Advertising online goes way beyond a digitized version of your newspaper ad. Most successful businesses leverage the non-intrusive, organic benefits of search engine advertising mixed with a smattering of paid ads.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO starts with knowing the latest search algorithms and optimizing your website and blog to leverage them. Invest in appropriate keyword research and implement your keywords across the board, targeting URLs, headings, and subheadings, text, meta-tags, and images.
Place special focus on local SEO. Include your city and state as keywords in metatags. Include your address and phone number in the footer of each page. Create a free Google My Business page. Enter your address and phone number exactly as they appear on your website. Google ties the My Business pages into its search results, Maps, and Plus. The major benefit stems from Google’s latest algorithm which places local results first. Higher Google rankings can do wonders for driving more local business your way!
Search Engine Marketing
A step beyond SEO lies SEM. SEM recognizes the many types of search results, i.e., text, images, video, news and leverages each type to market to the searcher in “hunt mode.” SEM produces non-intrusive marketing opportunities because the user came to the search engine seeking marketing information. Whether they’re searching on Google or LinkedIn, Bing or Pinterest, the searcher has a specific information goal and an openness to receiving relevant results whether organic or paid in nature. Common ad types include local search ads, paid inclusion, paid placement, product listing ads, shopping search, and video search ads.
This underlies the importance of appropriately utilizing SEO keywords on pages, images, videos and other media. It also underlies the importance of pay-per-click advertising, such as Google AdWords. The advertising mechanism lets businesses target specific keywords and appear at the top of the results as a “sponsored” result. Geared toward helping small businesses, the business only pays for actual clicks to its website or phone number. AdWords offers a suite of tools to help the uninitiated get started including a keywords planner, display planner that helps design the ad and audience targeting using your existing email list.
Whether visiting your site or social media accounts, only two percent of visitors results in a conversion. You can eventually capture a portion of the non-sales using re-targeting, the practice of planting a tracking pixel from your site or social media account on the visitor’s device. This pixel tracks the user’s future website visits and triggers service of your ad. Ideally, this results in your potential customer returning to your site to become your customer.
While content remains king and a product that fills a genuine need sells, you have to optimize your online advertising to get users to your content and products. Drive more visitors to your website and blog by leveraging SEO and SEM. Re-target the 98 percent who don’t convert on the first visit, so you can draw them back to convert in the future.