Hey, T-Rex: you still making cold calls? Taking out newspaper ads? Sliding flyers under doors and windshield wipers? If so, then it’s time to evolve or die. Your customers may want to buy, but they don’t want to be sold to.
By understanding The Visibility Formula you can move from chasing customers to attracting them. You’ll be “findable” in the right place when customers are looking for information that will lead them to a buying decision.
Your personal visibility formula will require a mix of search engine optimization and social media engagement. You’ll also need to get maximum results out of any effort, as it’s unlikely you have an unlimited budget and 48 hours in a day.
Increasing Your Search Engine Visibility
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a full-time position, supported by multi-day conferences, aisles in Borders and enough blogs to clog a high-speed connection. However, most businesses can improve their search visibility by concentrating on these two areas:
- On-page optimization: make sure that the words on your website, especially the titles, headers, and intra-site links answer the questions your prospects are asking on Google. Start with a keyword analysis so you know which words and phrases to target.
- Off-page optimization: get incoming links from related websites, blogs and online directories. Search engines see incoming links as “votes of confidence,” and more high-quality links mean more traffic and higher rankings.
Increasing Your Social Media Visibility
As more businesses realize the low cost and big opportunities (however overhyped) of social media, making a splash there becomes more difficult. Instead of trying to “out-social” your competitors, develop a content strategy that engages your customers and prospects by addressing their pain points.
A content strategy means focusing on your prospects’ needs, and having those conversations where they hang out online. For B2B companies that means having compelling LinkedIn profiles for your staff and creating great blog posts and videos. Consumer-based businesses might engage their audience through Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. However, with the blurring of work/life separation, be alert to any new opportunities to engage your audience.
The Power of Blogging
Blogs are essential marketing tools for any business or non-profit looking to increase online visibility. Since each blog post is a new web page, and each web page is a new opportunity to rank well for a given search term, it’s quick and easy to target new keyword phrases with your blog. Keyword-rich blog posts often monopolize the first page of search results, even in competitive industries. Anecdotally, people are much more likely to link to business blogs than business websites.
Blogs also act as the hub of your social media activity. There’s only so much you can get across in 140 characters, but by leading people back to your blog you can engage them in a conversation through posts and comments. As you post photos to Flickr, upload videos to YouTube and add presentations to your Slideshare account, you create new pathways to your blog for deeper engagement.
Email Marketing is Sexy, Dammit!
Email newsletters are often forgotten in these social media days, but don’t overlook the power of email marketing. By getting people to subscribe to your opt-in ezine, you get permission to deliver new web pages into their inbox on a weekly or monthly basis.
Even when they don’t read every ezine you send out, they’re forced to take an action, even if it’s to delete that email. Tweets and Facebook status updates are more easily ignored. From my own experience, nothing generates event registrations faster than an email blast, and I measure everything I do.
Webinars FTW! (For The Win)
Webinars are gaining in popularity as a way to market a business’s products and services, educate consumers, and even as ways of generating additional streams of income. Tools like Glance and GoToWebinars make it easy to put on webinars whether for free or as paid events. They’re a great new addition to your online marketing campaigns.
Measure Your ROI (Return on Investment)
To determine if your increased activity is increasing your online visibility and business, you’ll need to measure your results. Traffic reports like Google Analytics will help you determine if your search traffic is going up, and whether you’re getting more leads through Twitter, your blog or YouTube.
Today’s successful businesses use search engine optimization and social media to increase their online visibility and attract qualified visitors to their site, which increases their conversion rate and grows their business.
Your visibility formula will include some combination of SEO, blogs, social media, email marketing and even webinars…but you won’t know the exact mix until you measure it regularly with analytics.
If you’d like help in increasing your own online visibility, or would like to talk to someone on how you can measure and improve that visibility, contact flyte new media today.
President, flyte new media