or websites. Content marketing is one of the business buzz words of 2013. Blogs may not lead to direct sales, but they can build your brand and establish customer loyalty. Leaders in the digital industry are blazing the trail for better blogging. Phoenix-based digital marketing agency iAcquire uses its blog to offer perspective on SEO, social media, content strategy and other relevant topics. The company has established itself as a thought leader, so users expect marketing news from iAcquire.com blog on a regular basis.
As you develop content, focus on what you know best and be concise. Readers will appreciate your expertise and your respect for their time.
Update Your Website
Most small businesses don’t have Web departments or dedicated digital staff, so even after a big online investment, eventually they fall behind the curve. If your business hasn’t updated its home page in the last five years, chances are it looks and feels old. Instead of hiring another web developer to re-code your website, keep things simple with WordPress, a content management system with customizable themes. WordPress does the tough stuff (coding) for you, so you just have to plug in your content and make the site your own.