Pushing your website above the ranks in the internet wilderness is a big task to take on, but whether you’re looking to improve your reader base, give your products more exposure or enhance your brand name it’s always something worth dedicating some time to. If you’re looking for a selection of short, concise tips then you’ve probably already found that the web is a far greater maze land than it need be, but hopefully this guide will help you see the light through the trees. With that in mind, here is a little list of some absolute online marketing musts.
1. Start with a plan and a strategy. One of the easiest ways to waste a lot of time is to dive straight in to your web development without any real idea of where you’re heading or what your goals are. Work towards an effective website design before you start marketing it (you don’t want to attract an audience to a muddled up website) and draw up a chronological plan of where you want to be in the future.
2. Create an opt-in mailing list for your website. Builds a loyal audience and provides you with ever-valuable email addresses. Need more be said?
3. Read up on effective email marketing. The amount of high quality literature regarding effective email marketing is phenomenal. Read up on what works and use that mailing list to bolster your marketing.
4. Do your research. How well covered is the field your website sits in? Are there any significant competitors out there? Look for things you can do differently and highlight that you’re doing them. Keeping a close eye on competitors is good, but make sure you don’t get so wound up in their activities that you end up doing exactly what they do.
5. Get yourself published. Write online press releases in your field and attempt to get yourself listed in news stories. Things like this will hugely increase your online presence and improve your SEO rankings.
6. Get to grips with SEO. Search-engine optimisation can be the crux of online marketing success. It’s far too big a topic to cover in this article, but fortunately there are plenty of resources out there. Do your research and get to grips with SEO tools such as SEOMoz and Google Analytics.
7. Run contests. Everyone loves the chance of getting something for nothing, and contests are a crucial way of maintaining and building upon your audience base. Try to think of creative ideas such as website treasure hunts as well as simple ‘answer this question’ giveaways.
8. Do what this guide does. Keep things concise and relevant. If a user clicks on a page and is blinded by text or visuals they didn’t expect, they probably won’t stay there long.
9. Have your website looked at by a professional. Don’t rely on yourself to do everything. The investment in an online marketing consultant can be a hugely beneficial one – don’t be afraid to let someone else take over where you’re struggling.
Rob writes for Vision Media – experts in digital marketing consultancy.