5 Easy Ways to Jumpstart Your Online Marketing

5 Easy Ways to Jumpstart Your Online Marketing

Posted on December 13, 2016 nerdymind

So you've got a website up on the interwebz. Why aren't you getting any calls? Well, are you doing any online marketing? Are you actively engaged on social media sites? Are you consistently creating valuable content and distributing it through the proper channels? My guess is that you aren't, maybe because you aren't sure where to start, or you just didn't budget marketing into your business plan. In the latter case, big oops. You might need to backtrack to figure that one out. If you don't know where to start, here is a quick guide on the top 5 things you need to do to grow your business in our technology-based society.

Get on Board with Google

The very first thing you should do is create a Google account for your business. This will be the account you use for all of your Google tools such as Google Analytics, Google AdWords and more (so everything is under one login). After that is set up, get your business listed with Google Places for Business (which shows your listing in the local search results and on Google Maps). This can be a sticky one if you are in a country or area, like the British Virgin Islands, that doesn't have physical addresses Google will recognize. You have to put in a real address, not a P.O. Box.

Next you'll want to set up a Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools account, but you'll need access to the code files on your site to actually get any benefit out of those tools, either by FTP or through your web host's file manager. If your site is built in Wordpress then there are many plugins that will take care of that part for you as long as you provide certain account info. If your website is pure HTML, PHP or ASP.NET then you'll want to paste the tracking code just before the </body> tag.

While you are at it go ahead and create a Google AdWords account. You will most likely want to run some sort of ads through Google's search and display networks. You'll also then have access to the Keyword Planner; this tool allows you to research keyword popularity and competition. Using popular, high-volume keywords in your website's content is a great way to start getting more qualified, organic traffic (as long as you keep the keywords extremely relevant). Word to the wise: if you plan on doing AdWords *effectively* you will need a budget of at least $1000 a month for most businesses, maybe even more. This will ensure that you reach as many people as you can. At that point you may just want to hire a professional. There is a plethora of settings in AdWords that can rack up your monthly spend very quickly. At least consult with someone before you go jumping off that bridge! Or have a professional set it up and give you a tutorial on how to manage it yourself. It's worth it.

A little side-note: The great thing about having that single Gmail login is that you can now use it for all your marketing accounts. If you want email marketing, call tracking or otherwise, this will make logging into your account much easier.

Start Using Call Tracking

One thing that is often looked over when starting a marketing campaign for a business is how many phone calls are coming in, and from where. This knowledge is indispensable to tracking your most and least effective marketing channels. Many people would rather call a company and get a HUMAN rather than submit a form online (I'm one of them). It depends on your business model and your market as to what method is most effective, and what will lead to the most conversions. But you should seriously consider using phone call tracking. It can make all the difference in measuring your success and failures as well as finding new doors of opportunity.

CallRail.com is a service I've used and it works really well. I'd recommend checking them out and also doing a little research into other similar services. You may find one that suits you better. CallRail tracking can be implemented on your site just as easily as Google Analytics. Just copy/paste one line of code right before the </head> tag on your site, or use a Wordpress plugin that will insert code into the HTML head tag.

Get Email Marketing Started

Even if you don't plan on sending out e-newsletters right away, you definitely want to start collecting names and emails. Putting a signup form on your site is really easy. If you are using Wordpress there are several plugins for this. I'd recommend checking out MailChimp first. It's one of the most flexible and affordable email platforms I've found so far. It's free up to a certain level of usage, which is perfect for most small to medium sized businesses. You can create different lists, and easily deploy email sign-up forms on your website that speak directly to your MailChimp account (creating a nice, seamless business system).

Start Blogging NOW

Blogging is one of the first steps in developing quality content for SEO purposes. In other words, writing about things related to your business will help get you better rankings in the search engines. This is where the Google AdWords keyword planner tool comes in very handy. Research and pick what we call "long tail" keywords that reinforce "short tail" keywords that you are targeting on the main public facing pages of your site. This will get your pages ranking in search engines while building your domain's authority on that subject matter. Keep this one thing in mind though: don't overuse the same keywords.Be honest in how you use them and write for your customers more than the search engines. Remember: quality is better than quantity these days. Google is rightfully trying its best to get rid of those SPAMMY ad sites, mainly because they don't offer any real value to the web. If you value your audience, give them something they will find valuable and interesting. They will remember you as an authority on the topics you've discussed, and that creates brand awareness and eventually customer loyalty.

Get Social and Post Post Post

It used to be that you wanted to post to Facebook only a few times a week in order to reach your audience without overwhelming them and possibly making them unlike you. But since Facebook changed their algorithm in late 2013 to not show posts from business pages as much, you will probably want to post a few times a day. Your posts don't have to be always related to your business but it helps if it fits in with your branding or identity. There's a lot more leeway as to what you can get away with posting on social sites. Just make sure the content is extremely engaging. Don't post promotional content more than a few times a week. Try posting at the times of day your visitors are most active on Facebook. You can see these stats on your page's Insights. Get into those Insights. They will help you make better posting decisions.

Also, don't discount Google+ simply because it doesn't have a huge audience yet. The search giant's answer to Facebook is growing rapidly, especially now that G+ posts are shown in Google search results sometimes. While you are at it, make sure your blog author has a personal page and that they have added your blog link to their profile as a site they contribute to. This will eventually help their picture show up next to blogs in search results, which increases their chances of getting clicked. The more authority the blogger builds the more likely you will see their picture next to their blogs.

Be Prepared for the Future

Not only will doing these things give you a boost in your current website status, but they will prepare your business for working with an agency or in-house marketing professional. Believe me, these things will make their job much easier and will save you some money from the start. It's also good for you, as a business owner, to understand your marketing at least on a basic level.